Lighting Inventory Illuminates Energy Efficiency on Campus

Humboldt State is looking at ways to make campus lighting more energy efficient.

Students recently used a Humboldt Energy Independence Fund grant to conduct a lighting inventory of all academic buildings on campus.

They recorded the wattage, number and type of light fixtures used in lecture halls, faculty space and academic service buildings. They also documented the amount of time that fixtures remained on throughout the week.

“The information can be used in a number of ways but one of our main goals was to help the university identify potential cost and energy savings,” says Grant Goddard (’14, Environmental Resources Engineering) who conducted the survey with Jocelyn Gwynn (‘14, Energy & Climate) and Ryan Kaplan (‘14, Environmental Resources Engineering).

The Humboldt Energy Independence Fund (HEIF) is a student-led fund that supports projects to reduce the university’s environmental impact and energy consumption.

Among the biggest offenders of energy use: Gist Hall, the Green and Gold Room in Founders Hall and the ceramics lab, the report found. “These were all areas that were over lit based on their square footage,” Kaplan explains.

Other areas, like custodial rooms and mechanical spaces, rated poorly due to old or incandescent bulbs from the 1960s.

The inventory found that in some buildings, installing photosensors to utilize existing natural lighting would result significant cost and energy savings. Other buildings would benefit from occupancy sensors. “There are a bunch of rooms in Gist where lights are on even though no one is there,” Goddard says.

The full report will be used by Plant Operations and Facilities Management. It will also be available for the public by emailing “Our hope is that it will be used as a resource for the university and HEIF proposals moving forward,” Gwynn says.

For more information on HEIF, visit For HEIF’s 2012-13 annual report, click here.