Westway Hoodie Sweatshirt Giveaway



Its getting cold outside and Westway has new hoodie sweatshirts to keep you warm.  Westway is giving them away with the purchase of any Eaton panel or loadcenter!  Just stop in at our location at 9027 W Chester Pike, Upper Darby during business hours and mention this blog post.  The sweatshirt is Free with the purchase of any Eaton panel or loadcenter and you do NOT need to have an account with us.  We have a limited quantity; so hurry up and get yours while supply lasts!  Limit one per customer and only valid for in-store pickups.


Westway Electric Supply has been providing electrical supplies to the greater Philadelphia area since 1979. Westway is a single location, family owned and run company. We take great pride in our personalized customer service. Our knowledgeable and dedicated staff will go the extra mile to answer any questions you have or find a solution to any problem you may be facing. At Westway, our goal is to bring you top name brand electrical components and supplies at wholesale prices, while still providing the level of customer service that you would expect from a local mom and pop supply house.

Westway Announces the 2016 Scholarship Runner-up and Honorable Mention

Illuminating Ideas Scholarship

Westway would like to thank all who participated in our essay competition.  There were some fantastic essays submitted and we heard a lot of really great ideas.  Of the many great essays submitted, there were a few that really stood out.  We are pleased to announce Doryotta H. as the runner-up for our 2016 scholarship essay competition.  Doryotta’s essay can be read in its entirety below:


Houston, Texas: the sprawling city that hosts an average annual temperature of 74 degrees Fahrenheit and from which many urban buildings sprout amidst a thick blanket of frequent humidity. Although these large buildings give the city a technologically advanced atmosphere, they also cast a looming prediction: by 2025, larger buildings are to be biggest energy consuming sector, even outcompeting the industrial sector. Many of these larger buildings house corporate headquarters, but many are also schools; schools, which to function on a daily basis,  consume an enormous amount of energy. After some research about my school district, I learned that my high school’s greatest energy consumptions rise from air conditioning units, light fixtures, and computers.

            When imagining a school atmosphere, we hear the buzz of student chatter, classes in session, and perhaps the frantic erasing of graphite on Calculus tests; in my school, however, it is different. Instead of the vivacious youth, we hear the mechanical struggles of air conditioning units lining the hallway walls and resting in classrooms. Although these machines may not seem like unnecessary additions to the campus because of Houston’s hot temperatures, these units actually gobble up thousands of Watts of energy every hour to cool classrooms down to temperatures as low as 55 degrees Fahrenheit. If the overall number of air conditioning units were to be reduced, by, for example, only installing them in classes and not in halls, the school’s overall electricity consumption would decrease because there would be less demand for those precious Watts. A much simpler way to increase energy efficiency, however,  is to simply raise the cooling settings to a higher temperature so the machine would not have to work overtime in maintaining a ridiculously low temperature throughout the entire school. After all, by opening doors and windows, the warm air rushing in and the cool air rushing out is a problem in maintaining constant indoor temperatures. To solve this issue of open windows and doors letting out cooled air, the installation of revolving doors wherever possible is an action to take. These doors reduce the draft between air conditioned and non-air conditioned areas, holding back more of the cooler air.

            Although an indispensable feature for creating a good learning environment, ceiling lights utilize high voltage energy to bring us the gift of being able to actually being able to see what the teacher writes on the board. Several ways to solve this issue include widening window frames to let in more natural light that would not utilize the amount and kind of energy a light bulb would require. Also in terms of altering it physically, an institution could install solar panels on the rooftop to power the school during the day; after all, a school day is an activity which is usually carried out in during the day. By further storing the unused energy captured from the photovoltaic cells in batteries, the school could still supply light energy to teachers who, for example, stay in class until the late evening, grading papers. In this case, there would have to be a compromise between non-renewable and renewable energy; but even if light bulbs prove unavoidable, energy star approved light bulbs can conserve from 25-80% more energy than a regular, non-ES approved light bulbs[1] and can even last longer to conserve energy for a greater time period.

            Considered one of my high school’s top classes, AP Computer Science dominates the category of having the largest number of computers and other technologically based energy consumptions. Every day, the distinct tapping of computer keys fill the room with a symphony of technological greatness. However, these opportunities to study the language of a computerized world come at another great electrical energy price. To save energy, the computer science department could do any of the following, first being simply turning off all computers when not in use. This method locks the computer from utilizing any energy it would it were to be kept turned on. Since products that are still plugged in, even though not in use, can continue to draw energy from their respective wall outlets, a more effective method would be to install a master switch, which, when clicked, would cut off all energy going to anything still plugged in, even if turned off. Not only would this decrease the risk of having a computer left turned on after a busy day, but also help stop it from utilizing energy throughout the night.

