Knoxville Zoo – Lighting Retrofit

  • Estimated Lighting Cost Before – $73,000 100%
  • Estimated Lighting Cost Afterwards – $18,000 24%

ARiES Solar completed an LED lighting retrofit at the Knoxville Zoo, replacing over 3,100 bulbs across the entire campus. Inefficient incandescent bulbs and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) were replaced with energy-efficient LED lamps, reducing the zoo’s annual electricity consumption by almost 550,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh).

The retrofitted 53-acre campus will now save approximately $55,000 annually in electricity costs.

After having ARiES Solar install a 50 kW solar photovoltaic system on site, the folks at the Knoxville Zoo were looking to make some serious reductions in their energy consumption. By retrofitting the bulbs for a variety of applications, including parking lighting, exhibit lighting, retail lighting, office lighting, and exterior lighting, we were able to reduce the amount of energy the Knoxville Zoo uses for lighting by 76%.

The Knoxville Zoo lighting project is a perfect example of the overwhelming potential of LED lighting. While many people think that LED lights are only available in a single, blue color option, the outstanding energy savings at the zoo were accomplished by installing LED lamps for a variety of applications.

In addition to drastically cutting electricity consumption, these LED lamps have a lifetime that is, on average, 40 times longer than most incandescent lamps and 7 times longer than most CFLs. This longer bulb lifetime means that the zoo will save even more money down the road in the decreased number of replacement bulbs required, as well as the lower labor costs associated with replacing bulbs more frequently.

The Details

Exhibit LED lighting was installed throughout the zoo in its many exhibit spaces, including the holding areas of the snakes and the penguins. Exterior LED lighting was installed on a number of places around campus, including on the outside of a number of buildings and animal holding areas. Indoor tube LED lighting was installed in a number of the animal buildings, such as the reptile building.

LEDs The Details

Retail LED lighting was installed in the zoo’s gift shop. Parking LED lighting was installed in the zoo’s parking lot. Indoor LED lighting was installed in spaces such as the Wee Play Zoo and the administrative offices.

The Savings

These savings are particularly apparent for the carousel we retrofitted at the zoo. The carousel, which uses over 850 bulbs, was previously outfitted with 15 watt incandescent lamps. After the retrofit, the carousel using 1.5 watt LED lamps, resulting in savings of 90%. Imagine all the great things the zoo staff can do with reduced time spent replacing those pesky incandescent bulbs!

Read a full story from our newsletter here about how the LED lighting retrofit is helping the Knoxville Zoo accomplish its mission of saving wild animals and wild places.

ARiES Solar can help you to create the environment you want in your own home or business. Get started with a free lighting audit.

Project Details

  • Project Designer: ARiES Solar
  • Project Manager: Stephanie Carlson
  • Lead Installer: Jonathan Nicolosi
  • Installer: Tait Beaty; Marshall Brunson
  • Estimated Usage Before Retrofit: 727,272 kWh per year
  • Estimated Usage After Retrofit: 172,465 kWh per year
  • Approximate Energy Savings: 554,807 kWh per year, or 76% of lighting use
  • Approximate Financial Savings: $55,000 annually
  • Total lighting fixtures retrofitted: 3,100+

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