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George Mason University — Fairfax, VA


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George Mason University — Fairfax, VA


Campus Area Lighting – Retrofit


956 BetaLED Area luminaires:

  • 461 with Type III optics
  • 495 with Type V optics

132 BetaLED Area round luminaires with Type V optics

52 BetaLED Bollard luminaires with Type V optics



  • Improved lighting performance
  • Over 1,951 megawatt-hours annual electrical energy savings
  • Anticipated annual energy cost savings over $92,000
  • Estimated annual maintenance cost savings over $42,000


BetaLED identified as best retrofit solution

George Mason University (Mason) is rapidly evolving from its roots as a Northern Virginia regional college into a nationally
recognized leader, now globally ranked among the top 200 world universities. The university’s development has been
marked by rapid growth and innovative planning that includes the revolutionary concept of the “distributed” university with
multiple campuses.

In 2007, Mason’s President Alan Merten signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment
(ACUPCC). Since then, the University developed and began implementing an organizational and decision making structure for
sustainability: the Executive Steering Committee for Sustainability, the Sustainability Council, and Sustainability Working Groups.
Each of these groups has a different purpose and goals, but together ensures the vertical and horizontal integration of
sustainability activities with the entire campus community.

In addition to the ACUPCC, Mason actively pursues creative methods to reduce energy use, requiring all agencies of the
Commonwealth to monitor, report and reduce energy costs and consumption for all state-owned facilities through a comprehensive energy plan.

In 2009 surveys were conducted to evaluate potential facility improvements across the three Mason campuses. The University
decided that two campuses, Fairfax and Prince William, would retrofit high pressure sodium exterior lighting with state-of-the-art
BetaLED luminaires in the roadway, walkway and parking lots.

The main campus, located on 677 acres in Fairfax, Virginia, houses all university administrative offices and includes the
Patriot Center, a 113,900-square-foot recreation sports complex. In addition to illuminating the entry area to the Patriot Center,
BetaLED luminaires are installed in the K lot, Mason’s largest general parking lot across the street from the Center. Area
luminaires are also installed along pathways that wind through heavily wooded areas of the campus, which greatly improves
visibility and security.

A second installation at the Prince William campus in Manassas, Virginia, includes parking lot and pathway lighting. Between the
two locations, the installation of 1,140 area and bollard luminaires provides greatly reduced energy consumption and costs while
dramatically improving lighting performance and virtually eliminating maintenance. The time and money saved on
re-lamping is now redirected to other campus needs.

The BetaLED lighting solution provides the University with a highly efficient exterior lighting system that works toward its long-term sustainability goals. Additionally, the BetaLED luminaires provide more uniform, targeted illumination that improves nighttime visibility for students and faculty.

“The parking and pathway lights have produced numerous comments on the dramatic improvement,” said Pat Buchanan,
Mason’s energy manager. “Security is very pleased with the increased visibility, true color rendering, and uniform lighting that
helps reduce accidents and crime.”

And the savings speak for themselves:
• Over 1,951 megawatt-hours annual electrical energy savings
• Anticipated annual energy cost savings over $92,000
• Estimated annual maintenance cost savings over $42,000

The lighting upgrades were identified through detailed surveys of the existing systems. Trial fixtures were installed in multiple
locations, giving Mason the opportunity to ensure that the lighting system replacements would meet with University standards for
outdoor lighting in all applications.

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