            Our society today is obsessed with energy and school districts cannot function without it. Although 100% energy efficiency is an extremely difficult state to achieve, there are several ways to implement changes to conserve unused and to spare surplus energy. These changes can come in the form of additions to function and structure, as well as in the shape of altering energy usage habits.


The competition’s honorable mention goes to Mimi N.  Mimi’s essay can be read in its entirety below:


To whom it may concern,

The University of Pittsburgh is located in a region that is very unique compared to other colleges in the nation. Sprawled across the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains with rivers running on either side, the campus is an extraordinary clash of Mother Nature and the city of Pittsburgh. Just walk down Fifth Avenue, one of the main roads that meanders throughout campus, and you will see a prime example of this clash in the undergraduate dormitory, Nordenberg Hall. This dormitory is not only home to hundreds of freshman, but also the recipient of a silver Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. As the newest dormitory on campus that is highly praised for its green and sustainable features, it’s no wonder why every incoming freshman picks it as their top choice for on-campus housing.

However, as you are standing in front of Nordenberg Hall on Fifth Avenue, make sure to turn around to check out Litchfield Towers, a complex of dormitories that houses 1,000+ students on a total of 60 floors. Standing opposite of each other on Fifth Avenue, the two buildings make an impressive sight. Yet there is a large difference between the two structures that is rather concerning. Why is it that Litchfield Towers, a dormitory that holds far more many students than Nordenberg, has not been updated to meet the standards in which Nordenberg has set in terms of sustainability? Surely the university, who has prided on being listed in the Princeton Review’s Guide to 353 Green Colleges for four consecutive times, realizes that it is leaving out an essential part of campus that plays an important role in many students’ lives. While it would be inconvenient to relocate 1,000+ students to renovate Towers, it is possible to pursue small-scale projects that will allow the building to better fit in with the culture of sustainability on campus.

The first of these small-scale projects is to incorporate occupancy sensor control lighting in the hallways. As an undergraduate student who used to live in Towers, I know that these hallways are always lit 24/7. With the exception of the lights in front of the emergency signs, it is not necessary to have all lights on at full strength all the time. In fact, the bathrooms in Towers have occupancy sensor control lights. More times than not, the bathroom actually has more people in it than in the hallways. Therefore – if the bathrooms have sensor control lights, it would only make sense that the hallways should also have the same lighting. Not to mention, use of occupancy sensor lights can reduce energy consumption up to approximately 30%. One compact fluorescent lightbulb is about 13-15 kilowatts. A hallway consists of at least twenty lightbulbs and with a total of 60 floors, that is approximately 15,600 kilowatts. With the incorporation of sensor lights, we can save up to 4,680 kilowatts annually. With these rough statistics in mind, it is imperative that the university who celebrated 2015 as the “Year of Sustainability” realizes how inefficient lighting is in one of the biggest dormitories on campus. Replacing these lights is essential in creating a more energy efficient environment.

Another project involves extracting hydroelectricity from a source that is often overlooked – toilet flushing. Because they are so old and overused, the motion sensors on the toilets in Towers tend to overreact and cause flushing to occur excessively and randomly. In other words, there are 300+ toilets in Towers combined that are wasting gallons of water due to over-sensitive sensors. Instead of squandering away a couple thousands of dollars to replace the sensors, it would be a better investment to implement turbines in the pipes that connect the toilets. Through this method, water flowing downwards creates energy that can be sent to a separate power grid. This technology is recent, and so far only the city of Portland, Oregon uses it. Thus, by implementing this alternative energy source, the University of Pittsburgh would set itself as one of the leading universities in the nation that is open-minded to apply innovative ways of conserving energy.

A third option also involves using another alternative energy source – solar energy. Litchfield Towers is not only the largest complex of dormitories, but the tallest (224.4 feet) at the University of Pittsburgh. Each Tower is circular shaped with numerous windows encircling the building. While the Towers are not designed to hold long-term projects like green roofs without causing major disturbances in students’ daily lives, it is possible to update the normal windows to solar powered windows. Companies like Solaria insert 2.5 millimeter strips of photovoltaic cells between glass layers in windows. The best part is that these strips are undetectable by the human eye. With each Tower being circular-shaped, this means that all windows get some exposure to sunlight and if solar powered, will each get a turn producing energy we can use. Solar powered windows are creative methods of updating old campus buildings like Litchfield Towers to the green standards set by Nordenberg Hall.

