Ice Arena Lighting – Wireless Controls, Lakeville MN (Video)

Published March 2021

Retrofit Lighting and Design is pleased to share this case study, featuring a large energy project with the City of Lakeville, MN, as well as our partnership with Apex. This project highlights arena lighting, the wireless lighting controls that were utilized and energy savings in 1 of the 3 rinks that were upgraded throughout the City of Lakeville.

Rexel, our materials supplier for this project, Apex, our project partner, and Retrofit Lighting and Design are all proud members of NALMCO, The International Association of Lighting Management.

Lakeville Ice Arena Lighting Before and After

Hasse Arena in Lakeville, MN upgrading their existing lighting system to LED, including wireless controls and additional energy saving technology. Retrofit Lighting and Design.

Project Location

Hasse Arena, Lakeville, Minnesota

TRC and Apex upgraded the entire facility lighting system at Hasse Arena, including exterior lights, interior arena lighting, locker rooms, corridors, offices and maintenance facilities.

City of Lakeville, MinnesotaHasse Arena (and Ames Arenas [2] – not featured in video)

Project Timeline

2020 – Lighting and Water Conservation projects were completed in 2020. Other projects are scheduled for 2021-2022 for multiple City of Lakeville properties.

Project Team

Cody Capra – Apex

“Apex is a construction management and energy services company. We work with our clients to identify their capital and facility needs. We help them find funding, methods of leveraging energy savings and overall reducing the bottom line and increasing their budget.”

This lighting upgrade project was part of a much larger project with the City of Lakeville for the replacement of two hockey rink floors, a new refrigeration room, water conservation, and energy-efficient lighting with controls.

Ken Gleason – Retrofit Lighting & Design

“We are a lighting and design company. We are vendor neutral and design these projects custom, in house, with our accredited lighting development team. We develop all photometrics and layouts internally and we select the right systems for facilities; we don’t just go to the catalog and pick one that looks nice.”

TRC was hired by Apex as their subcontractor to design and install the LED lighting and controls systems at both Hasse and Ames Arenas.


Joe Bergquist – City of Lakeville

“I’ve been in the ice arena business for about 16 years. Here at Hasse we started with the old metal halides that everybody had and hated; they were energy hogs. Then the fluorescents took over…and now LED is taking over. Switching to the LED fixtures, it’s amazing the difference we saw here. It’s also been really nice having the controls and the different settings of 25%, 50%, 75%, and game night (or what I call TV lights) at 100%.”

Joe manages both arenas and is the site contact with both projects. (Joe also did a quick video for the City, he is a seasoned internet star at this point!)

Core Issues

What challenges were you facing at this location? Why was lighting important to the City of Lakeville?

“In this rink particular rink, and the other two rinks that were done, we had a lot of yellow haze from the fluorescents as they age. That and the shadows on the ice for the players. Video was obviously an issue. South and North teams have been high powers the past few years and make it to State quite often. We get a lot of camera and news coverage, so all inclusive really.” – Joe Bergquist

In this rink in particular…we had a lot of yellow haze from the fluorescents…and shadows on the ice for the players.

– Joe Bergquist

What is the value in the better quality lighting? Tell us about the functionality in the controls.

“All 3 rinks here were under-lit and the lighting technology was obsolete. Lakeville wanted a lighting system so they could televise and control the lighting properly.” – Ken Gleason

“The controls have been nice. We have the different modes, 25%, 50%. 75%, and 100%. The 50% is probably similar to what we had at high light before. So that’s perfect for practices. We often go to 75% because it’s not costing us near anything like it was before, and for the big games we go to 100%. – Joe Bergquist

What value do you and the City of Lakeville put on energy-efficiency, sustainability, and conservation?

“Overall it’s a big energy project. The City of Lakeville is working with Apex on overall energy savings, and TRC was involved for the lighting portion of that energy savings. We are also replacing our ice plant over at the Ames facility, as well as some water conservation improvements. We are taking advantage and doing a lot of renovations throughout this big project.” – Joe Bergquist

Why invest in a project like this? What has the response been to the results, so far?

