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Toronto Condo First To Convert To Interior LED Lights

Posted by Kari / January 14, 2008

Toronto's Palace Pier Condo first to switch to MR16 LED bulbs
A first for Canada, and North America, the Palace Pier Condominiums at 2045 Lakeshore Boulevard West have committed to converting their interior bulbs to energy saving LED lamps (the bulbs in the hallways, that is).

Thirteen hundred new MR16 LED bulbs (4 watts each) will replace the current halogen versions (35 watts each), offering an energy savings of 87% (around $40,000 per year for the residents of the 44-floor building). This results in a 110-tonne reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per year. Not only that, but the LED MR16 is mercury-free and recyclable, and will last for over four and half years if left on continuously. Now that's a sustainable bulb! When considering both the reduced energy and maintenance costs, the initial purchase will be recouped within 9 months.

The bulbs are being provided by Canadian company CRS Electronics, located in Welland, Ontario. I checked some prices online, and they cost roughly $3.00 each. The bulb replacement is just one part of a $2.4 million renovation project for the interior corridors of the building. $2.4 million - $3900 = $2,396,100. The new carpets and wall treatments must be pretty nice! The Palace Pier plans on replacing the bulbs on their elevators and in the lobbies soon, too, and hopefully in each of the suites, as well.

Jim Lord and the Palace Pier Condominium Board had some help in this inaugural retrofit. Toronto design firm Heather Ann Scott aided in the decision making. greenTbiz was consulted; they're a Toronto program providing energy conservation and efficiency tips to businesses and commercial property owners. greenTbiz facilitates the LEDcity Toronto initiative, as well. Lord is also a principal for the Ecovert Corporation, a full service environmental real estate consulting firm.

This group effort will result in not only saving a lot of people a lot of money, as well as saving the environment, but also shows that a retrofit like this CAN be done economically and with minimal hassle.

Now all the Palace Pier needs to do to become a fully environmentally-friendly building is: get rid of the roof-top swimming pool, let the grass on the putting green return to its natural state, figure out how to sustainably heat the saunas and Roman baths, and encourage public transit/walking/biking by eliminating the convenient car-wash and car-care areas.

Seriously though, as luxurious a building as this is, with all of its superfluous amenities, at least the Palace Pier is taking measures to decrease their footprint (the building is equipped with a lot of energy-saving equipment). A step in the right direction, that I hope will set a precedent for Toronto condos.



Joe / January 14, 2008 at 03:13 pm
I have never seen an LED halogen-replacing light bulb for less than $30-$40. I think you probably saw a regular halogen MR16 for $3.

Unfortunately, the huge difference in cost (roughly 10x) was enough to scare off my company, especially considering we don't pay for our own electricity (rolled into our rent).
Maria / January 14, 2008 at 03:13 pm
I'm not sure if it is the first, though. A couple of years ago my condo changed all the interior lights for energy saving lights. It just wasn't publicized as this one.
Kari / January 14, 2008 at 03:46 pm
Joe- you're totally right! My bad.

So, 1300 x $40 = $52,000. Which leaves... $2,348,000 for other expenses involved in the corridor reno. My blunder didn't really make too much of a difference! LOL
Mark Dowling / January 14, 2008 at 04:34 pm
Good job they didn't hire <a href="";>these guys</a> to do the labour - $280 per bulb!
Brian Owen / January 14, 2008 at 05:47 pm

Thank you for the correction. I can add further information. As reported in the Toronto Star (20080109 - A8), the unit cost is approxiamately $80 per lamp, while the quantity price is much lower. The unit cost used for Halogen in the comparison was $4, however $3 is fair as well. There is about a 20x or 1/20 factor of lamps in the life comparison as the Halogen may last 2,000 hours, while the LED will be 70% of initial output at 40,000 hours. A comprehesive comparison chart, including maintenance savings, is embedded in the Toronto Star article.

Brian Owen
greenTbiz - LED City
Ryan Marr / January 15, 2008 at 11:41 am
This is going to result in terrible aesthetics in this building. Led's are a single spectrum source, they cant compete with the colour qualities that halogen have. I'd hate to live in this building, skin tones will come across pretty bizarre.

The irony too is that lighting only accounts for 5% of energy consumption in Canada. I think we'd be making bigger strides if the developer chose a more efficient hvac system. But I guess because no one "sees" the hvac system people won't think of the energy saving it can provide.

LED is a good idea but it just can't compete with a regular halogen mr16.....YET
Kari / January 15, 2008 at 12:05 pm
Actually, one of the things I didn't mention in this post addresses exactly that, Ryan. Here's the quote:

"The Palace Pier has been noted to have the first panoramic view of Toronto?s waterfront, but now with a correlated colour temperature (CCT) of 3000 and a colour rendering index (CRI) of 92+, the view inside has also achieved a first and reached the pinnacle of quality. Both of these lighting metrics are very important to designers, as they determine the colour and quality of light and how it reflects on other surfaces to truly represent the colour of the finishings and treatments."

And, like I said, Palace Pier also has a lot of other energy-saving equipment in place, which is detailed a bit more here:
Michael / March 3, 2008 at 05:30 pm
The problem with these type of LEDs is that they have a high frequency strobing effect. When you walk down the path, they seem as if they are flickering.
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