Stadium Lighting For Football, Soccer, Softball & Baseball Fields

Stadium lighting must be designed with several perspectives simultaneously in mind. Players must see the ball in play and be able to view the field without pockets of shadow or blinding glare in their eyes. Spectators must also be able to look down from the bleachers and see an evenly-lit field where colors are clearly visible and where the movement of the ball can be followed smoothly and continuously with the eye. If too few stadium lights are installed, footcandles will be too low to evenly light the vertical cube within the stadium, causing the ball to appear to “hop” from point to point in mid-air and making the game very difficult for fans to follow.

As easy as it may sound to try to solve this problem simply by installing a large number of lights, stadiums systems have to be planned a bit more carefully than this. Dark Sky laws that strictly prohibit light spillage into surrounding neighborhoods now exist in almost every part of the country. Stadium lighting fixtures must target the light in such a way that it only illuminates desired areas within the stadium and does not generate wasted spill light that will annoy nearby residents and business owners.

Stadium lighting design depends upon the skill level of the players and the number of spectators. The greater the number of spectators, the greater the distance they tend to be seated away from the field and the players. This means the lights will have to be both brighter and also more precisely installed in order to minimize glare and light pollution. Sometimes a facility hosts different types of sports in the same facility, so this can further complicate the demands on the contractor installing a system for multiple events and different sized crowds. By working with RLLD Commercial Lighting experts, assessments of the size of the facility, its annual usage statistics, and general sizes of crowds attending different events can all be factored efficiently into determining the necessary levels of lighting for a small or mid-sized stadium of any size.

Stadium lighting for arenas number over 10,000 spectators is a different science in many respects, and represents a separate set of horizontal footcandle requirements required for lighting televised events. These facilities will be addressed in a separate forum at a later date by RLLD Commercial Lighting.

In the meantime, there are generally two classifications out of the industry standard four with which we need to concern ourselves: Class 2 Stadium Lighting and Class 3 Stadium Lighting. Class 2 stadium lighting involves illuminating a field for up to 5,000 spectators. Class 3 involves lighting stadiums for much smaller crowds, such as those seen at school competitions and local amateur league games. Class 4 sports lighting really doesn’t fall into the category of stadium lighting, as it involves recreational and practice fields that many times have only primitive bleachers rather than a true “stadium” layout.

With all this to consider, it is important for even trained professionals to take advantage of some of the complimentary consulting services RLLD Commercial Lighting offers to clients. Particularly when it comes to environmental concerns, the many codes and regulations governing light pollution in a given city, town, or county may significantly limit a contractor’s choices for stadium light fixtures and poles. Saving a step on laborious data mining and cross-referencing local legal requirements to technical features saves time and money in equipment selection, proposal preparation, and installation.

Utilizing our online and phone-based resource team will help you determine very quickly and accurately the number of poles you need, the optics required for the correct dispersion of light, luminance levels, and the physical number and mounting heights of the fixtures themselves. Metal halide lamps are industry standard stadium lights because they produce a very bright light that renders color at a near equivalence to natural light. RLLD Commercial Lighting poles can be wooden, steel, or concrete and come in a wide range of heights and degrees of decorative aesthetics. Although stainless steel poles are the most common, many facilities prefer centrifugally spun concrete poles.

Again, it is best to confer with an RLLD Commercial lighting specialist when choosing stadium lighting poles. Our team has detailed wind load charts on every region of the country and can inform DIY electrical installers and lighting specialists of all EPA regulatory codes pertaining to a particular poles wind resistance capacity.

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