Here’s an important question for anyone who must plan, design, or manage a sports facility: What’s the most important change being made in arenas, stadiums and gymnasiums? Aside from seating placement and floor design, the major change is – the conversion to light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures.
Decades ago, these buildings were lighted by large, inefficient incandescent fixtures. But, that was all the architects and designers had to work with. Of course, there was a gradual transition to metal-halide fixtures, which vastly improved overall illumination and reduced maintenance/labor costs.
Not only is the lighting better for the participants on the floor, fans in the seating areas have an improved view of the action. Building owners and managers are thrilled, because LED fixtures are extremely efficient, converting 70%, 80%, of electrical energy to light. Very little is lost to heat, which reduces utility costs.
It’s important, however, to make sure the fixtures are correct for the venue. Placement is obviously very important as well. The goal is to provide consistent lighting without glare, for the benefit of fans, players, and television presentations. But, it’s essential to consider the specific sport when planning your lighting, just as you must consider the various tasks in workplace lighting, schools, and so on.
You can get a good start by consulting with a lighting specialist who will help you make smart decisions about venue lighting. You’ll probably come across the “class” categories meant to help you plan your lighting. For general purposes, you can choose according to “lux” levels. This term is a “unit of illumination equal to the direct illumination on a surface” that is one meter from the source. Your expert will talk to you about one “candle” intensity and one lumen per square meter.
When you begin to shop for quality LED fixtures for your sports venue, workspace, or other large area, be sure to focus on the specific activity you’re going to illuminate. If the sports activity is not going to be capture by television cameras, for example, you won’t need the same level or color of illumination as you would if you’re presenting the activity to a viewing audience on television.
It’s also essential to consider the efficiency of LED stadium or arena lights, because of their remarkable efficiency. You may use 75% less electricity to produce the same level of illumination as the metal-halide fixtures you have used previously. The color rendering and separation of various objects in the venue will be better for high-definition viewing (to mention just one modern benefit).
As you work with your LED lighting provider and other illumination specialists, be sure to discuss the problems of glare and unwanted light. You’ll need to understand specific projected areas, so that lighting is uniform across the activity. Venue owners and managers have discovered this is one of the primary benefits of LED fixtures. Choose this technology for the efficiency and energy savings, and benefit from uniform lighting that’s pleasing to the eye.