It’s true! From March to July of this year, a lot of innovative improvements have been happening at our Forestdale temple, assisted by the generosity of our congregation and wonderful, generous donors. Stage 1 of our “greening” commenced with the upgrading of our solar electricity generation system. For several years, the temple has operated a 5kW system. In April we upgraded the system with an additional 15kW of Singapore manufactured photovoltaic panels and a German inverter. Some of our wonderful volunteers organized fundraising events to support the project: THANK YOU for your support!

Following on from the installation of the new solar system, we resolved to replace every fluorescent tube and incandescent and fluorescent bulb, with a suitable LED alternative. The job was a big task; the fence alone has around 36 40w incandescent bulbs, not to mention the temple building, which has over 200 1.2 metre fluorescent tubes, each consuming 36w of electricity and three chandeliers with around 75 40w bulbs.

Added to the sheer volume of replacements required, we also had to bear in mind that the top of the temple ceiling (and the top row of tubes) is about 6.2 metres high. At 6.2 metres, it was too high for a ladder and because some of the light fittings were over the monks’ podium and the Buddha image, a scissor lift was not suitable for the job.

Fortunately, the General Manager of a local equipment hire company visited the site and recommended a knuckle boom for the job. He estimated that the knuckle boom we needed could get through the front door of the temple with about 20cm clearance on each side and about 50cm clearance at the top.

The task of replacing every one of the fluorescent tubes in the temple was achieved in one full day, with the assistance of our three monks and two lay people. Our Venerable Abbot, Phra Siphutthiwithet, proved to have a considerable talent as the knuckle boom driver!

The other fluorescent lights around the site and the incandescent lights in the front fence and the Buddha shrine were all replaced by our monks and volunteers during July.

The energy savings are impressive and all of the LED replacements are not only more efficient, they also are brighter than the ones they replaced. Our new LED tunes have a rating of 14w, the old fluorescent tubes were rated at 36w. The incandescent replacements are even more impressive. The 40w incandescent bulbs in the front fence and Buddha shrine were all replaced with 4w LEDs.

Once again our wonderful volunteers organised fundraising to assist with the cost of the replacement. THANK YOU again for your generosity.