WEST GOSHEN — Ice Line has seen the light — the bright, energy-efficient clean light of LEDs.
Tuesday and today, the ice skating complex is installing LED lights in two of its four rinks. The work is being done by Stouch Lighting of Aston, Delaware County.
Not too far down the road, the other two rinks and the complex’s massive parking lot will be also be fitted with LED lights by the same company.
“We use 460-watt metal Halite lamps now,” said Mike Graves, Ice Line vice president. To cut costs, “some other rinks are going to T5 236-watt but the LED solution will cut that to 91 watts. It was a no-brainer — no bulbs and a significant decrease in energy consumption.”
For a business that is heavy into power consumption, now is the time to be proactive as the end of energy rate caps approaches on Jan. 1, 2011, in PECO’s territory.
As it is, the ice skating complex spends $500,000 on its electric bill every year.
“That’s why ice hockey is so expensive, energy costs are significant,” Graves said.
While most is spent on keeping the ice frozen, lighting is substantial. For just two rinks, Graves foots a $38,000 light bill annually.
But that is about to change.
Ted Stouch, president of Stouch Lighting, estimates with the LED installation in the two rinks is complete, lighting costs will drop to $5,800 annually.
Here is why.
LED, which stands for light-emitting diode, technology has several advantages over conventional incandescent lamps.
For one thing, the lights don’t have a filament that will burn out, so they last much longer.
The LED lights going in at Ice Line will last 20 years and are guaranteed maintenance-free for 10 years, Stouch said.
The main advantage, however, is efficiency.
In a conventional light bulb, the light-production process involves generating a lot of heat. LEDs generate very little heat, relatively speaking. And so a much higher percentage of the electrical power is going directly to generating light, which cuts down on the electricity demands considerably.
The cost for material and installation for the two rinks is $123,000.
But because the LED white lights mean going green, Ice Line is eligible for a 25 percent, or up to $25,000, state Department of Environmental Protection Small Business Energy Grant.
“It is exciting for us,” said Graves, who expects a 32-month payback.
Hockey players will notice the difference as soon as they get on the ice, Graves said. The LED lights will be whiter, brighter, cleaner and will stay that way. The current lamps yellow over time and have an audible buzz. The new lights will be dead quiet.
Stouch has been in the lighting business 20 years, with the last nine months as an authorized LED distributor in a territory that stretches from Harrisburg east in Pennsylvania, from Newark south in New Jersey, and includes Delaware and eastern Maryland.
The installation of LED lights at Ice Line is a hat trick for the commonwealth.
The company that installs the LED lights is a Pennsylvania business, the sports complex that purchased the energy-efficient lights with the aid of a state grant is a Pennsylvania business and the company that manufactures the LED lights is a Pennsylvania business headquartered in Elwood City, outside Pittsburgh, Stouch said.