What Lighting Solutions Do Sports Stadiums Use?

What Lighting Solutions Do Sports Stadiums Use?

27th Sep 2021

At LightMart, we are your trusted experts for light poles and fixtures. When specifically looking at lighting for stadiums, ball fields, and arenas, we have a few crucial suggestions to help you begin your purchasing journey. Because stadiums, ball fields, and arenas require highly specific lighting solutions, there are several factors to consider.Our expertise is in providing lighting solutions for middle school, high school, park district, and collegiate level sports fields and stadiums as the lighting is typically under 60 feet in height. This differs from professional sports arenas and stadiums as their lighting structures are much higher.

Sports Stadiums Lighting Solutions

How Much Do Outdoor Stadium Lights Cost?

The average estimated cost of stadium lights is around $30,000 to $100,000. This amount can vary due to the size of the stadium as well as required illumination levels which determines the number of lights as well as light poles required to effectively illuminate the field and surrounding areas. The cost will also fluctuate depending upon the type of lights chosen; some, with modern technological advancements, are significantly more efficient than others yielding potential saving over the lifespan of the lights due to lower energy consumption.

Types of Sports Stadium Lighting

HID (High-Intensity Discharge), specifically Metal Halide lights, have traditionally been the go-to option for sports lighting for decades, but advancements as well as cost reductions in LED lighting technology have led to them being more popular and energy-efficient, saving a lot of energy over their lifespan. In addition, some LED lights weigh a lot less than the old Metal Halide lights, creating additional savings by reducing the load on top of the light pole. The most important advantage of LED vs Metal Halide is their superior lumen maintenance. This means that LEDs do not need to be maintained or replaced to keep their brightness for many years as opposed to Metal Halide bulbs that lose 30-40% of their brightness within the first 2 years of their usage. For these reasons, Metal Halide technology is pretty much obsolete and will completely become extinct in the very near future.

Best Outdoor Stadium Lights

Which Type of Outdoor Stadium Lights are Best?

For the reasons mentioned above, LED is the right choice for sports, ball field and stadium lighting. LEDs typically save around 70% on the cost of electricity vs HID/Metal Halide lights of the same power. LED lights produce the same brightness year after year eliminating the need for replacing them often. Another big advantage of LEDs especially for sports events or as field lighting is the fact that they turn on instantly. Metal halide lights require a few minutes to power-up causing disruption in case of power outage. LED lights can instantly be turned or off.

By far, the most important distinction of LED over HID and other lighting options is that if designed with correct optics, LEDs may glare less . This is crucial for sporting venue applications as all of these lights directed towards the turf can produce a glare effect, making it unpleasant for both athletes and spectators. Some additional factors to consider:

  1. The total number of lights gets reduced as the efficiency goes up (as lumens per watt per light increases). In the early days of LED, 75 lumens/watt was acceptable, nowadays 130 lumens/watt is the norm. This means that each light produces lots more light for the same amount of power it uses reducing the number of LED lights to accomplish the job.
  2. Pay attention to the design of the lights(optics) -- different beams have different patterns. This is also called distribution pattern. It is all about directing the light that LED fixtures produce to the area you are lighting up. It is a function of the pole height as well as distance from the field.
  3. Consider labor costs; the easier the installation process, the less labor you will need to pay for (buying kits often saves you time, money, and headaches). For example: If you just buy LED lights, you will have to pay for installation. If you buy lights that are pre-wired and ready to be installed on light poles, then you will save a lot of money on labor since your contractor will only worry about connecting the light assembly to the pole, saving you money on the labor.

Note: If you are replacing old stadium light fixtures but are keeping the same pole, try switching to LED lighting since metal halide bulbs are becoming extinct.. As you are comparing LED lights, in order to save on labor, make sure to consider how the lights attach to the existing poles. You may need to spend more money on correct brackets since most lights will not just attach to poles out of the box. Selecting the correct attachment will save you a lot of money and hassle.

Specific Sports Field Applications

Baseball Stadium & Field Lighting

Lighting up a baseball field with evenly distributed light is extremely important, especially because a lot of light is needed for players to track such a small ball. First, you will need to take the size of the field into account. Professional baseball fields may have completely different measurements as well as brightness requirements compared to the recreational field you may be working with. To carve out savings, it is possible to share some of the poles to light-up multiple fields in case you have a few adjacent fields. LED lights are the choice for baseball fields because they can last for around 80,000 hours providing great value by not needing to be replaced as often. These lights do not flicker and can withstand extreme temperatures and weather conditions. Typically, these fields will need a total of 60 to 100 LED lights, however, it total count depends on the size of the baseball field as well as brightness requirements. On average, little Leagues need on average 24-36 LED lights, high school baseball & softball fields require 30-42 LED lights.

College and professional fields may need significantly more. The 540,000 Lumen Power Bar Sports Light Package is available on our website and is the perfect package for baseball fields. This package is pre-wired to reduce labor cost and comes with everything you will need to attach to the light pole. If you’re unsure of what your situation warrants, reach out via e-mail or call us at (800) 443-8254 and our team of experts can help you and answer any questions you may have about your specific needs.

Baseball Stadium and Field Lighting

Soccer Field Lighting

Similar to a baseball field, to select the correct assortment of lights for a soccer field, there are important steps you should follow. First, you will need to take the size of the field and required brightness level into account. Measurements can be tricky so make sure this step is done accurately. For reference, a standard soccer field is approximately 360 feet long by 225 feet wide. Soccer lights are installed at a specific height from the ground allowing for more light to shine on the field. Next, on average you will need 14,000 watts of lighting to properly light up the whole soccer field. Several types of light will provide this, just be sure to choose the proper options. LED Sports lights are most commonly used.

Soccer Field Lighting

Football Stadium & Field Lighting

The correct stadium lighting for a football field will depend on the size of the field you work with and the required brightness of the surrounding areas you want lit. It can be a cost-saving to utilize existing stadium light poles should your field already have them; if it does not, you can purchase complete kits of everything you will need including the fixture itself, the light pole, and other necessary components. Professional football fields require brighter illumination compared to recreational fields. For example, Class 1 football fields where the distance from the nearest sideline to the farthest row of spectators is over 100 ft, require 100-foot candles. Compare this to 10-foot candles for Class 5 fields where there is no fixed seating. It is recommended that LED lights are used because they provide the brightest and longest-lasting illumination with the least amount of power used. Be sure to measure the proper angles before installing any beams and light fixtures in the stadium because LED lights should be designed with different beam patterns to achieve optimum lighting levels with the lowest number of lights. Browse your options and choose the proper fit for you.

Football Stadium and Field Lighting

We Can Help You Find the Perfect Stadium Light Pole Package

To avoid complicated formulas and conversions, stadium and arena light pole packages can be purchased. Assuming this is a fresh installation and there are no existing poles/fixtures, one recommended option is a power bar package which allows an easy and smooth installation process. The power bar package and other kits allow for stadium light poles to be installed as a whole solution, rather than in multiple parts. These turnkey, all-in-one kits are what separate LightMart as the premier commercial lighting solution, saving you time and money on installation while receiving a top-of-the-line product.


For more information on custom pricing for Stadium lighting and the packages we have to offer, contact LightMart.com.

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