SBJ/July 14-20, 2014/Facilities

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  • Brighter days ahead: Home of Ottawa Senators installing new LED lighting system

    Canadian Tire Centre is installing a new LED sports lighting system to save on energy costs and improve the quality of lighting for the players, fans at the games and network partners.

    The arena, run by the Ottawa Senators, spent about $500,000 for the upgrade, buying a new system from Ephesus Lighting. The Syracuse firm has already completed LED conversions for about a dozen minor league hockey and college venues.

    The project should be completed by mid-September, said Tom Conroy, Canadian Tire Centre’s vice president and executive director.

    The upgrade will pay off over the long run by saving energy while providing higher-intensity LED lighting and eliminating shadows on the ice, Ephesus officials said. 

    In Ottawa, the vendor is replacing about 400 bulbs ranging from 900 to 1,500 watts tied to the arena’s old high-intensity discharge system with about 140 LED bulbs that each run less than 100 watts, said Mike Lorenz, president of Ephesus Lighting.

    The new LED system also covers some HID lighting outside of the seating bowl. All told, the conversion is reducing total wattage from more than 400,000 to about 75,000, leading to a projected energy savings of more than 75 percent over the old system, Lorenz said. 

    By reducing the arena’s lighting infrastructure, the Senators can expect a return on investment in less than two years through reduced power bills, he said.

    “We have a big building with more than 19,000 seats that gets a lot of use,” Conroy said. “The concern we had is no one wants to be first. But Montreal has an LED system and their lighting looks amazing.”

    Last year, Bell Centre, home of the Montreal Canadiens, became the first NHL building to use LED sports lighting in the seating bowl. Canada-based LED Innovation Design, produced that system.

    The Senators took the plunge after having discussions over the past several months with multiple LED sports lighting providers, including Ephesus. To test their products, Ottawa officials held a “shootout” among four vendors, Conroy said. Each company hung a portion of LED lights from the catwalk and directed them toward center ice, in the goalie crease and in the corners. The shootout involved Senators employees skating around the ice and others taking light measurement readings and taking photographs to gauge the individual products.

    Ephesus ultimately won the competition, observed by NHL officials, including Dan Craig, the league’s senior director of facilities operations. The NHL’s approval was not required, but “we weren’t going to make any changes without talking to the league,” Conroy said.

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