On a campus that strives to successfully combine a culture of sustainability into a city landscape, it is important that every acre of land and every edifice is involved. The best course of action is to give attention to the rest of campus that has yet to contribute – starting with Litchfield Towers, which has the potential to impact thousands of students’ lives. Adding these three sustainable features to outdated buildings like Litchfield Towers will help highlight the unique harmony between city and sustainability found at the University of Pittsburgh. While price may be a cause for concern, the future environmental benefits make the endeavor worth it –many alumni, faculty, undergraduates, and graduates would wholeheartedly agree.  With majority support, fundraising and petitioning for subsidies and/or grants would be easier to obtain. Besides, should cost be a major worry when the reward is bound to be plentiful? 


Mimi Nguyen


We would like to thank Doryotta, Mimi, and all the others who participated in our essay competition.  We wish you all great success in college and beyond.


2016 Westway Scholarship Winner Announced

Illuminating Ideas Scholarship

Westway Electric Supply is pleased to announce Grant D., a graduate of Stanton College Preparatory School in Jacksonville, FL , as the recipient of the 2016 “Illuminating Ideas” scholarship essay competition.

Students were asked to describe how their school is currently wasting or misusing energy, and to provide realistic solutions for how the school can become more energy-efficient. After reading many great submissions, Grant’s suggestions, research and passion for his school really stood out.

Below, you can read Grant’s winning entry in its entirety:


While my school, Stanton College Preparatory School in Jacksonville, Florida, has set a high standard in terms of academic achievement, we still have a long way to go in order say the same for our energy efficiency and environmental footprint.  It is true that we have made significant strides towards decreasing energy usage, through measures such as a partial replacement of incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, but there are still multitudes of ways in which we can improve upon this progress.  Pursuing and publicizing an initiative to make our high school more energy efficient will help the school save money, which can be used to purchase educational materials such as textbooks and computers, reduce its environmental impact, and send a strong message to students about the importance of conservation.

My proposed energy-saving measures are as follows: first, to correct energy misuse from inefficient and unnecessary lighting, we must make a sweeping conversion to LED lighting, coupled with the installation of motion sensor switches in lieu of traditional light switches. We must also implement more stringent thermostat monitors and controls to correct waste from our heating and cooling system, and repaint the black asphalt roofs of our academic buildings white, which will decrease energy costs during hotter months.

According to the Alliance to Save Energy, lighting accounts for nearly 50% of the electric bill in most schools, so naturally lighting should be an area of intense scrutiny when considering energy saving measures.  First and foremost, a complete transition needs to be made from incandescent and compact fluorescent lighting to LED lighting.  In some classrooms and offices, incandescent lighting is still being used, despite its general phase-out nationwide in offices, schools, and other public spaces.  While incandescent bulbs are inexpensive, they have high operating costs, short lifespans, and are very inefficient, operating on four times as much power as a compact fluorescent bulb and even more for an LED bulb to produce the same intensity of light.  Compact fluorescent bulbs, which have supplanted incandescent light in many of our school buildings, still have a higher operating cost than LED lights, do not turn on instantaneously and contain small quantities of the toxic element Mercury.  A chart highlighting the comparative advantages of LED lighting is provided below:

LED Bulbs vs. CFL And Incandescent 60 Watt Incandescent 15 Watt CFL 8 Watt LED
Life Span 1200 hours 8000 hours 25000-50000 hours
Energy To Equal 60W Incandescent N/A 15 watts 8 watts
Yearly Energy Cost Per 20 bulbs $525.60 $131.00 $69.35
Contains Mercury? No Yes No
Comes On Instantly? Yes No Yes

Additionally, I have frequently observed that a number of unoccupied classrooms and offices remain lit for long stretches of time after school, a result of habitual behaviors and simple negligence.  To correct this blatant waste of energy, motion sensor switches should be installed as an alternative to manual switches for lighting circuits wherever possible.  These devices are already in use in a few areas of the school, including some restrooms.  However, a school wide expansion should produce energy savings that far outweigh initial costs.  In fact, some motion sensor switches are very inexpensive, such as the Morris 80520 150 OCC Sensor, featured on the Westway Electric Supply website, which runs for less than $20.

