Convention Center Unveils LED Upgrades in Exhibit Halls

In 2017, the San Diego Convention Center's exhibit hall will be brighter than ever before.

A capital improvement project was recently completed, which removed all fluorescent lighting from Exhibit Halls A through H and replaced them with LED light fixtures throughout the 525,701 sq. ft. exhibit hall. The LED's offer more light while using less electricity, which is more energy-efficient and leads to saving money.

"Retrofitting the facility with new LEDs is a practical decision because the project will pay for itself with the money saved on electricity," said Karen Totaro, Executive Vice President and General Manager at the Center. "We estimate having a full return on this investment into our exhibit hall within 1.7 years."

The on-site work began in late November and was completed on December 20. The Convention Center authorized two contracts for the job: one to Starlite-LED for the fixtures and another to Saturn Electric, Inc. to replace each 400-watt fluorescent fixture with 240-watt LED fixtures featuring dimmable, wireless controls. 

The advanced technology now offered to our customers means the 1,208 new LEDs can be controlled with the click of a button, making for an improved experience to our guests. 

The public's first chance to see these brand new LEDs in action is during the San Diego International Auto Show from Thursday, Dec. 29 to Monday, Jan. 2.

"Here in San Diego, we are at the forefront of the convention industry when it comes to sustainability," said Rip Rippetoe, President and CEO. "This LED retrofit throughout our exhibit hall is the first of many capital improvement projects that we have underway with the goal of enhancing our facility and providing outstanding customer service to our clients and guests."


This exhibit hall retrofit was the third phase of a total conversion to LED fixtures throughout the San Diego Convention Center. The first two phases took place in 2015, starting with the "back of the house" areas and then the meeting rooms, office areas and the Sails Pavilion.

Overall, replacing 10,282 of the previous light fixtures with new LEDs will reduce the convention center's lighting loads by an estimated 4,461,058 kWh. This translates to savings of approximately $848,654 on utility bills annually.

This project is paid for through the Corporation's reserves as well as through funds allocated to the Convention Center by the City Council. The LED project is among several infrastructure projects currently underway, as Convention Center staff oversees enhancements and renovations to the facility.

Posted by Alec Church, on December 29, 2016
Meeting Planners, News and Developments

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