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Texas A&M-Corpus Christi student's bright idea becomes reality

20th Sep 2012

At Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi campus they’ve recently seen the light.  The LED light that is, as a major renovation to the campus library just took place and $50,000.00  worth of the new, longer-lasting, less energy consuming LED light bulbs were installed to replace the older fluorescent lights that had been there for years. Now, lest you think the Texas A&M University was just doing their civic duty you would be only half right. The fact of the matter is that the change is mostly due to graduate student Lisa Ferrell, whose proposal to make the switch to the newer LED lights was accepted and implemented by the school board. Miss Ferrell’s, a 24 years old native of San Antonio who wants to go into energy research upon graduation,  was prompted to make the proposal when she received an email from the school asking students to participate in finding ways to make the campus more energy efficient. The email was sent by the University’s Environmental Advisory Committee and, once all the proposals has been sent in by Miss Ferrell and hundreds of other Texas A&M students, hers was chosen to be put into action. The reason Lisa picked the library was that, out of all the buildings on campus, it was the one that used (and wasted) the most electricity. According to the data that she complied the library’s lights are on almost 110 hours per week, more than any other building, which adds up to 56,000 hours a year of electrical use by the old, wasteful fluorescent lights. In fact, the campus figures that the new LED lights will save the school about $30,000.00 annually which means that within 2 years the upgrades will have paid for themself. Not only that, the new LED lights will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by over 3 million pounds and save approximately 240 million KW hours of electricity, no small numbers for just changing the light bulbs! The main reasons for switching to LED’s cited by Miss Ferrell include the fact that the newer bulbs have a life expectancy of 30,000 hours or 5 times the length of the fluorescent bulbs. They also produce no harmful gases and don’t contain mercury which means less toxic waste added to the community landfills, and maybe most importantly they reduce stress on the human eye, which is certainly a boon for students busy cramming for finals. For Miss Ferrell the entire experience has been very positive and she’s glad that she was able to not only help her school save money but also reduce the amount of energy and other waste that the old lights were causing.  Her next project; lowering the amount of waste that causes her tuition to keep rising every year.