Texas Tornados

Volleyball training gymnasium upgrades to LEDs, benefiting athletes and bottom line.


Indoor Athletics Facility


76 Constellation Lighting Troffers

Financing Term

72 Months

Expected Savings


CO2 Reduction

2,070,461 lbs over the project lifetime


Houston, TX

The Problem

Texas Tornados Volleyball Club, a chapter of USA Volleyball, based in Houston, Texas sought out a lighting upgrade for its training facilities and gymnasium. The utility bills are a strain on the club and take away from the core operating goal: coaching and preparing its young athletes for High School Varsity and NCAA levels of play.

The indoor gymnasium and offices keep lights on all day for practice and training, and on occasion for tournaments, late into the night. Based in Houston, a notoriously hot and humid environment, the Texas Tornados facilities run their A/C unit year-round to keep athletes and spectators comfortable. The prior lighting system in the space wasted electricity as heat, increasing the load on the HVAC unit and making the electric bills that much more expensive. JoEllen Thibodeaux, the President of the Club and its facilities, received an audit on the space, but was unsatisfied with the recommended upgrades and advertised savings.

We are so excited to have new LEDs in our gym! Working with Constellation Lighting was easy and fast!

JoEllen Thibodeaux, Texas Tornados Volleyball Club

The Solution

Steve Jessop, Project Manager at Constellation Lighting approached JoEllen and the Texas Tornados with a full-suite upgrade of LED lights and multiple payments options. Steve designed a proposal that would meet all the needs of facilities; provide the athletes with high-quality lighting, reduce the HVAC load, and save the club about $12,000 annually on operating costs! To streamline the package for JoEllen, Steve included a flexible financing plan powered by Sparkfund, Constellation's integrated financing partner.

Constellation Lighting, a Houston based company, designs, manufactures, and supplies the SouthEast and Caribbean with top-quality LED lighting equipment. Sparkfund, a fin-tech company with flexible financing options for projects as low as $10,000, works with Constellation to provide top-quality LED equipment with flexible payment options - accelerating the installation of energy efficient technology.

Lighting for a volleyball court presents unique issues, especially during high intensity matches where there is a constant need for even lighting across the court while providing protection from high-flying ball spikes. To address this, Constellation Lighting designed a custom lighting solution for the Club across the roof of the building.


Instead of using the same light set to an even height, lights were set against varied ceiling heights. Constellation Lighting used a combination of 48W Saturn LED luminaires with a narrow beam, SK – XG03 150W with a wide angle, and in the peak, a very wide angle SK – XG03 200W LED luminaire.

In the offices, kitchen, and dining area, Steve's team replaced 76 4' x 2' 4 tube fluorescent fixtures and 40W LED light panels. These light panels are drop in replacements for fluorescent light fixtures, making installation simple and providing a modern aesthetic.

The Result

Better Lighting Quality. New LEDs will improve the facilities of the Texas Tornados by increasing the lighting quality in the gymnasium space. High quality lighting benefits athletes by illuminating the space, eliminating shadow area, and improving hand-eye-ball coordination.

Operational Savings. LEDs run at a lower wattage than traditional lights. Lower wattage means lower electricity use and less ambient heat, reducing the strain on the HVAC.

Working with Sparkfund was easy, fast and professional. We went from proposal to signed lease in under a week. Financing energy efficiency projects should always be this easy, and Sparkfund lives up to its name.

Steve Jessop, Project Manager, Constellation Lighting

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