INT Department goes green: State-of-the-art lighting in television studio conserves energy and improves video quality

The Department of Information Networking and Telecommunications at Fort Hays State University has replaced its television studio lighting system with Kino Flo florescent light units, making it the first educational television studio in the state of Kansas to install such a system.

"FHSU has taken a major step forward in bolstering academic quality and at the same time, we have taken another step in making the campus more energy efficient and environmentally friendly," said Dr. Edward H. Hammond, FHSU president. "This makes the studio in Heather Hall a premiere facility for student television production."

"We've always believed students should learn as much about the industry as possible," said INT Chair Dr. Mark Bannister. "By utilizing and learning about the latest in lighting technology, INT students are positioning themselves to enter the workforce knowing a great deal, thus securing solid jobs creating dynamic and professional video productions. The new studio lighting greatly enhances the quality of studio productions and, in the process, we are also saving the university money that would normally be used for lighting and cooling costs."

According to Bill Gilbert of the Gilbert Group of Overland Park, the new lighting system will use 40 percent less energy than the quartz halogen lights previously installed in the television studio. The lights are also much cooler. The previous patchwork of 20- to 40-year-old lighting required air-conditioning much of the year.

The new lighting was funded from the university's facility repair and maintenance budget. The planning and design were developed by the FHSU Facilities Planning Office and the INT Department faculty and engineer Gary Hoffman.

"This process started three years ago," said Stephen Schleicher, associate professor of INT. "When we realized how much energy we were wasting -- not only from the inefficient fixtures but in the amount of cooling needed to keep the studio at a reasonable temperature -- we knew there were lighting units that would not only save energy, but dramatically improve the look of student produced programming. The results have been stunning."

The Gilbert Group, along with Schleicher and Hoffman, installed the lighting system during the winter break to ensure everything was ready to go when students returned for the spring semester.
"When you compare the look of KFHS programming before the new lighting system was installed, and what we have access to now, it is a dramatic improvement," said Jennifer Montenegro, president of the KFHS Broadcast Council, the student organization that produces content for KFHS television. "The lighting is nice and even, giving our news and public affairs shows a look you would expect to see in programming that costs millions of dollars," she said. "We are fortunate to have a university that is committed to improving student learning, and these lights are really going to help."

President Hammond said: "We strive to provide the very best for our students. The television studio lighting upgrade was consistent with our commitment to academic excellence. The Media Studies Program in INT has produced alumni who are working in television, radio and the movie industry across America. This state-of-the-art lighting upgrade and our interconnection with 32 Kansas cable systems provide our students with quality and exposure opportunities that are unmatched."

About the INT Department Broadcasting education began at FHSU in 1950 when the institution offered radio classes. The program evolved into television and film in the 1960s, added telephony and computer networking in the 1990s, Web development in 2000 and information assurance in 2007. Currently, nearly 300 FHSU students annually participate in learning to create, distribute or to protect digital media. For more information, visit

About KFHS Television KFHS is a student-run television station serving FHSU students and communities in northwest Kansas with original and local programming. KFHS can be seen in the following cities and communities: Agra, Almena, Alton, Athol, Bogue, Collyer, Damar, Edmond, Ellis, Galatia, Gaylord, Gove, Grainfield, Hays, Hill City, Jennings, Kensington, Lenora, Logan, Long Island, Morland, Natoma, Norton, Olmitz, Osborne, Palco, Phillipsburg, Plainville, Quinter, Rexford, Russell, Selden, Smith Center, Victoria, WaKeeney, Woodston and Zurich. For more information, visit

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Office of University Relations   |  600 Park Street   |  Hays, KS  67601-4099
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Kent Steward, Director   |  |  Kurt Beyers, Assistant Director   |