Another important area of energy misuse to address is the problems in our temperature control system.  In North Florida, central AC is a necessity during spring and summer months, while heating is still important during the winter.  However, current heating and air conditioning policy not only wastes energy, but creates environments that are uncomfortable to learning.  I hear very often complaints from students, teachers, and faculty alike that some indoor temperatures are too warm in the winter and too cool in the summer, caused in part by the eclectic, hodge-podge patchwork of thermostat controls around the school.  A simple solution would be to install thermostat monitors and controls to regulate indoor temperatures within specific boundaries, perhaps a widely recommended maximum of 68degrees Fahrenheit during cooler periods and a minimum of 78 degrees Fahrenheit during warmer ones.

Lastly, I believe that my school’s black, asphalt roofing constitutes a waste of energy in that its high rate of heat absorption is unnecessary given the climate in our area.  Repainting roofing surfaces white should dramatically raise their albedo, or surface reflectivity, and cool them by margins of around 40 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer. The roofing of three out of the four major buildings on our campus is comprised of black asphalt; the US Department of Energy estimates that painting the roof of a one-story residence white may produce savings of 15% per year on air conditioning, and it is not unreasonable to expect similar savings for our school.  This particular measure could also be a great way to involve the student body in making our school more energy efficient.  If potential logistical and legal challenges could be overcome, broad student participation in such a project would go a long way in communicating the importance of individual involvement in energy conservation.

To reiterate, despite the significant steps that my school has taken to reduce its energy usage and environmental impact, there is still much work needed to be done.  From my perspective, inefficient lighting left on when not needed, regulatory problems with our heating and air conditioning systems and an outmoded roofing structure constitute our three most significant wastes and misuses of energy. These problems may be rectified by installing more energy efficient lighting and occupancy sensors, setting thermostat monitors and controls, and repainting our black asphalt roofing.  Doing so will save money, benefit the environment, and help to teach students the importance of individual and local initiatives.


US Department of Energy. http://energy.gov/science-innovation/energy-efficiency


Energy Saving Tips for Schools. The Alliance to Save Energy. http://www.ase.org/resources/energy-saving-tips-schools.


Should You Replace Your Compact Fluorescent Bulbs with LED’s? SaveGreenly.com. http://savegreenly.com/LED%20bulbs%20vs.%20cfl.htm


Moss, Doug & Scheer, Roddy.Saving Energy with White Roofs.  http://www.emagazine.com/earth-talk/saving-energy-with-white-roofs/


Bulot, Patrick. Painting My Roof White: Does It Make A Difference?http://www.houstoncoolmetalroofs.com/cool-roof-information/paint-roof-white/



Congratulations Grant! And thank you again to all of those who participated in this year’s competition. May your futures be bright!



Westway T-Shirt Giveaway!




Stop in for your Free Westway T-Shirt!! 



Spring is in the air and we just got in this year’s T-Shirts.  Westway is giving them away to all local electricians and electrical contractors!  Just stop in at our location at 9027 W Chester Pike, Upper Darby during business hours and mention this blog post.  The T-Shirt is Free with any purchase and you do NOT need to have an account with us.  We have a limited quantity; so hurry up and get yours while supply lasts!  Limit one per customer and only valid for in-store pickups.


Westway Electric Supply has been providing electrical supplies to the greater Philadelphia area since 1979. Westway is a single location, family owned and run company. We take great pride in our personalized customer service. Our knowledgeable and dedicated staff will go the extra mile to answer any questions you have or find a solution to any problem you may be facing. At Westway, our goal is to bring you top name brand electrical components and supplies at wholesale prices, while still providing the level of customer service that you would expect from a local mom and pop supply house. 

Westway gets Platinum Status!!


For the last 2 years, Westway has been proud to achieve Gold status as a distributor in the IMARK group.  This year, we have moved up with the elite and we have achieved the highest possible member status of Platinum.  Of the 856 national IMARK member distributor companies, only 34 (less then 16%) earned Platinum status in 2015.  Westway is extremely proud to be included in the 34.  It has been a long hard road, but we feel that we have evolved from a mom and pop supply house to a premier distributor.


The full list of the 2015 Platinum, Gold, and Silver IMARK distributors can be viewed by following the link:




Westway would like to congratulate all of last year’s winners as well as our team for doing everything needed to elevate our company to this level.

