Posted in projects on September 8, 2014 11:17 am EDT

Case Study: Terralux Illuminates Colorado Sanctuary in LED Retrofit

LED is one church's solution to the problem of inefficient lighting and expensive, ongoing maintenance requirements.

United Church of Christ, Longmont, Colo.











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TAGS: avl upgrade, led, renovation,


By Church Designer Staff

The United Church of Christ (UCC) in Longmont, Colo., has served its community since 1872. However, inefficient lighting and constant maintenance to fix burned out bulbs in the sanctuary were resulting in high energy and replacement product costs. Illuminating the sanctuary of the church are 40 wall sconces, 80 canned, ceiling lights and 120 bulbs in wagon wheel chandeliers. Each time a bulb burned out in the ceiling of the church, the pews had to be moved and a lift had to be brought in to reach the spent bulb.

PROJECT TYPE: Retrofit; BUILDING TYPE: Worship; LOCATION: Longmont, CO; MFG AGENT: Visual Interest; DISTRIBUTOR: Graybar

Four to five times a year, one of the fluorescent bulbs in the church would expire because of the dimmer system. One of the goals in retrofitting the church with local designer and manufacturer Terralux’s LEDs was to achieve a more reliable lighting system. Another was to eliminate the need to pay $200 per replacement ballast each time a light went out. But the biggest problem that needed resolution was reducing the heat created during services by the lights.

Heat gain

During a typical hour-long service, the temperature in the sanctuary would rise 50 degrees with the heat given off by the 400 sconce lights along the church walls. The beautiful cast-metal shades had great visual appeal, but the 150-watt halogen bulbs illuminating made them scorching ovens, according to the church. Even during freezing cold Colorado winters, the heat thrown off by the lights would cause the air conditioning to turn on in the church. As a result, the local utility company issued penalty charges to the church each month for exceeding use limits.

Solution + savings

Before deciding to retrofit with Terralux LEDs, the church researched other options. But having recently completed an interior remodel, church staff did not want to spend $400+ per fixture to purchase new, more efficient lights. So they turned to Terralux for a cost-efficient retrofitting solution, one they report has already reduced the church’s air conditioning costs by 75%.

One person completed UCC’s retrofit in just one week, Terralux reports.

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