January 17, 2018

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Ex-Jet wants to light up lamp again -- LED-style

BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Morris Lukowich is with a LED light company and poses with one of their products.

BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Morris Lukowich is with a LED light company and poses with one of their products.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 22/5/2016 (605 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Morris Lukowich would like to help hockey-arena managers around the province see the light.

The LED light, that is.

The former Winnipeg Jets 1.0 sniper is making his second trip to Manitoba in as many weeks to pitch facility operators about the benefits of overhauling their outdated lighting systems.

During the many hours he spends on the ice running hockey schools or providing individual instruction, he regularly notices uneven lighting on the rink.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 22/5/2016 (605 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Morris Lukowich would like to help hockey-arena managers around the province see the light.

The LED light, that is.

The former Winnipeg Jets 1.0 sniper is making his second trip to Manitoba in as many weeks to pitch facility operators about the benefits of overhauling their outdated lighting systems.

During the many hours he spends on the ice running hockey schools or providing individual instruction, he regularly notices uneven lighting on the rink.

Sometimes the fluorescent bulbs are so old, they give off yellow instead of white light.

A couple of years ago, he had two boys run into each other in a shadowy corner of an arena in Calgary, where he lives.

"I went over to see if they were OK, and the one boy said he didn’t see the other boy. I looked up, and three of the lights above us were burned-out," he said.

Lukowich sought out the rink manager afterwards and was told because it cost $600 to rent a hoist, the lights only got replaced after a certain number had burned out.

Safety is the No. 1 priority at his camps, so when he got the chance to represent Switch Advanced Lighting Solutions shortly after, he jumped at the opportunity.

LED, which stands for light-emitting diode, has been an increasingly popular lighting source in houses for years.

"Why not hockey rinks and other sports facilities?" Lukowich said.

Don’t just take his word for it. Manitoba Hydro offers financial assistance and guidance to arenas looking to install energy-efficient lighting systems through its commercial lighting program.

Spokesman Scott Powell said making the switch to LED lights is a win-win situation for all involved.

"We save energy, which reduces the load on our system and defers the need for another generating station, and our customers save a lot of money on their energy systems and a lot of energy replacing bulbs," he said.

Beyond the cost savings, Powell said perhaps the biggest attraction is the long life of an LED bulb.

"They can last up to 100,000 hours. When you have hard-to-reach fixtures, that can be a pain in the keister (with traditional bulbs)," he said.

The Wawanesa Recreation Centre, located about two hours west of Winnipeg, recently overhauled the lighting for its indoor hockey rink and four-sheet curling rink, replacing metal halides with LED fixtures, leading to a 30 per cent reduction in energy usage. One player, after his first skate under the new lights, asked centre manager Brent Cullen how he had made the rink bigger.

Not only that, a lighting contractor tested the lighting levels and said the rink is now bright enough hockey parents and scouts can record video with high-definition quality.

Robin Mitchell, general manager and executive director of the Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sport Centre, located about 30 minutes north of Calgary, has already replaced the lights at the Cochrane Arena through Lukowich and is in the process of doing the same at the three rinks and indoor soccer pitch at its main facility.

"The Cochrane rink used to be so dark it was brutal to walk into. We put the LED lights in and the arena went from dark and black to one beautiful white light across the entire surface," he said.

"Now you can see what’s going on at the other end of the rink from the concourse. The teams say it’s way better now, especially the goalies. They can actually see the puck now."

geoff.kirbyson@freepress.mb.ca

 

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