Lean Tools to Evaluate Lighting Conditions

Lean Tools to Evaluate Lighting Conditions

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4062-5.ch002


Lighting in indoor and outdoor settings has a purpose of providing an environment that is deemed as being comfortable and safe with the highest amount of light at the lowest possible consumption of energy. On the downside, there are instances where lighting is not as efficient as it is expected to be. For instance, the current outdoor lighting infrastructure at the University Campus (Referred to as “Campus”) located in a southern town in the United States of America proves this fact. In reality, the lighting on this campus is outdated when compared to the expected lighting standards. The main objective of the chapter is to use lean tools to analyze data on the light luminosity, pole locations, and other conditions. The results suggest a recommendation for a lean solution for the implementation of new and additional lighting on the Campus, which is deemed to provide efficiency and safety.
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Lean is a concept that offers a competitive edge to manufacturers as far as reducing costs, increasing productivity, and quality is concerned (Bhamu and Singh, 2014). One definition that augurs well with the present study in this chapter is that it is considered to be a strategic tool that plays a fundamental role in the identification and the provision of solutions to the problems in an organization (Atkinson, 2010). Lean tools have evolved from the time they were used in the Toyota Production System, in Japan’s automotive sector (Becker, 1998). Torielli et al. (2011) consider Lean to be a critical tool when it comes to the reduction of overall costs in an organization. As a matter of fact, the Lean philosophy is linked to waste reduction, and it was not until recently that that these tools were noted to be of vital importance in the promotion of environmental sustainability and efficiency (Torielli et al., 2011). It is; therefore, important to note that lean is a mindset that can be integrated in the organization, thus instigating the essence of sustainability and efficiency, in line with the view by Torielli et al. (2011).

With the above insight on the role that lean tools and the lean philosophy therein play at the organization level, it is essential to note that these elements can be used to assess and address the problem of poor and obsolete lighting on the paths near buildings on the Campus. It is notable that compromised safety is a problem that is often attributed to poor lighting. Given that improved lighting is evidenced by Clarke (2008) to be an effective means of promoting safety, recommendations that address this issue will have to be identified. With the knowledge that improving lighting on the Campus will come at a cost, one way that the costs can be reduced is through the use of strategies that foster waste reduction, and promote quality and efficiency using lean tools. Additionally, with the insight that the combination of lean tools in organizations plays a fundamental role in ensuring that quality, sustainability and efficiency is achieved, the present study will also consider that aspect of problem. This is especially true with the fact that lean tools reinforce each other, as established by Clarke (2008), and so combining a few in this study is quite in order.

Objective of the Study

The main aim for the study is to determine the level of light wastage and pollution at all locations of the campus, emanating from poor lighting conditions. The results will then be used to make recommendations that revolve around lean principles that the university should consider adopting, in the bid to promote energy efficiency, reduce wastage and light pollution, minimize costs, and improve quality of lighting. The research questions that the study will seek to answer are the level of current light pollution at all locations on the Campus and the recommendations for modification or enhancement the exterior lighting of Campus?


Literature Review

The review of literature attempts to critically look at certain themes that are essential to address when looking at the state of energy costs that is attributed to lighting, and what can be done to foster efficiency.

Energy Costs

It is essential to note that buildings consume considerable amounts of energy usage, which was identified to be at a rate of between 20% and 40% (Krarti, Erickson, & Hillman, 2005). The figure would probably rise when adding the outdoor lights that are located around buildings. Unfortunately, out of the energy that goes into lighting, an estimate of about 30% is wasted energy, as noted by Delaney, O'Hare, and Ruzzelli (2009).

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