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St. Catherine's High School —  Racine, WI


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St. Catherine's High School – Racine, WI


High School Auditorium Retrofit


15 Essentia® Architectural Round Downlight
• Color Temperature 3500K


  • 84 percent anticipated annual energy savings
  • Significantly reduced maintenance
  • Dramatic increase in reliability


“We anticipate greatly reducing the school’s energy consumption and costs by installing these new LED luminaires. This is one way St. Catherine’s is helping to preserve our environment.”

— Christopher Olley President, St. Catherine’s High School 


Essentia® LED Interior Lighting Improves High School Auditorium

Reducing School Energy and Maintenance Costs

Parochial and public schools are realizing they can have an impact on both the environment and bottom line – thereby redirecting energy savings to fund school programs such as for textbooks and computers.

St. Catherine’s High School (SCHS), in Racine, Wisconsin is implementing sustainable practices and reducing the school’s operational expenses with the installation of BetaLED® Essentia® luminaires within the school’s John Foster Auditorium – last renovated approximately 20 years ago. 

In an effort to reduce energy consumption and maintenance, the high school recently retrofitted 500-watt T4 quartz luminaires with a one-for-one replacement of 15 Essentia® architectural downlights. The previous quartz technology that was replaced experienced very short lamp lives typical of such systems and the maintenance was also cumbersome, time-consuming, and expensive. 

According to Mike Kost, director of maintenance for the school, it was inconvenient to access the crawl space to replace burned out lamps; the school waited until a number of lamps would burn out before they went through the replacement effort, sacrificing aesthetics and illumination performance within the space.  Since Essentia® recessed LED downlights can provide virtually maintenance-free operation for over 50,000 hours, based on an average yearly use of 0.5 hours per day, the school expects to see well beyond 10 years of near maintenance-free operation.

Energy Saving and More in Action

In addition to the maintenance reduction, the high school anticipates an astounding 84 percent energy savings while optimizing the illumination performance and uniformity of the lighting.  As someone who spends a lot of time in the auditorium, Richard Hagopian, drama department head, is delighted with the uniform, bright, clean white light. 

According to Hagopian, “when the previous lights got too hot they automatically shut off, which would become a problem during an assembly. The new Essentia® luminaires produce far less heat than the previous quartz system and with exceptional thermal management provide a significant improvement in reliability and sustainable illumination performance.

From solar panels on the roof, to a recycling program, replacing inefficient windows and eliminating incandescent bulbs – the school’s leadership team believes implementing sustainability efforts is the morally right thing to do. 

“We anticipate greatly reducing the school’s energy consumption and costs by installing these new LED luminaires. This is one way St. Catherine’s is helping to preserve our environment”,said SCHS President Christopher Olley.


Project Participants

End User: St. Catherine’s High School
Installation: Power Plus Electric, Sturtevant, WI
BetaLED® Rep Agency: Enterprise Lighting, Waukesha, WI