After many years of discussion and investigation, the QATC board has voted to convert our court lighting to LED. It is believed that this will provide substantial electricity savings, maintain the existing brightness of our court area, and best position the club for its next 50 years.
Presently, there are (24) 1500-watt Metal Halide (MIH) lamps that light the court area; (8) on court 1, (8) on court 2, and (8) attached to the center bar between the courts. In addition, there are (16) fluorescent fixtures of which most will be removed.
The MIH lights account for an estimated 70 to 80% of our monthly electrical expense from September to June. The balance of the electrical utilization (approximately 18%) is primarily attributed to the furnace.
Replace all (24) high wattage MIH lamps and (10) of the fluorescent fixtures with up to (38) LED lamps positioned in a similar pattern to what we have now. The changeover will occur this summer so as not to impact league play, as the club will need to be closed for a few days.
It is anticipated that the conversion will save the Club 30-50% in electricity ($5,000-$7,000 annually), along with an average of $1,400 annually in typical electrical work (changing of bulbs, etc.). In addition, the new lights will turn on and off immediately without the need of a “warm-up” or “cool down” period.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why has the board decided to make the transition to LED lighting?
LED lighting demands far less electricity providing significant savings. Furthermore, the lights themselves will necessitate less work (changing of bulbs, etc.) which will also be a cost savings.
If the savings are so great, why didn’t we convert a long time ago?
The Club held off on the conversion for many years due to the unreliability of the newly developing LED technology – including the lack of a guarantee that the LED lighting would be suitable to meet the membership’s demands. LED lighting has come a long way in the last decade.
How much will this cost? / Does the Club have the money?
The total cost would be $30,550 which includes:
- $21,600 for the new LED lights (Note: this includes a NYSEG rebate of $15,200 or $400/LED light)
- $8,950 for removal of the existing fixtures and installation of the new lights
After many years of sound financial management, the Club is in a good position to shoulder the upfront expense – especially considering the solid return on investment.
What will be the return on investment (ROI)?
It is estimated that the annual electrical billing will be reduced by at least 30% or $5,000/year and may be as much as 50% or $7,500/year under current rates and usage.
With a conservative savings estimate of 30%, the ROI would be approximately 6 years. When including the annual savings on contractor service support and the potential of 50% utility savings – the ROI could be short as 3.5 years.
Will the court lighting be as bright as it is now?
Our tennis courts are considered the best lit in all of Western New York. The board did not want to sacrifice that with a conversion. Contractors with whom we met said that it was typical to reduce the “lumens” by 60% to achieve the same amount of light with LED’s. The board insisted on no more than a 30% reduction in “lumens” to ensure we would be happy with the results.
What if it isn’t as bright – or it’s too bright?
The proposed plan is designed to provide the Club with flexibility in the number of lights we use. Once we have the (38) LEDs installed, we can then evaluate the amount of light on the courts. If we have more than we need, we can disconnect some lights, thus saving some additional electrical cost. If it turns out we need more, we can easily add them as the current electrical distribution system has more than enough capacity to add lights where needed.
The existing lights provide a lot of heat. Could our heating bills increase with LED’s?
It is foreseeable that our gas bills will increase during the winter months as the LED lights will not generate the heat that our existing lights do. However, the Club’s electricity expense is typically about 4X its natural gas expense – so decreasing that expense is paramount.
Furthermore, without the heat generated by the existing lights, summer play may be significantly more comfortable.
Are there any other benefits from the conversion to LED lighting?
The LED lights that are proposed will turn on immediately and there will be no need to wait for the lights to cool down after turning them off as we do now.
Another benefit is the expected lifespan of today’s LED lights. These commercial LED lights have an estimated lifespan of 100,000 hours. To put this into perspective, if the lights are used 8 to 10 hours a day for a year that equates to about 3,500 hours or a potential lifespan of 28 years.