New Lights Brighten Up SMUSD Schools

Some of San Marino’s students returned to school last week with a brighter future greeting them.
That’s because Valentine Elementary and Huntington Middle schools are now lit entirely by light-emitting diode, or LED, bulbs that were installed during the holiday break, thanks to state grants.
Superintendent Dr. Alex Cherniss said in a telephone interview that San Marino Unified School District is using around $500,000 in state money for the utility upgrade. Carver Elementary and San Marino High schools will install the new bulbs during spring break.
Cherniss said the funding came as a result of Proposition 39, which is also known as the Clean Energy Jobs Act. This made more than half a billion dollars available for public schools to use toward energy efficient initiatives.
“You can use it for different things,” Cherniss said. “We’re using it for lighting.”
LEDs use substantially less energy and also emit less heat than conventional and fluorescent bulbs.
“We are happy to have our new LED lights in all areas of our school,” said HMS Principal Jason Kurtenbach in an emailed statement. “We can have half of the lights on and be as well-lit as we were with all the lights on in the past. We are also happy to know that this is a long-term money saver for the district, as the lights use significantly less energy than the past fluorescent lights.”
In addition, Cherniss said there are academic reasons to support upgrading the lighting.
“There are a lot of studies that show how better lighting improves the learning environment,” he said.

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