LED Technology Lights Up Purcell Arena

Author: Rachel Novick


The recently completed installation of state-of-the-art LED lighting in the Purcell Pavilion arena at the Joyce Center has reduced energy consumption by 73% while improving light levels and controllability. In addition to saving approximately 469,000 kilowatt hours annually, equivalent to taking 63 passenger cars off the road, the long life span of LED bulbs will virtually eliminate maintenance costs.

“The new system provides very consistent light levels across the arena and excellent color rendition,” said Tom Blicher, General Manager of the Joyce Center. “The basketball coaches are thrilled with the new lighting – Mike Brey said he could even wear his sunglasses to the game because it’s so bright.”

The new LED lights were installed by Musco Lighting. “The 11,552 LEDs we installed in the Joyce arena were the ideal choice for this space,” said Jeff Rogers, Vice President of Developmental Sales at Musco. “Dimming controls and instant on/off allow for greater ease of use, and at the same time these high efficiency lights are anticipated to save the University approximately $350,000 in energy and maintenance costs over the next decade.”


The new system improves the game experience for players and fans, and surpasses light level requirements for NCAA broadcast requirements. “Photographers and videographers need more than just a large quantity of light, we need a good quality of light,” said Matt Cashore, Senior University Photographer at Notre Dame. “The old lights in the Purcell Pavilion arena gave off a color cast that was tricky to work with. The new LED lights give a much more pleasing and consistent color – it’s much easier to make properly color-balanced images now.”

Musco previously installed LED lighting for the Hesburgh Library “Word of Life” mural, as well as other types of lighting for various athletic facilities on campus. Musco has also provided LED lighting systems for the Statue of Liberty and the newly opened east span of the Bay Bridge in San Francisco.

The LED installation at the Joyce is part of Notre Dame’s ongoing Energy Conservation Measures program. Over the last five years, the University has invested over $10 million in building retrofits to conserve energy. These retrofits are currently saving over $2 million in utility costs annually.