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New LED lights, upholstery making a difference at UC Satellite

While the change in lighting is subtle, the new seat upholstery is more noticeable.  The worn seats that started appearing from constant use by thousands and thousands of students, faculty and staff are now a thing of the past.

"The difference in the seating at the UC Center is truly remarkable. Students, faculty and staff are now able to fully enjoy their dining experience," said Deborah Davis, assistant director of Auxiliary Services. "The UH community will find the new upholstery to be quite comfortable. We hope everyone is enjoying the change."

The lighting in the dining area is being replaced with LED lamps. The lights are more efficient and economical, which means the university will notice a savings in its energy bill. In addition, the upholstery has been replaced on all the seating in the dining area - a welcome improvement that is making the dining experience more comfortable for everyone.

So far, 237 lights have been replaced at the UC Satellite, with another 100 still to go. The university is also switching to LED lights at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center, with 154 completed and 50 more scheduled.

"The primary benefit to switching to LED lamps is energy savings," said Jerry Bogna, assistant director for Auxiliary Services-Facilities Management. "Between the UC Satellite dining area and the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center, the direct reduction of electricity cost will be about $11,800 per year at current energy prices."

The LED lights not only use less electricity, they also emit less heat. In hotter months, that will translate into less air conditioning use, which in turn means lower operating costs.

Students, faculty and staff who dine in the UC Satellite may not even notice the change in lighting. That’s because the new lamps were selected to provide a near exact replacement in terms of brightness and light color.

Besides the energy savings, the new lights will require less maintenance. Bogna said the old incandescent lights in the dining area burned out several times a year. The LED lights will last much longer - about 7.6 years on average -  before burning out and needing to be replaced.

"Every time a person goes up on a ladder to change a light bulb, they risk falling and getting injured," he said. "The use of LED lamps drastically reduces the number of times a light will need to be replaced, which greatly lowers the risks associated with ladder use for UH employees."

Two big changes at the University Center Satellite will save UH money and make students more comfortable.