Westway Electric Supply lights up a new B2B e-commerce site Article

Nona Tepper with B2BecNews talked with Westway Electric Supply president Anthony Buonocore about how the company is growing its business-to-business sales using eCommerce. They specifically talked about the pending release of the company’s new website, which will be upgrading its current Magento e-commerce platform to Magento Community Edition  Find the full article on the B2B Ecommerce World website:



tED Magazine “30 Under 35″ Catch-up

tED Magazine caught up with Westway Electric president Anthony Buonocore, a 2014 honoree of the “30 Under 35″ competition. See what Tony had to say about becoming one of the leading companies in the electrical industry and his predictions on the future of electrical distribution. Find the full article on the tED Magazine website:



Westway Hoodie Giveaway!

Stop in for your Free Westway Hoodie!! Hoodie_FrontHoodie_Back

Check out the new Westway hoodie sweatshirts that we just got in.  Westway is giving them away to all local electricians and electrical contractors!  Just stop in at our location at 9027 W Chester Pike, Upper Darby during business hours and mention this blog post.  The sweatshirt is Free with any purchase and you do NOT need to have an account with us.  We have a limited quantity; so hurry up and get yours while supply lasts!  Limit one per customer and only valid for in-store pickups.


Westway Electric Supply has been providing electrical supplies to the greater Philadelphia area since 1979. Westway is a single location, family owned and run company. We take great pride in our personalized customer service. Our knowledgeable and dedicated staff will go the extra mile to answer any questions you have or find a solution to any problem you may be facing. At Westway, our goal is to bring you top name brand electrical components and supplies at wholesale prices, while still providing the level of customer service that you would expect from a local mom and pop supply house. 

2015 Westway Scholarship Runner-up and Honorable Mention Announced

Illuminating Ideas Scholarship

Westway Electric Supply would like to thank all of the students who participated in this year’s essay competition. This year’s applicant pool was even larger and we read various persuasive letters filled with creative ideas. Of the many great essays submitted, there were a few that really stood out.

With that being said, we are pleased to announce Paige C. as the runner-up for our 2015 scholarship essay competition. Paige’s essay can be read in its entirety below: 

Dear [Recipient Name]:

For quite some time now our university has been making giant strides in the path to a more energy-sustainable environment. Sustain Appalachian is one of the reasons I chose to attend this beautiful campus, because I truly feel that as a society we should take these important steps to help reduce our carbon footprints. There are many things that we as a campus should be proud to be participating in; such as our renewable energy sources (wind, PV, and solar thermal), as well as the gardens that flourish our grounds and the use of local grown foods in our dining halls. Each and every year we are taking bigger and greater leaps in the race to sustainability, and I feel it is in our best interest to take on our next challenge as soon as possible. I’m talking about our lighting; of course it’s true that we have many different methods already in place, but it seems that those are confined to the buildings and some residence halls. We have our energy-conscience footprints embedded all over our precincts, but one place it does not touch on is the stadium.

With an astounding seating capacity of 24, 050 people, our prized Kidd Brewer Stadium (affectionately nicknamed “The Rock” by our fellow mountaineers) is one of the most visited buildings at our university. Not only a host to well-packed football games, it’s also home to the university’s field hockey and track and field teams, meaning that it is a fairly well-used establishment on campus. We aren’t entirely blind to the carbon footprint of our stadium – just this past season [2014] we launched a “Zero Waste Stadium Initiative” which netted a whopping 74% waste diversion. With the addition of more energy-efficient stadium lighting we can initiate even more change, reducing our carbon footprint exponentially!

The new Minnesota Stadium, set to be opened for the 2016 NFL season is one of few stadiums that will showcase the power and efficiency of LED-powered stadium lights. LED stadium lights are a great way to light a stadium because they offer more uniform light which improves the clarity of the playing surface. This not only benefits the fans crowded in at the stadium, but also those watching at home and even the players and coaches themselves! Another great benefit that this new technology offers is a significantly lower energy consumption as compared to regular metal halide stadium lighting. LED lighting will provide 28% more light on average, while simultaneously consuming 54% less energy than its brother the metal halides. The cost difference between these two lighting has also lowered since it first hit the markets, and now rests at a slight 8% more. However, never fear: LED lights are far less expensive over time and can (and will!) eventually be cheaper in the long run. This is due to the fact that LEDs have a lifespan at least three times longer than metal halides, making for far less replacements plus they require far less maintenance. Overall, they will not only save Appalachian State University’s energy output but also aide in lowering our budget!

