Lighting Retrofit Provides Safety & Savings for YMCA Swimmers

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Global Energy & Lighting frees Olympic pool of “blind spots”, affording lifeguards improved visibility

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Before the retrofit the pool had several blind spots, each of which required lifeguards to dedicate a significant amount of time checking and re-checking from different angles

The YMCA of Boise, ID, has recently upgraded the lighting system in their Aquatics Center. Aquatics Director Mike Kapuscinski discussed the importance of the enhancement for his facility with Global Energy & Lighting.

As the Director, Kapuscinski teaches swim classes, supervises lifeguards, and oversees the safety of YMCA programs, staff, and patrons. The YMCA is continually looking for ways to save on energy costs, and it is his responsibility to ensure the pool lighting is both energy-efficient and safe.

To demonstrate the need for effectual lighting of a large indoor pool, Mr. Kapuscinski explained a test routinely used to evaluate on-duty lifeguards. During operational hours, without notifying any personnel, an object similar in size and shape to a hockey puck is discreetly placed in the water. The on-duty lifeguards must notice the puck within a few moments of its placement and act to retrieve it. However, due to an occurrence known as “blind spots”, this test proved difficult for lifeguards at the facility.

Blind spots are small areas of the pool where visibility is obscured by dim light at the bottom and bright light reflection on the surface. Variations in light output from the old lamps made dramatic differences in visibility depending on where one stood. Mr. Kapuscinski commented, “Before the retrofit the pool had several blind spots, each of which required lifeguards to dedicate a significant amount of time checking and re-checking from different angles.”

Because blind spots made it difficult to recognize a drowning swimmer, lifeguards were forced to devote an unbalanced amount of attention to them, leaving the rest of the pool less adequately observed.

With the new illumination from Global Energy & Lighting, the blind spots that once plagued the pool are gone. Pucks used in the lifeguard tests are easily recognizable from the poolside or tower. Additionally, because the retrofit kits provide projected lifetimes of 50k+ hours, with only 10% light variance over that lifetime, the retrofit effectively eliminated light variance over the pool.

In total, the YMCA replaced the 400-watt metal-halide systems with 140-watt CeramaTek kits, cutting annual energy costs by 67%, and reducing carbon emissions by 1.3 tons. With the retrofit complete, the YMCA is on track to achieve a 1.8-year return on their investment.

The YMCA has always cultivated a socially active and environmentally conscious image. Through this lighting retrofit they continue to set an example to businesses and communities for sustainability and efficiency, while also demonstrating their commitment to the safety of their patrons. Global Energy & Lighting is proud to help the YMCA achieve safety and sustainability, both in business and recreation.

About Global Energy & Lighting
Global Energy & Lighting manufactures and distributes cost-effective, energy-efficient commercial lighting solutions. The executive team is headquartered in Eagle, Idaho, R&D in San Jose, and international sales offices located in Dubai and Malaysia. With an R&D team that is continually working toward innovations that will increase energy performance and efficiency, Global products are engineered to the highest standards. The company also looks to outside consultants to further ensure the integrity of its products.

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Grant Stephens
since: 10/2013
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Global Energy & Lighting
since: 10/2013
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