- Jul 31, 2019-
Industry trends suggest that other stadiums and arenas, both in the United States and internationally, will soon follow. As the sports themselves have grown and evolve, the sports lighting that is used to illuminate playing fields has evolved with them. In every case, LED technology is changing sports lighting for the greater benefit of athletes and spectators.
Artificial illumination was not an issue when athletic competition was confined to daylight hours. The advent of metal halide and high-pressure sodium sports lighting made evening competitions possible. The demands imposed by television broadcasters pushed those technologies to their limits. LED sports lighting hen picked up where traditional lighting left off.
The dynamic flexibility of LED sports lighting allows stadium and arena operators to use their facilities for multiple different types of events. LED lights come to full illumination almost immediately after being powered on. Lights can be kept off until needed, with no delays due to ramp-up times that are typical of older forms of sports lighting. Newer forms of LED sports lighting can also be brightened or dimmed to accommodate different needs for practice or actual athletic contests. LED sports lighting fixtures with different beam spread characteristics and light diffusers can also be combined to create near-perfect lighting uniformity across a playing surface, thus eliminating shadows or dark spots that can interfere with the quality of an athletic performance.
In events that feature fast-moving objects, such as hockey, LED sports lighting offers unparalleled visibility and visual acuity for athletes. That lighting can be tuned to closely match natural lighting conditions, which in turn gives athletes a better chance to react to sudden movements and changes in the direction of play. Better lighting also gives sports fans and spectators a clearer picture of action on the playing field, and enhances event broadcasts, making it easier for television viewers to follow fast athletic action. With advanced diffusers and indirect lighting, LED fixtures also reduce glare on sports playing surfaces.
The efficiency of LED sports lighting also opens stadiums and arenas to more events that might otherwise not be feasible due to operating cost considerations. A large sports facility can be fully illuminated with LED sports lighting while consuming less than half of the electrical energy that would be needed to power older forms of lighting. Moreover, LED fixtures last an average of 50,000 hours, and in some cases as long as 100,000 hours. This reduces maintenance and replacement costs over the life of a system, making LED sports lighting systems almost maintenance-free over a ten-year operating lifespan. Smaller municipalities and colleges that previously did not have the resources to operate event spaces can now use LED’s to reduce costs and to stay within more limited budgets.