MagneTek, Inc., and Light Incorporated, both of Nashville, Tenn., teamed up to provide a lighting upgrade for Belmont University in Nashville, which is nationally recognized for its music program and boasts famous recording-artist graduates such as Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon-the beloved "Minnie Pearl" of Grand Ole Oprey fame.

Contractors retrofitted 98% of the campus lighting fixtures, using more than 5,000 MagneTek TRIAD two-, three- and four-lamp electronic ballasts. The retrofit also included replacement of lamps, reflectors, lenses and exit signs.

The upgrade has cut lamp-to-lamp lighting costs by 53% campus-wide, with an estimated annual cost savings of over $139,000 and a projected payback period of just under three years, according to MagneTek. Belmont Plant Operations director Fred Thompson said energy usage was cut by more than 25%, the noise level was reduced, heat emission was reduced and fluorescent light flicker was virtually eliminated.

The retrofit was compared to upgrading a small city because it covered such a large variety of applications, from vibration issues in the recording studios to special lighting needs for laboratories and dimming requirements in the classroooms. Belmont's lighting-system replacement is only the beginning of an energy-savings program that will include campus-wide installation of timers, motion sensors, energy management systems and an HVAC retrofit.