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Ventura Unified School District
Ventura, CA

GOAL: Improve the quality of light in the high school gymnasiums, install lighting controls, and save money on energy and maintenance costs.
SOLUTION: 214 50-watt SYLVANIA PENTRON® HO SUPERSAVER® ECOLOGIC® High Output T5 Linear Fluorescent Fixtures with occupancy sensors
QUICKTRONIC® PROStart® T5HO Universal High Ambient Temperature Systems
ANTICIPATED ANNUAL SAVINGS: Energy Savings - 193,300 kWh
Energy Cost Savings - $34,070
Maintenance Savings - $4,600
CO2 Emissions Savings - 107,954 Pounds of CO2


The mission of the Ventura Unified School District (VUSD) in California is to “educate all students in safe, healthy, and high performing schools; inspire all students to excel academically; honor the unique qualities and diverse backgrounds of all students; build supportive relationships; guide all students to reach their full potential; motivate all students to successfully pursue their chosen life path; and engage all students to become responsible and contributing members of society.”

“We strive to maintain a working environment that promotes growth and excellence, and good lighting is an important part of that goal.  We have terrific athletes and students in our high schools, however our previous lighting wasn’t providing them the opportunity to fully excel” said Dave Marshall, VUSD facilities director.  Seven gymnasiums were using 400-watt metal halide and 42-watt compact-fluorescent high bay luminaires. 

“Not only did the lighting create an awful buzzing noise that was distracting, but the metal halide lamps drew a lot of power, weren’t controllable and the quality of light was poor with glare and hot spots,” said Marshall.  “When parents are watching their kids play, it made it difficult to clearly see the game or event. In addition, we had to wait for the lights come to full brightness when we turned them on which was frustrating.  We needed something better and someone to help us make the right decision.”  

VUSD turned to SYLVANIA Lighting Solutions (SLS), an OSRAM Americas company and industry leader in energy management solutions for interior and exterior lighting systems.  The experts at SLS determined that United States manufactured SYLVANIA PENTRON® HO SUPERSAVER® ECOLOGIC® High Output T5 Linear Fluorescent Lamps were the right option because of their long life, high quality of light and programmed rapid start operation. 


SYLVANIA Lighting Solutions began this project by conducting complete energy audits for each of the seven schools.  Expert survey specialists generated reports for each of the school’s unique challenges and worked to provide a solution for all.  SLS can provide illuminance readings, photometrics, load verification, thermal readings, data-logging reports, heating penalties and labor savings.   Energy rebates provided by the local utility were also researched and secured, and the savings were applied to the cost of the project which helped the school system minimize upfront costs.  The gym was completed rewired for zonal lighting through switching so the schools could turn lights on only where they needed them, such as half court. The biggest energy savings was the inclusion of motion sensors which ensured the lights would shut off when not in use. “It was great working with the SYLVANIA Lighting Solutions team,” said Marshall.  “They looked at our specific needs and recommended a solution that met our budget and improved our facility.”

When comparing SYLVANIA PENTRON® HO SUPERSAVER® ECOLOGIC® High Output T5 Linear Fluorescent Lamps with existing 54-watt T5HO lamps, the 47-watt lamp offers energy savings of up to 13 percent while maintaining 92 percent of light output and the 50-watt lamp offers up to 7 percent energy savings with no loss in lumen output.  At $0.11/kWh and 4,000 hours of operation per year, the 7 to 13 percent savings translates to savings of $7.04 to $12.32 per fixture per year for a 4-lamp fixture.  The 93 percent mean lumen rating of PENTRON HO SUPERSAVER lamps assures that light levels are maintained while energy is saved, over a very long life of up to 45,000 hours (12 hours/start).  PENTRON HO SUPERSAVER lamps offer maximum system efficacy and performance when paired with OSRAM QUICKTRONIC high efficiency electronic ballasts.

Well suited for high temperature environments like high bay gymnasium applications where large crowds can increase the room’s temperature, OSRAM QUICKTRONIC® PROStart® T5HO Universal High Ambient Temperature Systems utilize programmed rapid start operation for highest system efficacy, longer life and over 100,000 switching cycles for occupancy sensor and building control systems applications.  The QUICKSENSE ballast technology helps to protect against overheated bases and sockets, as well as cracking of the lamp glass wall, and uses dynamic end-of-lamp-life sensing to avoid false shutdowns caused by some static sensing methods. QUICKSENSE ballast technology will also auto reset when spent lamps are replaced with new ones.


“The coaches, staff, students and community have raved about how the light quality is so much better in the gymnasiums with the new lighting provided by SYLVANIA Lighting Solutions.  We also appreciate the new system because since the new lamps have such a long life, we won’t have to spend as much in maintenance costs getting up to the high ceilings to replace them as often as we used to with the previous lighting,” said Marshall.   

As a result of SYLVANIA Lighting Solutions upgrading the lighting in the high school gymnasiums, the Ventura Unified School District projects an annual saving of 193,300 kWh, translating into $34,070 in energy savings and avoidance of 107,954 pounds of CO2 emissions from electricity plants.  In addition, because of the long life of the lighting systems, the company also expects to save approximately $4,600 in maintenance costs per year.