Deaconess Hospital’s building in the heart of Spokane was originally constructed in 1896, and over time many additions were built to meet the growing needs of the community. Updates to the facility were completed in this same manner - one section at a time. While easy on the budget, this approach left major disparities in lighting system efficiency. These disparities caused high operation and maintenance costs that the hospital staff needed to address. Unsure where to begin, the hospital staff called North Coast to do an energy audit and pinpoint the worst problem areas.

North Coast assigned Energy Specialist Jay Claussner to the project, who quickly determined that the hospital’s parking lot was the best place to begin updating the lighting systems. Not only was the existing system highly inefficient even when functioning properly, the photocell controlling the system was broken. That broken photocell was compounding the inefficiency, causing the light fixtures to run 24 hours a day, every day, all year long. To fix this problem, North Coast provided new Intermatic LED rated rooftop mount photocells. These photocells ensured the parking lot lights would turn on and off with the rise and fall of the sun. While this alone would achieve an immediate reduction in energy usage, even more could be accomplished by replacing the existing light fixtures.

The lot’s existing light fixtures were back to back 400W High Pressure Sodium (HPS) fixtures mounted on pole tops. At the time those fixtures were installed, they were considered a great way to efficiently illuminate the top of the parking garage without running pipe and wire to the perimeter of the lot. This method also reduced the number of lighting poles needed for illumination. However, as lighting technology improved, the HPS lamps’ poor color rendering, insufficient illumination, and general lack of efficiency became unacceptable.

North Coast’s solution to these problems was stylish RAB post top 78-watt LED fixtures in a 5000k color temperature. 5000k color temperature provides a crisp white light, both directly improving safety and making it easier to monitor the lot on security video feed. These post top LED fixtures are also a great way to utilize the directionality of LEDs to full advantage, focusing the light downward and reducing exterior light pollution.

This project reduced the parking lot's energy usage by 91%, saved the hospital $4,125 a year on electricity, and will pay for itself in under two years.


Energy Impact:

61,961 kWh Saved

48.3 tons CO2e  Reduction

1.72 Years Simple Payback

$65,000 Project Life Savings


Contact Jay Claussner, the Energy Specialist on this project.