A corridor at Puget Sound Refinery shines brightly after the overhead lights were replaced with LED bulbs.
A corridor at Puget Sound Refinery shines brightly after the overhead lights were replaced with LED bulbs.

Making the switch
It wasn’t about some burnt out bulbs when the Puget Sound Refinery (PSR) made the energy saving decision to switch over to light-emitting diode, or LED bulbs, and start the process to change out near all high-pressure sodium and mercury vapor light at the refinery with an LED – it was about doing the right thing, saving in maintenance costs and aligning with our environmental stewardship focus as we proudly fuel life in the Pacific Northwest. These light bulbs are expected to last for 109,000 hours instead of the previous bulb lifespan of just 15 or 24 thousand hours equaling less maintenance and less waste.

How we did it
The physical process of changing these bulbs started in 2020 and wrapped up in 2021 but people behind the scenes were working on logistics for this huge project since 2019. Changing out that many bulbs required collaboration with more than a dozen people and four different companies as we planned, sourced and delivered on this project.

The cool glow of new LEDS shine brightly on the  bottom while the top of this equipment have a warm yellow glow waiting for bulb replacement.
The cool glow of new LEDS shine brightly on the bottom while the top of this equipment have a warm yellow glow waiting for bulb replacement.

It took more than go-go-Gadget arms to safely complete this major task. To change some of the column bulbs, some which are more than 100 feet tall, crews needed to use a massive manlift to reach them all. A major part of the prep work to make this happen involved making sure the proper equipment was scheduled, we had the appropriate number of staff devoted to this work to get it done safely and we actually had the lightbulbs we needed on site when we were ready to install them (these aren’t just the bulbs we run over to the local hardware store to pick up).

The result
So now, 365+ days after we started physically changing light bulbs, you may notice a change when you look east from Anacortes at night. Our new LEDs give off a cool whiter glow while the old bulbs burned yellow. More benefits of the switch, we’re now saving about 200 average households worth of energy consumption each year, that’s a lot of energy savings and something our team here at PSR is very proud of.

Well done to the entire light-bulb changing crew because when you have 3,655 to change, it’s definitely a team effort!

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