For the Cleveland Cavaliers, every minute on the basketball court counts. It has to when the goal is to deliver your city its first professional sports championship in 50 years—and that commitment starts on the practice floor. So when old lighting left the team in the dark, it turned to hometown partner GE for a game-changing assist.
Power outages caused by weather are inevitable in Independence, Ohio, where Cleveland Clinic Courts—the official player development facility for the Cavaliers—was built in 2007. For coaches and assistants focused on execution and efficiency, however, the real frustration was waiting to resume activities until power was restored. Typically it would take about 10 minutes for the metal halide fixtures above the practice court to return to full brightness.
“We needed instant-on ability from our new lights to get the team back in action as fast as possible,” said David Painter, senior manager of practice facilities for the Cavaliers. “We also shoot a lot of video and host media events here too, so it's important our gymnasium looks its best and brightest at all times.”
GE and manufacturer representative Myriad Energy turned Painter's team onto Albeo™ high bay LED lighting fixtures that require no warm-up time, so if the power blinks, the Cavaliers won't have to wait for the lights to come back on. The fixtures also are backup-generator capable, so many can be powered in an emergency situation.
“I was walking across the court with our general manager not long ago when, lo and behold, we lost power!” said Painter. “The only lights that came back up were the LEDs, and he looked at me and he said, ‘DP, we've got to get this done. It's a no brainer.'”
RESULTS & BENEFITS
More than 70 Albeo fixtures now hang in Cleveland Clinic Courts. Each is rated for a 100,000-hour career spanning at least two decades with zero scheduled maintenance. Together the LED lights will average about $14,000 per year in saved energy and HVAC expenses.
“We have 50-foot ceilings that pitch back to 36 feet. We had to invent a pulley system just to change the old lights,” Painter said. “Now there's no issue with ballasts or replacing bulbs, which may be the thing I'm most excited about, personally."
“There's no ‘buzzing' sound from the LEDs, either, and the color consistency is great. We had a range of lifetimes across the halide fixtures that created a color differential that drove me crazy. Everything looks uniform now, and there's very little glare to distract the players as they practice.”
The Cavaliers are also taking full advantage of the full dimmability of GE's Albeo fixtures to lower light levels and reduce energy use when appropriate. Painter said lighting controls will soon be added too, allowing the team to illuminate large sections of its 17,000 square-foot floor separately.
On-the-court success with LED lighting has even carried over to the locker room where GE's Lumination™ EL Series LED Luminaires now shine above Cleveland's stars. The chic blade-like fixtures lend their own sense of dash and daring to the team's inner sanctum.
“Cleveland Clinic Courts is among the most technologically advanced team development facilities in pro sports—if not THE best—and additions like these new lights will keep it that way,” said Painter. “We even considered a plasma solution at first, but LED brought a stronger all-around game. Everything we're doing here counts because it's all for Cleveland and our fans, who we feel deserve their time in the light, too.”
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