LED Lighting Revitalizes School Gymnasium


led lighting school gymnasium There's no more waiting for the sluggish, old lights to come on in the Riverbend School District gymnasiums. Now, with a flick of a switch, there's light. That wasn't the case just a few months earlier before school officials invited the lighting experts from Van Meter Inc., Cedar Rapids, IA, to survey and update the 20-year-old lighting in the Fulton High School, Riverbend Middle School and Fulton Elementary School gymnasiums. Thanks to Van Meter, with an assist by Electric Service of Clinton, the gyms underwent a luminous transformation.

led lighting school gymnasium
led lighting school gymnasium
led lighting savings school gymnasium

All three gymnasiums in the Riverbend School District in Fulton, Illinois, faced lighting challenges from both a cost and operations perspective. They were equipped with aging 400-watt metal halide highbays which provided an inefficient light source and required frequent maintenance.

The old fixtures took anywhere from five to fifteen minutes to warm up and reach full light output. As a result, the lights would remain on all day and drive up energy cost.

"Even when fully on, there were lots of shadows and dark places. Light levels were unacceptable for sports and other activities," noted Josh Knuth, assistant principal and athletic director.

The old metal halide fixtures and ballasts would sometimes flicker and buzz and they were getting expensive to replace. The District's course of action was clear. With the cost of operation, replacement and maintenance on the rise, it was time for a change.


Faced with the need to reduce energy costs and improve the overall lighting in its gymnasiums, the District called in the Van Meter lighting specialists to identify and recommend new lighting technology that could offer superior illumination, low maintenance and cost savings.

Working closely with the schools, Van Meter Lighting Specialist Bob Workman and his team provided plans for replacing the existing lighting with Philips FBX series LED (light emitting diodes) highbay fixtures with lens and Wireguard®. LED fixtures are trusted in sports venues across the country. They provide optimal lighting conditions, more flexibility and control.

Sixty-three 400-Watt metal halide fixtures were replaced with 55 clean, cool, efficient LED fixtures. "The LED lighting works instantly when powered on and it can be switched off-and-on frequently without affecting its operational life. It's reliable, brighter, long-lasting and better for the environment," explained the schools' Facilities Manager Gary Wolfe.

led lighting school gymnasium
led lighting school gymnasium
before led lighting school gymnasium
after led lighting school gymnasium

"From basketball, to PE, to band concerts, our gyms are the hub of school activity. Our number one goal in purchasing new, energy efficient lighting was to make our facilities more inviting and engaging for students. Van Meter experts helped us find the best, most cost effective solution to reach our goal and beyond," said Superintendent Darryl Hogue.

The LED lighting has doubled the light level and improved color rendering. And with a 100,000-hour life expectancy, the new fixtures will not require changing for a very long time. The schools will be saving about sixty percent on energy costs. That's an annual energy savings of more than $7,000. Payback, based on rebate and energy savings, is about three-and-a-half years.

Classroom and building lighting is also being updated. Traditional T12 fluorescents are being replaced with newer T8 fixtures for improved lighting and additional savings. "Working with Van Meter has been a rewarding experience," added Hogue. "Their lighting expertise has revitalized our gymnasiums, enhanced the student experience and reduced our energy costs."

"Their lighting expertise has revitalized our gymnasiums, enhanced the student experience and reduced our energy costs." - Darryl Hogue


Van Meter Inc. provides expert advice in the selection and design of lighting systems and more. We welcome your call to discuss your next project. To speak with a Van Meter Inc. representative, call 1-800-247-1410 or 319-366-5301. We'll quickly connect you with the person or information you need.

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The Riverbend Community School Unit District #2 is committed to providing educational opportunities, programs, and activities for all students in a safe, positive and caring environment. River Bend Schools serves students from Albany, Fulton, Garden Plain and Ustick, IL pre-school through high school.

Electric Service of Clinton, Inc. started in the 1940’s as a small electrical appliance warehouse in downtown Clinton, Iowa. Over the years it has developed into a full service electrical contractor serving commercial and industrial customers. The company employs skilled professionals who offer complete service, design, layout, and installation of electrical equipment – everything from high voltage power distribution to low voltage lighting. To learn more, visit electricserviceofclinton.com.