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Lighting Retrofit Cuts Energy Usage by 50%

If you’re a tennis player in Wheaton, Illinois, things are looking brighter thanks to an energy efficient lighting retrofit of the four indoor tennis courts at the Wheaton Sport Center.

The retrofit increased light levels by about 32% in the courts.

The Sport Center is a family owned recreation club on 10 acres about 30 miles west of downtown Chicago. The facility boasts 14 tennis courts including the four inside a permanent tennis facility. In addition to tennis, the center has a full fitness facility, day spa, racquetball courts and two swimming pools.

Since the indoor tennis court lighting was replaced one court at a time, Sport Center members really noticed a difference.

“They all wanted to play on the courts with the new lighting,” said Karla Butler, Wheaton Sport Center sales and marketing director. “It really is a remarkable improvement in terms of lighting quality.”

Of course, improved lighting wasn’t the only benefit of the retrofit. The new lighting cut energy usage in the courts by nearly 50%.

Originally, the courts were lit with 1,000-watt metal halide fixtures. These were replaced with customized 10-lamp T5HO fluorescent fixtures, mounted facing upward and reflecting off the ceiling.

Mounting the fixtures facing towards the ceiling means that players will be less-likely to lose a ball in the lighting when they look up, and each fixture was fitted with custom wire guards so that tennis balls won’t damage the lights, or get stuck.

The new fluorescent fixtures use 584 watts each, compared to the original fixture’s 1,080 watts. Overall, the retrofit reduced energy consumption by about 22 kilowatts and 180,000 kWh. The project’s energy savings also netted $13,000 in incentive money from the Sports Center’s utility, Con Edison.

Each row of fixtures is also fitted with occupancy sensors, allowing them to automatically turn off when the courts are empty and saving even more energy.

Thanks to the retrofit, the center will also have reduced maintenance costs on the court’s new lighting. The new T5HO lamps are rated for about 40,000 hours with only a 5 percent lumen depreciation during the life of the lamp compared to metal halide, which is rated for 20,000 hours with 30 percent lumen depreciation over the lamp’s lifetime.

The combination of energy savings, utility incentives and maintenance savings means that the project will pay for itself fairly quickly.

Danielle Stewart is a media consultant for [P2] Precision Paragon. The above retrofit used [P2] fixtures provided by the Facility Solutions Group, FSG.

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