K-12 schools can save up to 50% on energy use if they optimize their lighting equipment and operations. School equipment replacement and operating costs drive the decision-making for infrastructure investments. Lighting is one of those investments where the ROI is attractive and visible, often the first step in major school energy efficiency upgrades. Nationally, schools have reduced lighting energy consumption by an average of 5% from 2003-2012 according to the Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Surveys. Many of these upgrades include lighting retrofits to highly-efficient light-emitting diode (LED) technology. There are additional energy and cost savings opportunities with new lighting technologies, controls, and design considerations.
This toolkit covers a wide range of technical implementation details, case studies, specifications, and more on lighting technologies in K-12 schools. There are resources on new technologies for the classroom like tunable lighting and adaptive controls for parking lot lighting. Other resources cover various interior and exterior spaces like auditoriums, cafeterias, gymnasiums, and pedestrian walkways. Leveraging these outstanding results and strategies, the K-12 Lighting Toolkit provides some best practices for implementing energy-efficient lighting in schools.
The bulk of these resources come from the Better Buildings Initiative, which partners with leading businesses, manufacturers, cities, states, universities, and school districts who pledge to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings and infrastructure through voluntary commitments like the Better Buildings Challenge 10-year, 20% reduction goal. As of 2018, more than 350 Better Buildings Challenge partners have saved $3.1 billion since the start of the program. Additional resources are provided by the DOE Solid-State Lighting Program, an initiative to drive research and development of innovative LED technologies through strong partnerships that is on track to reduce electricity consumption for lighting 75% by 2035.