Outdoor Sports Lighting

Many factors go into selecting the right lighting system for sports complexes. The difference is in location whether indoor or outdoor as in both lighting has to be uniform and encouraging. If at a crucial point or strike the beaming lights hit onto a player’s faces a game or match is lost. Good quality outdoor sports lighting should illuminate entire playing areas with low-mast or high-mast pole configurations depending on sports played.

For public stadiums or courts decision should be taken by experts. If deciding on personal tennis or basketball court, then also a specialist is of utmost importance. The reason is placement of wiring which should not impinge on player’s movements. The ideal mode is underground conduit wiring and maintaining high voltage to prevent voltage drop. Another must is maintenance and periodic cleaning of outdoor sports lighting fixtures. A dusty lens causes wastage of nearly 30% of electricity and it is advisable to change lamps after 75% of usage for optimum light level. With more and more sports activities scheduled for late evening outdoor lighting has to be of recommended level to avoid glare or hit and miss lighting. Recreational or smaller sports activities normally consume 200 to 500 lux. Professional games with television coverage and larger spectator attendance average 3000 lux or 300 foot candles.

Controlling outdoor sports lighting is a challenge of quality, design, location and alignment of field or premises. Fiber optic technology is fast gaining popularity due to its safety quotient. Besides new technical trends certain rules need to be followed for placement of outdoor sports lighting. The freestanding outdoor fixtures should not exceed a certain height depending on size and level of playing arena. Similarly a spill and glare control package should be fitted to protect spectators and players. Flashing lights that revolve or rotate or flicker should be avoided unless essential. A level playing/sports field is as important as skill and fitness of player.

Marcus Peterson
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