LED lights 'go green' in Oak Park Public Library parking garage

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By Community Editor

LED light bulbs are now installed in forty lighting units in Oak Park Public Library’s parking garage at 834 Lake Street. The new LED lights are visibly brighter while using less than half the energy of the replaced bulbs. “The new lights also have a motion-detecting feature and switch to half-power when not activated,” states Facilities Manager Rory ONeill.

“Since code requires the garage level to be lit after-hours, motion detection means even more savings.” This change is part of Oak Park Public Library’s ongoing efforts to minimize our impact on the natural environment.

The old lights used 1.8 amps round-the-clock. The new ones use .4 amps when fully on and .2 amps in energy savings mode,” continues ONeill. “We’ve reduced energy use in lighting the parking garage by more than half.

The new LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights are more expensive to purchase but are expected to last 50,000 hours – much longer than the replaced bulbs. “Plus, as demand and production increases for this product, the cost is getting cheaper,” notes ONeill. “These same bulbs would have been more expensive to purchase even a year ago.” The new LED light bulbs are also mercury-free, so unlike the replaced fluorescent bulbs, they require no extra care to be disposed of properly.

Oak Park Public Library is considering a number of options for the old bulbs and lighting units that have been replaced. “They will be sold as working lights, sold as is, or recycled,” states Jim Madigan, Assistant Director for Administrative Services.

Also to minimize impact on the natural environment, Oak Park Public Library recently switched to checkout receipt paper made from 70% post-consumer-waste and to library cards made from nearly 100% recycled PVC plastic. Both changes were made at comparable or lesser cost.

Oak Park Public Library’s Main Library, which opened in 2003, was designed to minimize impact on the natural environment through the use of sustainable building materials and systems. A large portion of the Main Library’s fourth floor is open to the air and covered with soil and plants. This green roof, along with the recycled copper wall system, recycled rubber flooring, and ceramic fritted glass windows that reduce heat gain, all help make the Main Library environmentally-friendly.

For more about the environmentally-friendly features of the Main Library and to view a video tour of the green roof, visit http://oppl.org/15

Reader Comments

2 Comments - Add Your Comment

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Has anyone seen my green thumb?  

Posted: April 21st, 2012 1:35 PM

"Why enable people to drive there?" Because as evidenced by the occupany of the parking garage, people want to drive there. Plus the street parking stinks. If it's the library of the people and the people who will visit want to park there..hmmm "not one place in OP...Main Library is not a (relatively) quick and pleasant stroll away." No on accompanied by children would make such an assertion.

Violet Aura  

Posted: April 20th, 2012 5:56 PM

Regarding the green LED lights, this is an example of faux eco-friendliness. There should have been no parking garage in the first place! There is not one place in OP where the Main Library is not a (relatively) quick and pleasant stroll away. Why enable people to drive there and then act like putting in green lights is the bee's knees?

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