Bowling Green State University Relights Indoor Turf Field Photo courtesy of Cree

Bowling Green State University Relights Indoor Turf Field

"The need to upgrade the lighting in Perry Field House was identified in our climate action plan, and we were looking for a solution that would provide exceptional cost savings, reduce our emissions and improve light quality compared to the original system.” Dr. Nick Hennessy, sustainability coordinator at BGSU.

Bowling Green State University (BGSU), as part of a climate-impact action plan, sought to upgrade the lighting for its indoor turf field in the Perry Field House from legacy metal halide luminaires to a solid-state lighting system with better lighting quality and better efficiency.

The school selected LED lighting by Cree, Inc., Durham, N.C., to replace the outdated metal halide light fixtures. Switching to Cree’s CXB series high-bay luminaires allowed a one-to-one replacement of up to 400W HID, cutting energy consumption in half and providing a better light experience.

Since 2012, BGSU has participated in the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (PCC), in which the university pledged to take actions to achieve climate neutrality.  As part of PCC, the school established a Student Green Initiative Fund to advance the campus’s environmental efforts. Cree’s CXB Series helped the university gain swift approval to use the fund to cover half of the project’s cost through rapid payback and emissions reductions.

“The need to upgrade the lighting in Perry Field House was identified in our climate action plan, and we were looking for a solution that would provide exceptional cost savings, reduce our emissions and improve light quality compared to the original system,” said Dr. Nick Hennessy, sustainability coordinator at BGSU. “The Cree CXB Series doubled the foot candles of the area, decreased our energy usage and reduced our carbon footprint while improving the lighting quality and performance with rapid payback.”

The 100x60-yard field is now lit by luminaires that deliver much better light quality while providing the university with more than $200,000 in energy and maintenance savings and delivering a payback of less than two years. The CXB series’ design features a low profile for high-bay applications at half the weight of incumbent technologies.

The Cree fixtures further enhanced the field house with instant-on performance that eliminated the warm-up required with the earlier lights. Previously, the lights would remain on, even when the facility was not in use between events. The coaches, athletes and field-house staff have strict requirements for the facility and are all enjoying the new lights, especially the better light quality and uniformity eliminating hot and cool spots, according to a Cree case study. Backed by a 10-year warranty, the luminaires also provide the university with lower maintenance, easier installation and additional utility rebates to help defray the remaining cost.

“The lights were installed over brand new artificial turf, so we needed an LED fixture with very low maintenance that would eliminate the need to go in with normal lifts moving forward,” said Hennessy. “The days of $3,000 maintenance calls with lifts are gone, and we worked with our utility to secure $8,900 in additional rebates that reduced the payback time to less than two years.”

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