King Lighting and MBCx

May 3, 2010 - King Library receives CSU Energy Efficiency Best Practice Award in the Lighting Retrofit category!

King Library AtriumThe King Library Lighting Retrofit project was submitted to the Ninth Annual CA Higher Education Sustainability Conference 2010 and was chosen from submissions from the 23 CSU campuses for the Best Practices in Energy Efficiency award in the lighting retrofit category.

View the application [pdf]

Project highlights include:

  • Occupancy sensors in the bookstacks
  • Spectrally enhanced (5000K) light for better visual acuity
  • Combining 5000K light with existing, warmer color temperature light
  • Retrofitting common, inefficient ceiling fixtures
  • Reducing building electricity consumption by 22%
  • Reducing building cooling load
  • Maintenance savings


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library was constructed as a partnership between the City of San Jose, and SJSU and is operated by SJSU under a joint operating agreement.

Built in 2003 to LEED Silver Standards (but never certified) the building was a PGE Savings By Design Project that was calculated to perform at 32% below the 1998 California Title 24 minimum energy standards. SJSU is in the process of applying for LEED certification as an existing building.

In 2006 the campus determined the building was operating at 24% below Title 24 and started a Monitoring Based Commissioning (MBCx) project. In the course of the MBCx work, the campus reviewed the building's lighting fixture types and controls.

Among the findings of the MBCx project were mechanical system issues and lighting issues, including poor control of the “layered lighting” that resulted in higher energy usage. In addition, an incompatibility between bookstack T5HO lamps and instant start ballasts resulted in premature failure of lamps and ballasts driving the cost of lighting maintenance to $5,000 - $7,000 per month.

A project to correct the mechanical issues resulted in 6.7% reduction in energy consumption and a lighting project resulted in an additional 22% reduction.


  • The 2007 MBCx project reduced energy consumption by 6.7%.
  • The 2008-9 Lighting Project reduced energy consumption by an additional 22%
  • Lighting Project Demand Reduction: 175 KW
  • Lighting Project Consumption Reduction: 1,937,174 kWh/year
  • Lighting Project PG&E incentive: $378,195
  • Lighting Project annual energy savings: $309,948
  • Lighting Project annual maintenance savings: $120,000 per year for at least 3 years
  • Lighting Project payback period, including maintenance savings: 2.24 years
  • Lighting project demonstrates the financial viability of retrofitting relatively new fixtures
  • Lighting project demonstrates acceptance of occupancy sensors in library stacks
  • Lighting project demonstrates occupant acceptance of mixed lighting color temperatures