Enhanced Lighting for the 26th Annual Chili Bowl

The Tulsa Expo Square, Tulsa, Okla., is one of the largest clear-span buildings in the world, and plays host to the widely acclaimed Chili Bowl Midget Nationals race. Every January the event draws over 15,000 spectators and attracts NASCAR and USAC drivers from around the country. In preparation for this year's event, the Square went through a major renovation that featured enhanced lighting.

Due to the demands of an indoor race track, the imminent scheduling of the event, and the American Electric Power-Public Service Co. (AEP) rebate requirements, the criteria for indoor lighting was very stringent. Facility managers at the Expo Square were concerned about light levels, dimming capabilities, installation deadlines, reliability and procuring a fixture that would meet the energy reduction and U.S.-made requirements of the AEP rebates.

“When we began our test period in March 2011, I was surprised to see how the quality of the fixtures varied between manufacturers. Our process included a long research period, followed by a long test period and finally the installation. In the first week, half of the other manufacturers' products failed,” said Wayne Driggers, grounds supervisor at Tulsa Expo Square. “We did not go forward with any LEDs after we tested a few single fixtures.” The choice instead was EverLast induction lighting.

The Tulsa Expo Square installed 539 of the 400W variable dimming EverLast high-bay fixtures, replacing 1000W metal halides throughout the Square. The conversion delivered estimated savings of 1.5 million kilowatt hours and over $100,000 a year. Tulsa Expo Square officials also received a refund of nearly $150,000 for the installation as part of AEP of Oklahoma's energy-efficiency payback program.

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