Case Study Details

LOCATION: Dobson Elementary, Surry County Schools, North Carolina


North Carolina School District Refreshes Gymnasiums with LED Lighting

In early 2013, Surry County School District in western North Carolina began exploring opportunities to save energy, reduce maintenance costs and improve overall lighting in its school gymnasiums.

Several of the schools in the district faced lighting challenges in their gymnasiums from both a cost and operations perspective. The facilities were equipped with 400-watt metal halide fixtures, which took anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes to warm up and reach full light output. Therefore, the lights remained on all day.

The district selected Dobson Elementary School to serve as the initial test site for new gymnasium lighting. Faced with the challenge of finding a better, more efficient and user-friendly lighting solution, the school district turned to State Electric Supply Co. to identify lighting technology that could offer the best payback and energy savings. 

Knowledge is Power

Dobson Elementary School’s 5,400 square-foot gymnasium was originally equipped with ten 400-watt metal halide fixtures.

“We conducted energy-saving calculations and provided the school district with details about each fixture we recommended,” said Dale Mayes, State Electric Supply Co. Branch Manager and lead specifier for the project.

State Electric Supply Co. introduced the idea of LED lighting. LED technology would save energy, and provide the ease of use the school needed – the ability to turn on and off the lights quickly. 

“We realized the fixture cost was minimal compared to the savings we could achieve with LED luminaires,” said Draughn, Surry County School District Director of Plant Operations.

Ten Lithonia Lighting® IBH low bay LED luminaires were selected and installed in Dobson Elementary School, and are projected to save nearly $1,350 per year.

A+ Results 

Dobson Elementary School successfully began its 2013 - 2014 school year with an LED system to illuminate its gymnasium. “The significant savings will essentially pay for the new fixtures in only two years,” said Mayes.

“The performance of the lighting was extremely impressive. In most places the foot-candle levels improved more than 50 percent,” said Draughn.

The school was also able to decrease the amount of time the lights were left on, further reducing energy consumption.

Surry County School District now plans to adopt LED lighting in nine additional schools, including two high schools, six elementary schools and one middle school.