Fitted with the capacity of a lowered budget, Appalachian State University could feed the extra money created in savings to some of its rapidly-growing programs. The nursing program is one that would benefit greatly from added funding and with a better nursing program comes an increased population size of students for that field of study. Another great program offered at this university is the Education program. With better funding comes more students and more overall funding. The Arts and Music department is quickly growing, and could use the extra funding to provide for more specified areas of studies which would also bring in more students. School beautification and the restoration of the older residence halls could be established, and thus could help curb our carbon footprint even more.

People think of Appalachian State University and the words ‘sustainability’, ‘local’, ‘energy-conscience’ come to mind. We have taken on the challenge to better our world, and our campus provides proof of that commitment every day. The war on energy is a long one, and it can’t be won with the same strategy. We need to take our battle plans to action, and we need to be able to accommodate to challenge. I strongly believe that we can do it, because we aren’t simply a school. We are a family. We are a troop, and we must all work together to take on the mission of making our footprints smaller in any way that we can. I urge you to take further advances towards the renovation of our stadium to fit the needs of our planet.

Respectfully Yours,
Paige Clayton

The competition’s honorable mention goes to Mina N.  Below, you can read Mina’s essay its entirety:

Dear [Recipient Name],

Auburn High School consists of a motivated student body with a wide array of talents and interests. These students are both academically driven and athletically inclined: our sports teams are among the best in the state. Strong loyalty to these teams draws crowds of students to the Duck Samford stadium countless times throughout the year, boosting the morale of the teams. However, the stadium’s heavy usage also raises the cost of its upkeep. Perhaps taken for granted, but nevertheless crucial to ensuring the enjoyment of both the onlookers and the players, the light fixtures are one aspect of the stadium that must be maintained. Adopting energy efficient lighting fixtures, although initially more expensive than traditional lighting fixtures, will minimize long-term costs by extending the life of the lights. Furthermore, energy efficient lighting such as light emitting diodes is durable and can withstand unfavorable weather conditions, including extreme hot or cold temperatures. This type of lighting is convenient, offering a range of illumination features as well as instantaneous lighting.

Energy efficient lighting fixtures have far-reaching benefits that extend beyond the obvious benefits mentioned above. Money saved by using less energy could be spent on improving the quality of education, such as purchasing additional books for the library. Our student body is growing every year, so the extra money generated from conserving energy could also be used to support existing programs. Our music program, for example, could expand its course offerings to cover a wide variety of musical genres. Our art programs could have more supplies that otherwise could not have been bought in greater quantities. The growth of these programs would in turn foster creativity within the student body, promoting diversity and the creation of new organizations, clubs, and programs at the school.

More importantly, Auburn High School prides itself on bringing out the best in its students and setting an example for civic responsibility. One of the roles of a high school is to encourage conservation within the community, so what better way to do so than by starting with a small but significant action that demonstrates a commitment to the largest community of all, the Earth? Latest energy efficient lighting fixtures reduce greenhouse gas emissions and do not use mercury, ensuring the health of the Earth for future generations. If obtaining the funds needed proves to be an obstacle, the school administration could involve the students in fundraising. For example, administrators could first communicate their plans to the officers of the school clubs. Clubs could then collaborate with one another and decide upon ways of raising awareness of the importance of energy efficient lighting and soliciting contributions from the student body and the larger community. These efforts will strengthen the school’s spirit and sense of unity while gaining support for a worthy cause.

The convenience and social, economic, and environmental benefits of energy efficient light fixtures offer a compelling case for participating in conservation efforts.  As a prominent institution in the community, Auburn High School has the opportunity to set an example in forward thinking. I strongly believe that adopting energy efficient light fixtures would solidify Auburn High School’s role in the community as a leader. Thank you for taking the time to read and consider my opinions.



Mina Narayanan


We would like to thank Paige, Mina, and all the others who participated in our second scholarship essay competition.  We wish you all great success in college and beyond!

Westway Announces the 2015 Scholarship Winner

Illuminating Ideas Scholarship

Westway Electric Supply is pleased to announce Daniel R., of Loyola University Chicago, as the recipient of the 2015 “Illuminating Ideas” scholarship essay competition.

