Feature Article - October 2011
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Center Stage

The Latest in Scoreboards & Sports Lighting

By Deborah L. Vence

"We're seeing trends [in] quite a few different things. The one item is that we're really seeing a trend of video scoreboards/displays, and we're seeing that in the past video seemed to be reserved only for larger schools or facilities. Technology is more affordable than ever before."

Angela Hatton

Sports Lighting

Outdoor and indoor athletic fields must rely on quality sports lighting to illuminate night games, such as for baseball, football and soccer. Proper design and pole location are important criteria that have to be considered when choosing sports lighting.

And, as far as trends go, "The latest sports lighting trend is what other lighting industries have been addressing for a couple of years now—energy efficiency. Energy efficiency has been a crucial issue in the sports lighting market. Until lately, all sports lighting manufacturers depended on their reflector/optical efficiency to produce more light on the fields, allowing for a reduction in the amount of fixtures, therefore reducing energy," said Bill Smith, vice president of sales and marketing for a Hillsdale, Mich.-based sports lighting company that provides lighting for single-field and multi-field sports complexes, parks and recreational areas.

In fact, the sports lighting company recently introduced a new high-wattage electronic ballasted fixture—the newest lighting innovation for parks and outdoor sports venues. The new product offers extended lamp life, higher efficiency and exceeds targeted light levels with fewer fixtures. Moreover, the product offers a dimmable option that features daylight harvesting.

Smith explained that while lower wattage systems have evolved into newer technologies, such as an electronic ballast vs. a core-on-coil standard ballast or LED lighting (which, he said, isn't near available for this high of wattage yet), his company most recently has been the first sports lighting manufacturer to offer an electronic ballasted system at 1,500 watts.

"An electronic ballast boosts the lumens per watt, which generates even more light. That—in combination with the optical efficiencies of the reflector—create even further reduction in fixtures and energy consumption," he said. "The electronic ballasted system further saves customers by reducing maintenance costs more than any other system because it increases the life of the bulb, creating a system that will currently outlast any of the others in the sports lighting industry before maintenance is needed.