Calif. Prison Gets Eco-friendly Lighting

CORCORAN, Calif. — Induction lighting firm US Lighting Tech, based in Irvine, recently completed interior lighting installation at Corcoran State Prison.

USLT began its partnership with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in 2008 as part of the Department’s "Going Green" Energy Savings initiative to outfit prison facilities throughout the state with updated, energy-efficient lighting.

Induction lighting requires less maintenance and lighting replacements, which can increase security and save facilities 30 to 50 percent in energy costs.

"The CDCR had four essential criteria when selecting a lighting partner for the California state prison system – reliability, cost, energy efficiency, and light color index quality,? said Richard Ham, president of USLT. "The safety concerns of working in a high-risk environment necessitated highly reliable, low-maintenance lighting.”

The CDCR and US Lighting Tech installed ridgeline induction high bays in Corcoran’s interior, and over the past three years the company installed its Diamond Wall pack, Jersey Street Lights and Parker area lighting units for exterior perimeter lighting on eight correctional facilities in the state. Additional installations are completed or are in the final stages of completion for seven other California prisons.

Prior to upgrading to induction lights, California’s prisons faced frequent re-lamping due to their lighting systems running 24 hours a day. Extra air conditioning was used throughout the facilities to protect against the 600-degree-fahrenheit heat from the legacy lighting systems, typically high- pressure sodium or metal halide, creating additional energy costs.

Frequent lighting replacements and maintenance necessitated that prisoners be locked up for extensive periods during re-lamping, while correctional officers complained of lighting and security issues due to the poor light quality.

"Prison operations staff needed better, more usable illumination which is absolutely critical in a security sensitive setting," Ham said.