Sustainable lighting made Presidential video possible

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Pellissippi State’s Sustainable Campus Initiative made an unexpected difference when President Barack Obama visited campus in early January.

The energy-efficient LED stage lighting in the Clayton Performing Arts Center saved the day when it came to lighting the stage, and streaming video online, for an internationally-televised Presidential address. The Sustainable Campus Initiative paid for the installation of the LED lighting in 2013.

“A Presidential visit requires the stage lighting be set at a certain degree, both for appearance and for security. Because of that requirement, we couldn’t use the catwalk lighting. Instead, we had to light the stage from the balcony,” said J. Brent Morrison, theatre manager.

“With conventional stage lighting, we couldn’t have supplied enough electricity to the balcony to power all the necessary equipment. But because our intelligent LED fixtures use less than 200 watts, we were able to reliably light the stage with a dozen fixtures.”

Morrison added that, importantly, the LED fixtures left enough power available for the White House’s video streaming equipment.

“The White House staff was greatly impressed by what the Clayton Performing Arts Center could do,” he added. “If we didn’t have the LED fixtures, our alternative would have been to hire an outside vendor to supply lighting with additional power sources. It was a point of pride for us to be able to meet all of this event’s needs in-house.”

The Sustainable Campus Initiative engages students, faculty and staff to boost environmental awareness through recycling programs, community partnerships and other strategies to create energy-efficient campuses.