Let’s talk about Stadium Flood Lights; we have all seen them whether it is while watching our favorite football or soccer team compete, playing in a pick-up game of basketball at the park or spectating at an international tennis tournament. Stadium Flood Lights are everywhere. What is a Stadium Light? Stadium Flood Lights are high powered and high output lighting fixtures that emit enough light (lumens) to illuminate large areas such as sports facilities, fairgrounds, large parking lots, large construction and industrial sites, and much more. Today the most common lighting technologies being used for these applications are Light Emitting Diode (LED) and Metal Halide (MH).
To properly go over the benefits of LED Stadium Flood Lights, let’s review some definitions:
- Lumens: A lumen is the SI unit of luminous flux which is equal to the amount of light being emitted per second in a unit solid angle of one steradian from a uniform source of one candela.
- Foot-Candle (Fc): A foot-candle is a Non-SI unit of illuminance or the illuminance that is cast onto a surface by a one-candela source that is one foot away.
- Lumens vs. Foot-Candles: Simply put, lumens are the measurement for light being emitted from the source whereas a foot-candle is a measurement of the amount of light reaching the object (such as the ground, statue, workspace, etc.) that is being illuminated.
- Efficacy: How efficient your light source is; generally measured in Lumens per Watt (LpW).
- Working Hours: Lifetimes of lighting sources are measured by certified laboratories and measured in working hours, or how many hours the light can be illuminated in its lifetime.
- Life-Maintenance 70 (LM70): Most LED Lighting lifetimes are measured using LM70 tests, meaning that the light will still be emitting 70% of its initial lumens when it reaches its stated lifetimes. As an example, if a LED light fixture is rated to emit 100,000 lumens with a LM70 of 80,000 hours and the light is used 10 hours per day (3650 hours per year) then in 21.92 years the light will still be emitting 70,000 lumens (only a 30% degradation).
There are several factors to consider when it comes to the costs associated with your stadium lighting. First is the cost of the fixtures, unfortunately this is often the only factor people look at as often inferior technology has lower upfront costs but much higher lifetime costs.
Secondly is the efficacy of the light source; as technology improves (especially with LED Lighting), you are now able to use much lower wattage to achieve the same light levels. As an example, older LED Stadium Flood Lights have an efficacy of around 100 LpW whereas newer designs allow for efficacies of over 150 LpW so when you used to replace a 1000-Watt Metal Halide with a 300-Watt LED fixture, you can now use only 200-Watts to achieve the same 30,000 lumens needed. This will of course raise your energy reduction on lighting from a strong 70% to an amazing 80% or higher!
You will also of course want to consider the lifetime of the light source; most Metal Halide lights have a lifetime of 5,000 to 10,000 working hours until it is completely dead. Whereas LED’s are typically 50,000 to 100,000 working hours until it reaches its Life-Maintenance 70 (LM70) levels.
Rebates and Tax incentives are also offered by many government municipalities and power companies for Design Lights Consortium (DLC) approved LED Stadium Flood Lights. These rebates and incentives can reduce project costs by up to 30% resulting in a Return on Investment (ROI) of as little as one year for LED technology.
Designing Your Stadium Lighting Plan
Anybody can tell you “since you were using this wattage of an old light, you should replace it with that wattage of new LED Lighting” but do you really know what you are getting or if you are most effectively utilizing your stadium lighting? How can you make sure that you effectively optimize your savings? How can you be sure that you are getting 100% quality light coverage in the area that you are illuminating? This is done by building a Custom Photometric Lighting Design for your facility.
By using standards set out by The Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), a lighting design specialist can determine the exact wattage, beam angle, position, and quantity of lights needed; ensuring that you have enough illuminance for your activity while not over-lighting or adding wattage to your bill unnecessarily.
Additional Benefits of LED Stadium Lighting
- Instant On/Off: We all remember tuning in to watch Super Bowl XLVII at the Superdome in 2013 and having to wait over 30 minutes for the Metal Halide Stadium Lights to warm up and the game to resume after an unexpected power outage. With LED Stadium Flood Lights there is no warm up time required at all; meaning the game could have resumed right away when the power was restored had they been utilizing LED Lighting technology at the time.
- Better Spectator Experience: LED’s have the highest Color Clarity of any lighting source with Color Rendering Index (CRI) ratings of up to 95 out of 100.
- Excellent for HD and Live Filming: High Quality LED Stadium Flood Lights are 100% flicker free for excellent and clean filming of live events, perfect for HDTV.
- Maintenance Free: One of the costliest and most overlooked factors with traditional stadium lighting is maintenance. Renting a bucket truck lift, paying an electrician, and constantly having to purchase materials adds up fast! With High Quality LED Stadium Flood Lights, you can be 100% Maintenance Free for Over 50 Years (when used 4 hours/day, 365 days/year)!