SEAPARC manager Steve Knoke looks on the bright white ice just as it’s getting cleaned up. The hockey arena sports 36 new LED overhead lights

SEAPARC arena shinier and brighter than ever

New LED lighting at the recreational facility could save around 150,000 kW in energy per year

The SEAPARC Leisure Complex is looking brighter and shinier than ever thanks to some recent upgrades such as lights and glass

There’s more to it than meets the eye though, and Sooke Mirror met with SEAPARC manager Steve Knoke to get a more in-depth look at what make’s Sooke arena a true darling for the hockey community.

Biggest, of course, is the new 36 series overhead LED light fixtures that illuminate the arena like that of an Olympic stage.

“The lighting is throwing more light at a better angle, because we had pots before, and the light was like a beam of your car, being projected onto the ice,” Knoke said. “Whereas with LED lighting, the light spills out of the fixture, it’s awesome.”

The bulbs not only burn cold, but are far more efficient than their standard counterparts as well. This, in turn, adds to the SEAPARC’s plan to save around 150,000 Kw on the whole facility thanks to a plan to upgrade the lighting to more efficient systems.

LED lighting upgrades includes both pools and the exterior parking lot as well, Knoke added, that as a whole, it will save SEAPARC around $10,000 to $15,000 a year in operating costs.

Cost for the LED upgrade was $200,000.

“The big thing for the lighting is the power savings. There’s no ballasts, we have full dimming capability,” he said. “We have motion detection, so when people walk on, they turn on, but they turn off when the pool is not in use.”

It’s not just what’s above (or underwater) either.

A new zamboni was purchased to replace the rapidly-aging previous unit, and a de-humidification system in 2014 keeps the condensation out and the nice cold, dry air in the arena.

One of the more major projects in the next five years or so is the arena roof, which has seen 40 years of service so far. In 2020, SEAPARC will look into cover the tin roof with a waterproof coating.

And though most arenas get retired within 60 to 70 years, Knoke pointed out the SEAPARC is in good hands for the long haul.

“Our maintenance crew take really good care of this arena, we do invest in it, we do maintain it,” he said.

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