“Just the lighting alone is the big payoff for us. People coming in the building are just amazed when they come back. Everybody has noticed it. We are just entering in the phase where we will start seeing the big savings on those energy bills, as well as those big savings from the new ice plant.” – Joe Bergquist

Project Solutions and Technology

Lakeville Men’s Locker Room Before and After LED Lighting Upgrade.

Custom quality solutions and advanced controls in the entire facility. We don’t just point to the catalog and pick one that looks nice.

Ken Gleason

Lighting Technology

All fixtures are Lithonia IBG LED Highbay.

  • Hasse Rink – (55) x 284W Fixture with 48,000 nominal lumens
  • Ames Rink 1 – (76) x 144W Fixture with 24,000 nominal lumens
  • Ames Rink 2 – (63) x 105W Fixture with 18,000 nominal lumens

All fixtures are outfitted with Acuity Brands nLight Air Rio Wirelesss control modules. These nodes allow for communication between fixtures and wall stations to dim and change scenes as desired.

The lighting is controlled via nLight Air rPODB wireless wall switch. We installed (2) of the 4 preset scene controls for each of the ice rinks. Scenes were 100%, 75%, and 50% for all fixtures. The last scene was 50% for 10-12 fixtures on each sheet as a walk-through or “maintenance” light level.

“These systems can be controlled from a wall system, phone or laptop. This was two-fold; we needed to increase the light levels and reduce energy consumption.”

Ken Gleason

Hasse Arena – Specs and Savings

Hasse Arena, Lakeville, Minnesota with Updated LED Lighting Controls

Existing Lighting: The original lighting layout and light levels were very good in this arena. The existing lighting system was (55) x 12L 54W T5 HO Highbays that were operating at 708W for each fixture.

Existing light levels averaged 95-100 fc, but fixtures were utilizing 3500K which gave the arena a yellow look. We maintained existing light levels, improved perceived brightness on the rink with 4000K CCT, and a 60% reduction in system wattage.

Annual Savings: 35.78 kW saved, 64,063 kWh saved, Annual Energy Cost savings $8,995.01 (about $750.00/month.)

Rebate Bonus: TRC facilitated a 2020 Xcel Energy (CEE One-Stop) Rebate w/ Bonus for this project: $34,199.79

Ames Arena – Specs and Savings

Existing Lighting: Rink 2 had a great layout with (63) x 6L 32W T8 Highbays operating at 220W each. We maintained light levels and CCT while reducing energy usage by 53%.

Rink 1 was criminally under-lit and had already been converted to LED. Existing light levels averaged roughly 35 fc; well below the minimum recommended for High School hockey of 75 fc average. The existing lighting system was (32) x 301W LED 2×4 Vaportight fixtures.

We re-worked the entire layout and increased the fixture count to (76) to properly light the ice sheet and eliminate shadowing. This resulted in only a 12% energy usage, but it resulted in almost 3x increase in light levels.

In Rink 1 at Ames Arena, The City of Lakeville is also installing new refrigeration and resizing the rink from an Olympic sheet to an NHL sheet. This will result in (13) fixtures being displaced outside of the playing surface. The controls system will allow us to quickly reprogram the high-end trim on these fixtures so they utilize substantially less energy as they will only be lighting bench areas and walkways.

Annual Savings: 18.438 kW saved, 64,786 kWh saved, Annual Energy Cost savings $5,461.05 ($455.00/month).

Rebate Bonus: TRC facilitated a 2020 Xcel Energy (CEE One-Stop) Rebate w/ Bonus of $21,164.07

Installation & Feedback

“Retrofit has been amazing. They worked around our schedules, which are very difficult because we have teams coming in, you have to get off the ice. They did the entire facility, so not just the lights over the ice, it’s every bulb in the building has been replaced. Their crew was professional, they cleaned up after every work day, they worked with our ice schedules taking their lifts on and off the ice; it went really well.”

Joe Bergquist

“Apex has been, similar to Retrofit; fabulous. They have recommended things along the way, offered to fix things along the way without costing extra. They’ve been a good partner for us.” – Joe Bergquist