Case Studies

“Better lighting, better control, and the ability to save money.” – Lyle Erstad

Lake Zurich is a northwest suburb of Chicago with 20,000 residents. Rated in the Top 100 “Best Places to Raise Your Family,” the local high school is the heart of this suburb. When Lake Zurich’s High School Field House was built in 2004, it was outfitted with top-of-the-line lighting, but after years of games, practices, and classes, something changed. Over 10 years of use had taken its toll on the metal halide lighting originally placed in the Field House.

Lyle Erstad, Director of Facilities and Grounds, noticed visiting athletic directors and coaches complaining about the poor lighting during games. The NCAA states that horizontal light levels for basketball should be at 80 footcandles. With the dimming metal halide lights, the amount of light was less than 20 lm/ft² – only 25% of the recommended light.

The lights were taking a lot of time out of the day to replace once they went out. In addition, each of these lights was so expensive, the amount of money to replace three lights would cover the LED installation!

After seeing how cost-effective the switch to LED would be, Lake Zurich decided to trust Energy Solutions with their lighting update. Before getting started, they made a list of what they needed in their new lights:

  • More energy efficiency
  • Lower maintenance costs
  • Superior durability
  • Greater illumination span
  • Customized controls

All of Lake Zurich’s needs were met by choosing the new ME Series. The 3” shallow profile made the lights virtually non-existent in the ceiling. With installation, these fixtures were attached to be able to move if hit by a basketball or volleyball. With the added metal grates, the internal LEDs were also protected. A custom control to dim the lights for specific events was added to provide the school with better control on energy usage.

Original Lighting:

  • Surface Lighting – Metal Halide lights @ 400 Watt
  • Safety Lighting – Florescent bulbs
  • Less than 20 lm/ft²
  • Frequent bulb replacement

New Lighting:

  • ME Series – LED High Bay with wire guards
  • Custom control nodes
  • Impact resistant
  • Adjustable 50-80 lm/ft²
  • No maintenance for 7-10 years

The Field House is never quiet; between P.E. classes, after school practices, and games, the installation of lights had to take place while the gym was in use. By closing off half of the gym, the installation went quick and there was a noticeable difference between the new and old lights. Lake Zurich High School is using far less energy and has more than doubled the amount of light in their Field House!

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