Under the (Bright) Lights

A partnership off the court has boosted the experience for Wolfpack basketball and tennis athletes at two NC State Athletics facilities.

Recently, Energy Management and Athletics teamed up to install new LED lighting in Isenhour Tennis Center and Dail Basketball Center.

“We needed increased lighting for our student athletes in these locations. Our director of facilities, Tim O’Daniel, connected with Kerby Smithson of Energy Management about how LED lights could increase lighting while also lowering energy usage,” said Bob Erickson, assistant athletic director for campus athletic facilities and operations.

In the Isenhour Tennis Center, four indoor tennis courts received new LED lights that increased lighting levels by 60 percent. The 42 new lights use less than half the energy of the old metal halide lights.

The 34,000-square foot facility was built in 2004 as a year-round training facility. The courts are also an indoor competition location in case of inclement weather.

“Our coaches and players noticed the new lighting immediately. Fans that have come in the past and then back in this season noticed it right away. The feedback has been really positive,” Erickson said.

The lights, in combination with timer switches, are estimated to generate $10,000 in annual electricity savings.

In Dail Basketball Center, new dimmable LEDs were installed in December. The new lights use less than 40 percent of the energy as the former lights while also tripling the light level in the facility.  

The biggest boost to energy savings are motion sensors, which automatically turn off lights when no activity is detected.

“No one ever turned off the old lights because the lights took so long to cool down and warm up. Now the lights will respond instantly and automatically, and no one will ever have to flip a switch,” said Smithson, an energy program coordinator with Energy Management.

Additionally, the project includes an upcoming lighting upgrade in Weisiger-Brown Athletic Facility’s weight room, which is utilized by NC State student athletes of many different sports. In total, this upgrade and the Dail upgrade are estimated to save $15,000 annually in electricity.

Throughout campus, Energy Management performs efficiency upgrades like these projects in order to lower the university’s energy use. Since 2002, NC State has reduced its energy use per gross square foot by 31 percent.