New LED lights in the Alfond Ice Rink use less electricity and produce less unwanted heat.

Let there be (more) light! During the summer of 2013 the Physical Plant Department (PPD) replaced the metal halide light fixtures in the Alfond Ice Rink with a new, more efficient, light emitting diode (LED) alternative. The project was initiated to improve lighting in the facility. PPD used the opportunity to evaluate a number of options and settled on the LED lamps.

The LED lamps will provide financial savings. First, they use less electricity than their metal halide counterparts. The LED fixture mimics the light output from the metal halide fixture using approximately 45 percent less electricity, and the units produce a lot less heat. In an ice arena this is important as the facilities’ cooling system will not have to work as hard to maintain the ice surface.

Second, the LED lamps will last a longer than metal halide lamps—70,000 hours before their light output declines by 30 percent, while the metal halides typically last about 20,000 hours before burning out. As the fixtures are located 20 feet above the ice, the replacement process is time consuming. By lasting 2.5 times longer, the LEDs will cost significantly less over their lifetime to maintain. Finally, and most importantly, the LEDs perform better than the metal halide fixtures. With illumination now more evenly distributed across the playing surface, the ice rink now meets NCAA standards and provides a more inviting atmosphere for players and fans.

PPD identified and evaluated all of these factors and benefits as part of the selection process. Check out the fixtures at a game during the upcoming women’s and men’s ice hockey seasons, and go Mules!