Perennial Garden in Fall.

Modernizing Lighting Infrastructure

Interior Florescent Lamps

The New York Botanical Garden has been participating in the Energy Efficient Lighting Project since 1993, which introduced the retrofit of T-12 florescent lighting (lamp and ballast) to T-8 florescent lighting for interior application. The T-12 technology required 64 watts of electrical power for each 4-foot lamp. The newer T-8 technology only requires 32 watts of electrical power to produce the same amount of light (lumens). The T-8 technology carried us to the mid 2000s when an even newer, thinner T-5 florescent lamp was developed. These lamps were used in many of the new Garden construction projects such as the Pfizer Lab (2006) and the Peter Sharpe Parking Garage (2012). In 2015, as part of New York City’s ExCEL (Expense for Conservation and Efficiency Leadership) Program, the Garden began to utilize the most recent technological improvement, the LED (Light Emitting Diode) florescent tube. This lamp only requires 12 watts of electrical power for each 4-foot florescent tube and also produces the same foot candles of lighting as the T-8 lamps.

Compact Florescent Lamps

In 2003 the NYC Department of Energy Management sponsored a retrofit of existing incandescent lamps to compact florescent lamps. A typical 60-watt incandescent lamp was changed to a 14-watt compact florescent that was able to produce the same foot candles. Now the Garden is able to use LED lamps that use only 7 watts of electrical power to produce the same foot candles as the compact florescent.

Exterior Lighting

As part of the 1993 “High Efficiency Lighting Program” the Garden was able to retrofit existing High Pressure Sodium lights to the more efficient Metal Halide lamps and ballasts. Although there was not a significant reduction in electrical wattage, this resulted in 15% greater lumens produced for the same wattage. The ballasts that adjusted the voltage to each lamp in the metal halide lamps were more environmentally acceptable. Currently the Garden is replacing exterior metal halide lamps with LED lamps, showing a 50% reduction in wattage for the same lumens produced. In 2016 the Garden was awarded an ACE (Accelerated Conservation and Efficiency) Program by the NYC Department of Energy Management to replace the majority of the exterior lighting at the Garden from Metal Halide to LED. We anticipate a significant reduction in energy use (approximately 50%) to produce the equivalent lumens of light.

New Construction

The Garden continues to apply the newest technologies available in lighting to reduce energy use for all new construction projects.

The data and percentages shared are an average measurement of wattage and lumens; each fixture, lamp ballast and location is unique to location and use of the required lighting, fixture and lamp.