Feature Article - October 2011
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Center Stage

The Latest in Scoreboards & Sports Lighting

By Deborah L. Vence

"Installation can also be a savings with the latest technology system because of its dimming abilities. Before, if a venue wanted higher light levels for championship events and lower light levels for common events, a contractor would have to run different circuitry to all poles," he said, adding that his company's product series' electronic ballast "is addressable, and instead of running all of the wire for different circuits, it can be dimmed down to the desired level."

Another trend Smith pointed out that's relevant in the sports lighting world is "light trespass."

"Neighbors are always very concerned with unwanted light trespassing into their homes," he said, adding that his company implements design strategies that promise to achieve as little spill light as possible, if not, entirely.

"We ensure that we are meeting or exceeding the industry recommendations on aiming angles to ensure that our fixtures are pointing directly onto the field," Smith said. "We take it a step further though by adding an external visor. The external visor helps further to decrease any light from bleeding to unwanted areas and reduces glare or sky glow."

In terms of business and the economy, Smith said the economy has shrunk many municipality and school budgets, so it has forced the industry to do more competitive pricing.

"If customers do their research and seek competitive quotes they will be shocked to see that a dream project of theirs can become a reality much sooner during these days. Because of the shrunken budgets, most manufacturers are supplying up to 25 years maintenance-free systems so that the schools no longer have to budget for the expenses of upkeeping their system," he said.

And, as for what's on the horizon in sports lighting advancements, Smith said there are many new technologies that are emerging.

"As we deal with higher wattages, only time will tell which will be successful," he added. "After electronic ballasts, I believe that improvements to controls will be the focus of near future systems in the higher wattage realm."