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Lighting the Way for Seattle Underground Tour

Photo of visitors on the underground tour.

Visitors experience the Seattle Underground Tour.

One of Seattle’s biggest tourist attractions is located literally under your feet. Beneath the eclectic modern shops and restaurants in the heart of historic Pioneer Square lie tunnels and streets of an earlier time of Seattle history.

Year round Bill Spiedel Enterprises’ Underground Tour guides countless tourists through precarious tunnels. The tunnels were lit by a mixture of incandescent lamps, which unfortunately didn’t fully highlight the minute details of the unique trip back in time. In addition to the inadequate tunnel lighting, the business offices and gift shop lighting was especially poor, not very energy efficient, and contributed undesirable heat to the room environment.

Business Manager Patrick Witt was approached by an independent lighting contractor, Mark Stanton of Lyt-Fx, who presented modern energy-efficient LED options to help achieve a more uniform lighting plan that would also help lower operating costs.

Once implemented, the lighting improvements not only exceeded Witt’s expectations, Seattle City Light substantial rebates lowered the cost of the project significantly.

“Seattle City Light offers an amazing program with amazing savings; it’s the best way to spend money and save. A real no-brainer for any business,” Witt said.

Customer at the Underground Tours gift shop.

Energy efficient lights brighten the underground gift shop and lower costs.

Project Specifics:
• Total cost of project: $12,662
• Seattle City Light Rebate: $9,697
• 243 LEDs installed
• Basic wattage reduction 50W incandescent spotlights to 15W LED

Photo of the underground area with new lights.

New lighting enhances the underground tour experience.

Project Results:
• Total cost to customer: $2,965
• 37,996 kWh/yr savings (at $.07 per kWh $2,637 annual savings to customer)
• Well lit areas provided safer walking areas and revealed more display details
• Ambient temperature in the business offices and gift shop dropped to a more comfortable level so they use less air conditioning – that’s less energy and more kWh savings
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