Eco-friendly light bulbs may brighten Wesleyan campus

Alejandra Garcia

An array of bright, eco-friendly light bulbs called Light Emitting Diode (LED), illuminated rooms on campus from Nov. 30 to Dec. 16.

The LED lights were installed in Classroom.Next, room B26 in in the Eunice and James L. West Library, and the Human Resources office, room 101 in the Administrative Building. The LED lights were an experimental 3-week trial organized by Kenneth Dunson, facilities operations director, and Dr. Bruce Benz, associate professor of biology and chairman of the Blue Plus Gold Equals Green Committee. Dunson and the committee collaborated beforehand to brainstorm ideas to reduce the amount of energy used at Wesleyan.

“Our goal is to do as much green initiative as we can across campus,” Dunson said. “Anything we can do to lower our carbon footprint.”

Dunson returned the LED light bulbs to the distributer, LEDs Unlimited LLC, on Jan. 9. The distributor then returned them to their manufacturer, Seesmart.

Manny Lopez, regional sales and recruiting manager for LEDs Unlimited LLC, said LED lighting has many benefits, such as lower maintenance, no mercury, no ultraviolet rays, little heat and a significant amount of energy is saved.

“[It is] the easiest way to reduce energy and go green at the same time,” Lopez said.

In the time the LED light bulbs were here, students, staff and faculty were asked through a mass email to check out the lighting and reply with their opinion. However, not many responses were entered.

“We didn’t get the quantity of feedback from students, faculty or staff that I was hoping for,” Dunson said in an email. “The feedback we did get was basically neutral, meaning everyone could take them or leave them.”

Dunson said he thinks the reason few people submitted their opinion is because the trial was done too close to the time of Christmas and finals.

Christina Martinez, senior paralegal studies major, agrees with Dunson.

“They should have done it at the start of the semester instead of during finals,” Martinez said. “Nobody was paying attention to anything but studying.”

Dunson said they are currently looking at prices from several different companies and the next step in the process is for the Building and Grounds Committee, a subcommittee for the Board of Trustees, to approve or disapprove. If approved, the Board of Trustees will make the final decision.

Dunson said if the Board of Trustees approves, the LED light bulbs will probably only be placed in the parking lots for outside use.

Jazmine Moore, sophomore accounting major, said more efforts need to be done to help the environment and switching to LED lighting is a good way to start reducing energy.

“It’s good for the environment,” Moore said. “The less energy we use, the better.”