Five Questions to Ask About LED Sports Lighting

Football Field Lighting

The evolutionary process of sports lighting hit the fast-forward button a little less than a decade ago. That, as you'll recall, was when LED arrived on the scene.

Suddenly, lighting was more than just a utility. It was a way to enhance the fan experience, to give the athletes a better game, save money and to strengthen the facility's green footprint. Better lighting even made better neighbors by eliminating glare, sky glow and light trespass.

As someone who is involved in facility operations, you try to balance the needs of your athletes, facilities, community—and budget. You've definitely thought about switching to LED, and maybe even investigated it. We know you have a lot of questions with the primary one being: Is there a reliable system that can address my basic needs and still deliver professional-quality lighting?

Congratulations on asking a great question. LED lighting systems are not one-size-fits-all, and it is essential to take stock of your needs as you explore available options. Here are five more questions you should ask when evaluating an LED lighting solution:

  1. Does the system allow for maximum operator control? Can you control the system easily? Can you use your phone to turn the lights on and off—even if you are not at the facility? What about if you only want to dim the lights to 50% of regular game-day lighting? Or how about just 10% for use as security lighting?
  2. Does the manufacturer have a track record of reliability? A system is judged, first and foremost, by the ability to know it is going to work without glitches. Many generic imports are being offered at discounted prices. These products have no track record of success and are not backed by an industry leader. Be careful if you go down this road to save a few dollars up front. You may pay for it later.
  3. Is the technology engineered to maximize performance? There have been dramatic advances in optic design that allow LED light to reduce glare and light pollution, and ensure the light goes only where it's intended to. Make sure to understand the engineering of the system that controls the light.
  4. How will it reduce my total cost of ownership? One of the strengths of LED systems is that they save you money over time. Lower energy costs, coupled with a lack of maintenance needs, are the big win, year after year. Make sure to also ask about the installation process. Not all systems can be retrofitted to your infrastructure, and not every system costs the same to install.
  5. Can I afford color lights to enhance my game presentation? Although most LED sports lighting fixtures allow for entertaining lights shows, the ability to include color can be cost-prohibitive. Not anymore—be sure to ask if the solution has a color option you can afford.
Football Field Lighting
Christian Brothers Academy, a small private high school in Central New York, became the country's first facility to install the new Ephesus LUMASPORT sports lighting system.

"As LED sports lighting technology continues to evolve, it has become clear to us that there was a void in the market for a high-quality and reliable cost-optimized system that's backed by an industry leader," said Mike Quijano, director of business development & product marketing for Ephesus Sports Lighting. "Our new LUMASPORT system was developed to give all stakeholders, from specifiers and architects to contractors and facility operators, the confidence to make the right choice. We're proud of our team's ability to engineer a system that offers the features facility managers need with the lowest cost of total ownership."

Ever since the LED lighting revolution began in 2012, engineers, facility operators, broadcasters and many other industry stakeholders have reimagined the role of lighting, and manufacturers have responded to the demand. As a result, LED systems trickled down from professional venues to college facilities, minor league areas and high school and community fields. Entire facilities looked better and brighter and everyone noticed, while behind the scenes, administrators reaped the benefits.

Now it's your turn to make the switch and realize those benefits with a product that fits your needs and earns you the commendation you deserve.