Instead of writing just another essay, participants were asked to write a persuasive letter to their school’s administrators encouraging them to make the change to energy efficient lighting in their school’s sports stadiums and arenas. After reading many great submissions, Daniel’s use of imagery, persuasion and passion for his school really stood out.

Below, you can read Daniel’s winning entry in its entirety.


Dear [Recipient Name],

As a student at Loyola University Chicago, I worship the presence of nature we have on campus.  The moment I step on campus, I am hit by the distinct smell of the Lake Michigan waves crashing upon the rocks.  Noises that can’t be heard and aromas that carry no scent on a majority of college campuses is a major reason why I chose Loyola University.  The reason for this letter is simple though, as an institution that prides itself on going green, the next paramount step that we need to take as a university is to implement energy efficient lighting, such as LED light bulbs, in our sports arena.

As a university we have taken giant steps in the preservation of Mother Nature such as the efficient Institute of Environmental Sustainability (IES), which is the largest geothermal complex in Chicago.  I like to think our commitment as a university to the protection of the environment comes from our intertwinement with nature itself on our campus.  Making the IES building geothermal was a huge step, but another pertinent step must be taken to really show our clean initiative.

The implementation of energy efficient lighting in our stadium, Gentile Arena, would really help the University and project us as true leaders in going green as a college.  The arguments against using energy efficient lighting, such as LED lighting, are small and the positives outweigh the negatives.

The first type of light bulb, while recently falling off, is the regular incandescent light bulb. First off, for decades, regular incandescent light bulbs have been used.  Although cheap, the problem with these light bulbs lies in their efficiency. Incandescent light bulbs are known for their complete inefficiency, lasting an average of 1,000 hours.  Along with this, they waste a majority of their energy as heat energy, often times being hotter instead of brighter.  Does Gentile Arena need to be hot or lit up for our athletics?

The second type of light bulb that needs to be dispelled is the compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs.  Yes, CFL’s consume significantly less power and are more efficient, but the biggest problem is what they contain, mercury.  As you know, mercury is a toxic chemical, and can become extremely hazardous in the disposing process of these light bulbs.  If we continue to use these light bulbs, we are damaging our image as a clean initiative school and causing potential world health problems over the globe.  Does Loyola want to be known as a university that has followed the norm of most arenas and continue to use CFL’s for the cheaper costs?  When do the negative aspects begin to outweigh the cost effectiveness?  Well, Dr. Garanzini, I’m here to tell you that time should be coming soon.

Several professional sports teams have already implemented the use of LED, such as the Seattle Mariners, Montreal Canadians, and the Carolina Hurricanes.  They are now considered innovators and leaders in their respective fields of energy usage and efficiency.  I’m writing so that Loyola University can be considered a leader like this in the arena of college sports.

The positives that surround the implementation of LED lights can be felt around the globe.  The case for their implantation I write to you about must be heard first though.  First and foremost, LED lights are extremely efficient.  A CFL light bulb uses approximately 15 watts and draws close to $80 worth of electricity per year.  Compare that to an LED light bulb, which draws 8 watts of power and only costs about $30 a year and can possibly last 50,000 hours!  Clearly more efficient, both money wise and in the conservation of the Earth, LED light bulbs are ready.  The second point, LED light bulbs are barren of hazardous chemicals.  The importance of setting an example, displaying that Loyola University realizes and cares about the environmental consequences from our actions is colossal.  The first step to become a leader in efficient lighting and campus efficiency is to go against the norm and set our own standards.

The only argument against the implantation of LED light bulbs is the cost.  While I cannot say that the cost of LED lighting is cheap compared to the other options, the possibility of a government subsidy is a possibility, along with huge cost saving over time.  Yes, LED lighting is expensive, but it is nowhere near the cost that hazardous chemicals can cause.  With the implementation of LED light bulbs, Loyola University would really be setting the bar at a high level.

Ultimately, it comes down to the board of the university.  Do we continue with our clean initiatives and continue setting new benchmarks for universities to follow?  The cost may be a problem for the time being, but future students along with alumni will realize the magnitude of what we did.  A nature first campus, it would be only right for us to lead the charge into energy efficient lighting.  The choice comes down to the board, but I have to add, if cost is the only thing holding Loyola back from energy efficient lighting, isn’t the cost of a destroyed environment much greater?


Daniel Rogalski

Congratulations Daniel! And thank you again to all of those who participated in this year’s competition. May your futures be bright!