Alum’s LED Lighting Startup Cuts Energy Costs in Haas Computer Lab

If you use the Haas computer lab, you may have noticed a subtle yet significant change in the overhead lighting. Haas Facilities recently replaced 78 fluorescent lights with 52 broader spectrum, cost-saving LED lamps provided by NEXT Lighting Corp., a startup founded by Berkeley-Haas alumnus Randall Sosnick, BS 81, JD 85.

NEXT estimates the new lights will reduce energy consumption in the lab by more than 50 percent. For students and other lab users who are sensitive to traditional fluorescent lighting, the new lighting may reduce headaches and eye strain, according to NEXT. Unlike fluorescents, the LED lights can also be set to different intensity levels.

"As a graduate of Haas, I'm very excited to help the school lower its energy bills, reduce its carbon footprint, and provide its students with much better light," says Sosnick.

Sosnick predicts that the new lights in the computer lab will save Berkeley-Haas more than $1,000 annually in maintenance and electrical costs. The expected lifetime of the LED bulbs is about 10 years.

Haas Facilities Director Mike Pivonka is actively looking for ways to reduce energy costs as part of the campus’ Operational Excellence program.

“If we did expand with more LED lighting, we would likely continue with rooms where lights are on most of the day, such as in the Cheit Building or other public areas,” says Gerardo Campos, Haas facilities manager.

NEXT Lighting provided the LED lights to Haas free of charge as a trial, with the option to purchase more.

In addition to his Haas degree, Sosnick earned his J.D. from UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law and served as legal counsel at Steve Jobs’ start-up NeXT Computer from 1988 to 1992. He is a third-generation Cal graduate and NEXT Lighting is his fifth startup.

New LED lights are installed in the computer lab.