Seed Science Center

Project Description:

This project focuses on the opportunity to increase energy savings and provide an enhanced light product in three bays of the Seed Testing Laboratory’s 25oC walk-in germinator.  LED lighting will replace 6’ fluorescent bulbs on a 1:2 exchange ratio and be placed within the same area of the laboratory currently housing the current fluorescent fixtures.

Specific project deliverables include:

  • Reduced energy consumption;
  • Mercury-free lighting alternative;  
  • Efficient and effective replacement option for T12 fluorescent lamps and ballasts, no longer being produced in the United States through legislation effective July 2012;
  • Reduced labor time and expense related to replacing fluorescent bulbs and ballasts and bulb disposal (vendor estimation of a 10 year lifespan for LED lighting);
  • Improved and consistent light output and uniformity; and
  • Improved coloration and growth of seedlings under LED lighting (in-house pilot studies showed LED lighting produced as good or slightly better growth than fluorescent lighting). 

Project ContactMichael Stahr, 515-294-0117

Seed Science Center/College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Project Financials:

Total costs are estimated at $42,731.  Supporting funds of $17,731are being provided by the Seed Science Center and Seed Testing Laboratory.  A $25,000 loan is requested.  Expected annual savings equals $8,551/year ($2,071 energy savings and $6,480 annual maintenance and bulb replacement and disposal savings) with a payback period of 3 years.

Project Outcomes:

In addition to annual budget savings for ISU and Iowa taxpayers, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences will have an opportunity to showcase significant reduction in energy consumption and annual maintenance costs, through an alternative lighting product in the Seed Science Center’s Seed Testing Laboratory.  Successful installation provides a place for people on and off campus to see that LED lights are a viable, successful, and environmentally-responsible alternative to energy intensive fluorescent lighting.  

Project Status:



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