Problem Solver - August 2009
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Lighting Your Sports Fields

When you add lights to your sports field, you vastly expand your programming capability. Whether its peewee football or a pickup game of soccer for local grownups, players will be delighted when the play can extend past sunset.

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

A: No matter what sport is played on your fields, you'll want to find a lighting company that can customize the design to suit your individual needs. There are basic requirements for every project that will impact the design. For example, the field area has a major impact—a football field must be illuminated differently from a soccer field or a baseball diamond. In addition, your lighting designer will need to consider ballast requirements, effective projected area, lamp tilt factor, spill light control, glare, pole height, and beam spread. Going with an experienced lighting design team will ensure you don't leave anything out.

Q: The neighbors are concerned that once we add lighting, it will create a disturbance and light up their properties, rather than just our ballfields.

A: It's important to be a good neighbor, whether that means stopping games before bedtime or making sure your lights are lighting up your fields and not your neighbors' lawns.

Spill light control is one of the major factors you must consider when lighting your field. Manufacturers have designed luminaires specifically to control spill light. Some features, such as visors, internal and external louvers and lamp shields, will help.

Go with a lighting system that is designed to reduce spill light, and your neighbors will thank you. In addition, you'll be wasting less energy as the light you do provide shines only on your field, and not where you don't need it.

Q: Can we control our lights from off site?

A: Manufacturers now offer remote control units that allow you to monitor, schedule and control your lighting system from off site, from a computer or even from your telephone. This will help you reduce the expense of having staff personally visit the site to turn the lights on or off, and you'll also be less likely to suffer slipups from facility users forgetting to shut the lights off when they leave. When a game is cancelled or rained out, you'll be able to quickly and easily change the settings.

Qualite Sports Lighting Inc.: