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LED Lighting in Walker Field House

In an effort from Vassar College to reduce the amount of energy consumed, the dated light system in Walker Field House has been replaced with a new, energy-efficient LED light system. Walker Field House, built in 1982, houses multiple courts, Kresge Pool, administrative offices, and a sports medicine facility. The former lights were inefficient and the bulbs were costly to replace to every 2-3 years.

The new LED lights are up to 50% more efficient and the reduced cost of maintaining the new lights and the lowered energy usage means that the new LED light system will pay for itself within five years. The new lights are expected to last up to twenty years before needing to be replaced.

The new lights have been installed everywhere in the field house and the change is especially noticeable in the pool where a brighter aesthetic has been brought to the formerly dim and moody pool. Kim Culligan, the Associate Director of Athletics, said that “the new lights in Kresge Pool have significantly improved the facility” and “that all who use the pool appreciate the drastic difference between the dark and drab past [lights] and the new bright and light quality the LED lighting has provided.” Assistant Swim Coach Daniel Koenig said, “the lights have a been a dramatic improvement” and that during a swim meet against swim team alumni, “they couldn’t stop rubbernecking to look at the lights!”

The offset carbon emissions due to the lowered energy usage is equivalent to the amount of CO2 emitted from 34 home’s energy use in one year. To remove that amount of CO2, 303 acres of U.S forests would need to absorb carbon for one year. To this Kim Culligan stated that, “The conservation of energy coupled with the significant cost savings as well as the enhancement of the pool itself is outstanding!”

The LED light system was an effort from the Sustainability Office and Vassar College to meet the college’s policy to reduce energy consumption with ultimate goal of reducing net carbon emissions to zero by 2030.

Jose Vargas ‘18 and Rachel Strout ‘20, Sustainability Interns