Problem Solver - August 2010
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Adding Lighting to Your Sports Fields


f your sports fields are not lighted, you may want to consider making a change. Adding lights to your fields will expand your ability to host games, especially in the fall and spring when the sun sets earlier. But before you get going, there are a few things you should know about lighting your fields.

Q: We would like to add lighting to our sports fields, but neighbors are concerned it will create a disturbance. How can we light up our fields without lighting up the whole neighborhood?

A: Spill light control is a major factor to consider as you assess your field lighting options. Manufacturers have designed luminaires specifically to control spill light. Many of these include helpful features like visors, internal and external louvers and lamp shields.

Look for a lighting system that is designed to reduce spill light. The benefit will be twofold: You will not anger neighbors, and you'll also save resources. How? You won't be using electricity to shine light where it's neither wanted nor needed.

Q: What other factors should we consider before adding lighting to our sports fields?

A: Look for a lighting company that specifically designs solutions for sporting venues. You will want a design customized to your individual needs. That might mean the type of sport played on your field, or if your fields host many sports, your manufacturer can take that into consideration.

Every project has basic requirements. Just consider the ways specific sports are played, and you will understand why a lighting system designed for a baseball diamond will be less than ideal for a soccer or football field.

Your lighting designer should consider ballast requirements, effective projected area, lamp tilt factor, spill light control, glare, pole height, and beam spread. Look for an experienced team who knows its stuff, and you'll get a solution that works for your specific needs.

Q: What else should we consider?

A: In addition to the lighting elements themselves, you may also want to consider a remote control unit that will enable you to monitor, schedule and control your system when you're not at the site. Manufacturers have designed systems that allow you to control your lighting via computer or telephone. This will help save staff resources, as no one will have to personally visit each site to turn lights on or off. And if a game is cancelled, you can easily change the settings to be sure you're not wasting energy running unnecessary lights.


Qualite Sports Lighting Inc.: 800-933-9741