- Higher-education provider expects to cut lighting energy use by half
- Current delivers the product, people and proposal Laureate likes best
Laureate International Universities believes in the power of education to transform lives, and that means transforming classrooms and learning centers into bright spaces where students can thrive. This idea is expressed through Laureate’s philosophy of being “Here for Good.” With help from Current, powered by GE, LED lighting will soon be a permanent part of more than 42 campuses, bringing new brilliance and energy savings to this international network of higher-education institutions.
Making a Lasting Impact
Laureate Education, Inc., primarily focused in Latin America, represents nearly 900,000 students enrolled in over 25 institutions across more than 150 campuses, collectively referred to as the Laureate International Universities network. Laureate offers undergraduate, graduate and specialized degree programs in a wide range of academic disciplines and knows that when its students succeed, countries and societies benefit.
Managing such a large property portfolio has its challenges, and for years Laureate had been feeling the pinch of rising lighting energy costs as its network expanded. By 2018, the university collective was preparing to solve the problem by bringing LED technology to its campuses for the first time. Laureate already knew LED had the potential to create big savings compared to the old fluorescent fixtures installed in its buildings long ago.
Edgar Mendoza Aguilar, country procurement manager for Laureate Mexico, was part of the project team spearheading the search for new lighting options. After meeting with several vendors, the team chose Current, powered by GE, as its LED partner. According to Mendoza Aguilar, Current delivered the right combination of technology, local service and global support to help Laureate transition to LED at campuses across Mexico as well as parts of South America.
“Other vendors showed us similar models, but only Current provided the technical resources that would help installations go smoothly on different continents,” says Mendoza Aguilar. “We also found attractive financing through GE that allows us to lease the lighting for a time, where a portion of our energy savings goes toward that payment. When we looked at all the added value Current created, it was an easy decision to do business with them.”
The first phase of Laureate’s LED lighting conversion encompasses nine higher-education institutions in Mexico. In classroom buildings, offices and other campus facilities, thousands of fluorescent lamps are being replaced with LED solutions from Current. To bring new energy and efficiency to these spaces, Mendoza Aguilar’s project team specified an array of LED lighting products from Current, including integrated LED U-Tubes that convert existing linear fluorescent fixtures to LED without needing a comprehensive reinstall. Additionally, Laureate will install T8 and T5 LED tubes in various lengths and sizes. The UL Type A, Type B and Type C tubes fit inside existing fluorescent fixtures, allowing fast and easy changeouts.
Combined with other LED offerings from Current, Laureate is elevating the quality of light across its campuses, bringing crisp, uniform illumination to indoor spaces. Mendoza Aguilar notes how buildings already feel more vibrant and engaging compared to legacy lighting technologies that cost more to operate.
“Current helped us model what our savings could look like after a year, two years and so on,” Mendoza Aguilar says. “In certain buildings, Current is also installing equipment to measure energy reductions, and we have receipts to compare utility costs from month to month. We anticipate a 50% improvement in lighting efficiency as a result of the new LEDs that are going up now, with that work continuing throughout the year.”
On top of energy savings, Mendoza Aguilar forecasts significant maintenance reductions due to the new lighting. Many of Current’s LED products have a rated life of 70,000 hours—far exceeding the expected life of standard fluorescent lamps that typically last between 7,000 and 20,000 hours, depending on use. For Laureate, this means no dark spots in ceilings, no dimly lit hallways and no need to keep a large inventory of replacement lamps on hand.
Subsequent project phases will see LEDs from Current installed at institutions in Chile and Peru, where Laureate also strives to equip students with the skills to make the world a better place. All told, over 170,000 LED lamps, tubes and fixtures will soon be installed across Laureate campuses, representing a strong commitment to smarter solutions that reduce energy spending and environmental impact.
“Having a presence in the same geographies we do, knowing the local codes and standards without having to spend days or weeks navigating them, Current is an excellent partner because their expertise has made each step a lot easier for us,” Mendoza Aguilar says. “When you are crossing borders, lighting specifications can get very confusing, but with Current assisting us, the answers are always right there.”
A Bright Future
Based on the results of Laureate’s initial LED rollout, the decision to expand energy-efficient lighting to additional campuses is one Mendoza Aguilar’s project team expects to entertain soon. With a vision to make high-quality education more accessible, making operations more economical is a constant focus for this international network of institutions striving to deliver extraordinary value to students.
“It is important our campuses look their best and perform optimally, and that we look for socially responsible ways to achieve our goals,” Mendoza Aguilar says. “LED lighting checked all those boxes for us, and Current brought it together with the products, the people and the financing that make this a smart investment. It is all part of attracting the brightest students to our institutions while cutting costs wherever possible.”
It does not take an advanced degree to save lighting energy―Current can help you combat the capital crunch on campus with LED options that cost less. Get schooled on the latest technologies.