The Dalton Convention Center, in Dalton, Georgia, is a multi-use regional facility. It features elegant ballrooms, versatile meeting rooms, and a lecture hall, as well as the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Dalton Convention Center even includes the Mashburn Arena, home court of the 2015 NAIA Champion Dalton State Roadrunners men’s basketball team.


The Dalton Convention Center was operating with incredibly outdated lighting technology, and the impact was starting to show. Their bookings started to drop, and they began hearing complaints from their patrons about buzzing ballasts, flickering lights, and dimmer issues. The problems weren’t localized to one section of the convention center – they prevailed throughout the entire facility, including the arena. In fact, the light quality in the arena was so poor that it was insufficient by TV broadcasting standards. In addition to the mechanical issues, energy costs for this system were high and system maintenance was significant.


To help Dalton Convention Center address this large undertaking, Eco Engineering designed and implemented a three-phase approach. This approach was based on comprehensive engineering-grade audits of the arena, banquet halls, and meeting spaces. The first phase addressed the meeting spaces. They were converted to reduced-wattage LED fixtures with improved color rendering. Eco Engineering connected the fixtures to occupancy sensors, dimmer controls, and a complete data dashboard to facilitate metered savings. Once the meeting rooms were complete, the banquet halls and arena soon followed.

The control panels for each of these lighting systems not only allowed for verification of energy savings, but they also enabled the pre-selection of up to a dozen different “scenes” for occasion-based lighting effects. The scenes were accessible by any internet-enabled device, allowing convention center personnel to address lighting throughout the center remotely. By the time the project was complete, the new lighting system quadrupled the light output at less than half the energy.

Energy Savings

The project reduced the lighting portion of electricity needs by 77% and gave the Convention Center a state-of-the-art facility which increased the number and variety bookings. The significantly improved quality of light now meets NCAA standards for national TV broadcasts.

  • Annual demand reductions: >1,740 kWh in the first year

  • Annual consumption savings: >461,000 kWh per year


The new lighting system impacted more than the energy efficiency of the lights throughout the facility. Since the new lights produced less heat than the original lighting fixtures, the convention center was able to spend less on air conditioning. Additionally, the newer system allowed them to lower their maintenance expenses.

  • Forecasted energy cost savings: more than $200,000 in the first five years.
  • Forecasted total project savings: more $275,000 over five years.

The problems weren’t localized to one section of the convention center – they prevailed throughout the entire facility, including the arena.

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