Upgrading with LEDs at the Centro Cultural de la Raza

Sustainability ProgramBalboa Park Cultural Partnership, Sustainability Program

LED bulbs can make a big difference in any building. From lower energy costs to higher quality lighting, there are many reasons to make the switch to LEDs. Our Sustainability Program works with multiple member organizations in Balboa Park, like the Centro Cultural de la Raza, to offer energy saving resources like SDG&E’s Business Energy Solutions program. When the staff at the Centro Cultural de la Raza were given the opportunity to upgrade their lighting at no cost, they quickly jumped on the opportunity.

The Business Energy Solutions (BES) Program provides several services for eligible SDG&E customers. This includes an energy audit, performed by a third-party contractor, to identify opportunities to save energy. The strategies they suggest often include no or low-cost upgrades or maintenance on equipment, ranging from lighting to HVAC tune-ups. Our program worked in joint effort with the Centro and BES vendor, Matrix, to accomplish this energy saving project.

Centro Cultural de la Raza’s gallery is host to many beautiful art pieces from local artists.  Along with the artwork, their space features a variety of performances and events throughout the year, including theater, dance, music, film, and more. As a space that hosts a wide variety of uses, they need lighting that is reliable, flexible for multiple uses, and energy efficient.

Upgrading  bulbs  throughout  the  venue

Working with Matrix Energy Solutions, staff at the Centro determined which bulbs throughout the venue should be replaced with the new models provided by the Business Energy Solution rebates. Within a few hours, the majority of the bulbs had been replaced with efficient LEDs.


The staff at Matrix also worked with the Centro to make sure that the bulbs installed met the gallery’s requirements. Different spaces within the open floor building also required different color rendering needs. For example, the gallery space required color rendered light most similar to daylight to show the true colors of the art pieces. Staff from Matrix made the extra effort to install the best LEDs available for these varying needs.

The  benefits  of  LED  bulbs  in  the  Centro

The new LED bulbs are expected to significantly reduce the amount of energy used in the building. From this project alone, it’s expected that they will reduce the building’s annual energy usage by more than 5,800 kilowatt-hours. Cutting this energy usage significantly reduces the Centro’s environmental footprint. That amount of energy reduction prevents a significant amount of greenhouse gases, equivalent to 4.1 metric tons of carbon dioxide or 10,185 miles driven by an average passenger vehicle.


The new LEDs didn’t just help reduce their energy costs. The artwork throughout the space benefited from the brighter LEDs, which helped show the colors throughout the gallery more vibrantly. Compared to conventional bulbs, LEDs put out more light while using less electricity.

The staff also expect the new bulbs to help reduce their workload during new art installations. With bulbs that put out more light over a wider space, they expect that they won’t need to move around lights to adjust for any rotating exhibits, and the life of these LEDs is estimated to last over 10 years!

Making  a  contribution  to  San  Diego’s  climate  action

The Sustainability Program worked in partnership with the Centro Cultural de la Raza, with the overall effort to contribute towards the City of San Diego’s ambitious climate action goals. By making these changes, the Centro acts as a model for other non-profits and businesses in San Diego to reduce their energy usage and their carbon footprint.

Interested in learning more about the Business Energy Solutions Program? Visit SDG&E’s website at sdge.com/BES or call the Energy Savings Center at 1.800.644.6133.