The environmental impact of workplace lighting choices in rural Oklahoma

P. Hebert, G. Peek, M. Kang, R. S. Frazier

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

University faculty researchers and Extension Service county educators conducted a two-part workplace lighting field study. The purpose of the field study was to explore the environmental impact of workplace lighting choices in rural Oklahoma, a state located in the south central United States of America. We care about the Environmental impact of workplace lighting choices in rural Oklahoma because in the United States, electric lighting accounts for 21% of commercial (workplace) energy use, on average (US Energy Information Administration). This makes commercial lighting a large energy user and therefore a prime system to investigate for sustainability studies. In Part 1, the researchers visited three rural sites: (A) farm, (B) arena, and (C) repair shop. Here, researchers photo-documented the lighting, buildings, and grounds. The researchers also took empirical measurements. The researchers identified lamp types and the light reflectance values of interior and exterior building surfaces. The in situ lux measurements were compared to industry recommendations to determine need and/or waste. Sky quality meter readings were taken to determine light pollution levels. Efficacies and surface reflectance values were anticipated to influence relative energy consumption. In Part 2, the researchers queried rural workplace stakeholders regarding their environmental stewardship related to lighting. Participants expressed their opinions during a two-hour focus group session. The results of this study revealed that some areas were illuminated higher than recommended and utilized darker than optimum reflectances, indicating wasted light. The latest technologies were not used and therefore consumed more lumens per watt than recommended, with higher than necessary energy costs. Light pollution was found at two sites. The focus group participants revealed that lamps from their workplaces are not recycled. Rather, lamps were disposed of as solid waste. It is critical to note that rural counties may have less access to resources. Workplace lighting efficacies, potential environmental impacts from light overages, and light pollution, as well as the potential health risks associated with mercury are causes for concern in this rural community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEnvironmental Impact II
PublisherWITPress
Pages421-434
Number of pages14
Volume181
ISBN (Print)9781845647629
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Event2nd International Conference on Environmental and Economic Impact on Sustainable Development, Incorporating Environmental Economics, Toxicology and Brownfields, EID 2014 - Ancona, Italy
Duration: May 14 2014May 16 2014

Conference

Conference2nd International Conference on Environmental and Economic Impact on Sustainable Development, Incorporating Environmental Economics, Toxicology and Brownfields, EID 2014
CountryItaly
CityAncona
Period5/14/145/16/14

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)

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    Hebert, P., Peek, G., Kang, M., & Frazier, R. S. (2014). The environmental impact of workplace lighting choices in rural Oklahoma. In Environmental Impact II (Vol. 181, pp. 421-434). WITPress. https://doi.org/10.2495/EID140361