New Lighting Solutions for High-Bay Spaces: High-output T5 Lamps and Luminaires at Camp Pendleton

November 30, 2004

As energy conservation in industrial spaces becomes an increasing concern, lighting retrofit projects are being encouraged as a way to save energy and improve the quality of the work environment. Currently, a popular application for high bay industrial spaces is to replace existing high intensity discharge (HID) fixtures with high output T5 (T5HO) fluorescent fixtures. The T5HO is a 5/8 inch tubular fluorescent lamp, available from 24 watts to 80 watts. As a retrofit solution, the T5HO lamp offers several advantages including easier control, dimming ability, good color rendition, and high energy efficiency—all resulting in a very cost effective solution.

Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory recently investigated a retrofit project being carried out for 16 maintenance hangars and warehouses at the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton (Carlsbad, CA) by Tetra Tech EM, Inc. under a utility energy services contract of San Diego Gas and Electric. As part of this project, more than 1,000 HID fixtures (using 400-watt high pressure sodium and 1,000-watt mercury vapor lamps) were replaced with T5HO fixtures (with a total fixture wattage of 234 watts). The LBNL study documented the energy and visual quality benefits resulting from this retrofit, including annual New Lighting Solutions for High-Bay Spaces: High-output T5 Lamps and Luminaires at Camp Pendleton energy savings, light quantity, light distribution, and color content. The total energy saved is estimated to be 57 percent, a cost savings of more than $230,000. The project has also provided significant improvements in the visual quality of the facilities, as evidenced by higher horizontal and vertical light levels, more uniform light distribution patterns, and better spectral content. Additionally, feedback from employees indicates a high appreciation for the project.

Suggestions for Other Federal Agencies

Retrofitting with T5HO fixtures is applicable in any high-bay space, such as maintenance workshops, warehouses, and large retail buildings. The system wattage reduction as a result of replacing existing fixtures with the lower-wattage T5HOs offers significant energy savings. Further reductions are possible through the use of lighting controls such multi-level switchers, photosensors, motion sensors, and occupancy sensors.

For more information on T5HO lighting retrofits, please contact: Mehlika Inanici, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 510-486-4531,