The Super Bowl XLIX game between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks in 2015 was the first time that an event’s field was illuminated with LED lights.
While there is a long way to go for the league to boast of widespread adoption of LED lighting systems, these efficient lights continue to be adopted by facility operators at a steady pace because of various factors including their superior efficiency and lifetime compared to conventional metal halide lamps. There was once a time when it was believed that lighting large venues with LED was an impossibility. But, that is changing rapidly with immense advancements in LED lighting
systems. Sports teams are actively choosing to make the switch to LED for a variety of reasons, including the immense savings on energy costs. According to many Energy Service Contractors, sports facilities that convert from metal halide systems to LEDs save about 75-85% on overall energy costs.
According to a Forbe's article, in 2015, an estimated 90% of facility operators who installed a new lighting system chose LED.
A sports facility making a change from metal halide lighting to LEDs incurs substantial initial costs. The cost of installing LED lighting at a typical arena ranges from $125,000 to $400,000. Stadium installation ranges from $800,000 to $2 million, depending on the size, features and installation. But these costs, according to some estimates by ESCOs are usually recouped within 36 months of installation. In the year 2012, the War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, New York (home of the AHL's Syracuse Crunch) achieved a whopping 87% reduction in its power usage. By simply opting to switch to LEDs, its energy usage was brought down from 263,000 kilowatts to roughly 32,000 kilowatts. While LEDs are gaining ground in the sports industry with its disruptive technology, it still has a long way to go before it reaches mass adoption. The overall LED light penetration at sports venues is presently less than 5%.
Pros of shifting to LEDs
All legacy sports lights require a lot of power to operate and generate a lot of heat. But, the same isn't true for the LED Sports lights. In addition to consuming a fraction of energy in comparison to its HID counterparts, LED light fixtures waste very little energy in the form of heat and feature heat-dissipating designs for effective heat management and durability.
The longer lifetime of LED lights is also a major pro, given the difficulty of replacing lights installed in high locations. LED sports lights last almost 35 to 50 times longer than their traditional counterparts, essentially, cutting down on maintenance massively.
Apart from its high energy efficiency and low maintenance costs, facility operators enjoy the excellent light quality and controls provided by the LED Stadium lights. They practically eliminate shadows, dark spots and hot spots on the playing surface and glare in the eyes of the players.
Legacy HID systems provide excellent initial light levels and uniformity, but struggles to contain illumination to the field. This presents challenges in reducing the spill light surrounding the field. Modern LED Stadium lights are designed with optics that are recessed in a low glare shield, providing the perfect combination of high optical accuracy and cutoff.
High-definition broadcasters love LED lights, as they provide near-perfect lighting and diffuse the need for color-correcting and post-production. These lights provide improved lighting for live and television viewing. The focused beams of LED sports lights can illuminate a field in a more uniform fashion. This reduces glare and unwanted shadows, giving viewers a better view of the action. Additionally, LED lights don’t flicker the way conventional lamps do, cutting down on distracting flashes that can be visible during slow-motion replays.
LED Stadium lights represent a promising start for sporting venues that are looking to shift to better lighting. Arenas that still employ conventional lighting leaves plenty of room for growth of LED lighting in the future. Given the enormous scope of this application, IKIO offers Sports Lighting that combines the duo of rugged construction and impeccable lighting performance. They feature intelligent light controls and multi-faceted optic design to distribute light evenly and reduce glare.