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What You Need to Know About Stadium Lights?

What You Need to Know About Stadium Lights?


What You Need to Know About Stadium Lights?

The roar of the crowd, the big cries of excitement and uncertainty — these are all draws of witnessing sports live at a big stadium. There would be nothing to witness without the help of powerful bright stadium lights.

Few think about logistical details such as lights in a packed stadium. Many would think they only need to be bright enough to show what is happening, but there is so much more to it. The very dynamics of stadium lights can be a big deal, and if you want to light your stadium or field right, you need to know what is going on. 

The Dynamics of Stadium Lights

We have dedicated massive stadiums to the various sports that are a powerful part of our pastimes. During the day, these outside stadiums are lit by the sun, but to allow sporting events to happen when we want them, we need stadium lights.

What makes stadium lights anything more than some bright bulbs to mimic the sun?   Well-designed stadium lights help highlight the dynamic of the game, giving clear views of key plays without over-saturating them. If they were to only flood stadiums with "enough" light, it wouldn't have the soft focus that many take for granted.

The major aspects that affect all stadium light setups are beam angles, light colors, glare, and photometric studies. 

Beam Angles

The beam angle is the most import thing in stadium lights.   The high-end optics on these lights dictate specific angles.  CAD design and robot manufacturing of these super optic lenses is very hard to do well, however it is also critical to get light where you need it in stadium lighting. 

The right beam angle can make your stadium lights even across the field with no missing patches or awkward angles.   The wrong angles can ruin the effect or even cause blinding cross-beams that can disrupt the game.  Depending on the size of the field and your budget, you can get excellent overhead coverage. Precise angles on the sidelines can help to keep things visible. 


What are Stadium Lights?

Stadium lights are very powerful sports lights mounted at tall heights with small beam angles, usually ranging from 12-60 degrees. With these smaller beam angles, there is higher light intensity within that angle that allows bright light to reach the ground from elevated heights. 

Stadium lights can be mounted at different heights depending on the venue. Beam angles will vary depending on the height. Some may be mounted as low as 25 feet, but a typical height will be between 40 and 60 feet. Some stadium lights, such as those used in major sporting venues, may be mounted well over 100 feet high while still being able to produce 300+ footcandles on the ground, which is a truly amazing feat. Most street lights and parking lot lights, in contrast, are mounted in the range of 20 to 30 feet, with the beam angle significantly wider and have from 10-20 footcandles of illuminance on the ground.

They are energy efficient, dynamic, and easily controlled. LED is the new leader of stadium lights. You can use them for basketball, baseball, soccer, or football.

What is the coverage area of an LED Stadium Light?

A: The most common stadium light is a 30 degree lens. NEMA 3 classification which is the same as a 1500 watt Metal halide sports lighter. At 30 feet it produces about a 50 foot diameter circle.   At 50 feet it produces about a 70 foot circle of good light

How High should Stadium Lights be mounted?

A: Stadium lights should be mounted starting at 40 feet for a 500 watt and about 60ft and higher for the 1000 watt or 1200 watt

Here is the beam angle of a 30 degree at 3 heights; 30 feet, 45 feet and 60 feet.  The first chart shows us the actual FC readings across a 45x45-foot grid.   You can see how intense the light is at 30 feet high, generating very high FC in a tiny area.  At 45 feet and 60 feet, the light has a much more natural pattern.  Particularly the 45-foot height is a nice sweet spot for sports fields lighting.   The 60-foot height will be best in wider applications.    At 60 feet or higher in sports applications, it may be best to drop down to the 20 degree lens that is available on the 750 watt, 1000 watt or 1200 watt.

Look for quality 

Using products with superior quality has obvious advantages. When it comes to LED lights, look for top-end components for your purchases. The most important component of any LED light is the LED driver, and using a high-end manufacturer like Invetronics, Sosen or MeanWell means you have an LED light that is going to function properly for a long time. The higher quality driver means less maintenance in the long term and the knowledge that the light will function as planned without failures and irregularities like flicker and loss of power. Lights with high-end LED modules will also increase long term durability and efficiency, so keep an eye out for top names like Osram, Seoul, Epistar, Bridgelux, Lumileds, Cree, and Nichia.

Ensure that the lights are weather proof

Stadium lights are often set up outdoors where they are exposed to humidity, rain, moisture, and so forth, which can be destructive to electronics. Make sure you buy lights with a weatherproof rating of IP65 or higher to ensure they can stand up to the elements. 

Look for higher Color Rendering Index

Color Rendering Index (CRI) measures the ability of a light to give an accurate color rendering of object. A high CRI means that objects colors seen under that light are very close to the color as it would be seen under ideal or natural light. Look for lights with CRI rating of 75 and higher.

Light Color

There are options in light color, but 5000K is pure white and the color of choice for sports.   Lights color also known as Kelvin or Color Correlated Temperature (CCT). CCT is an often-overlooked measure in stadium lighting. The standard white beam color has been a staple, but depending on the effect you are aiming for you might want a softer tone. 


Reducing glare is a major factor.  Glare can disrupt a game and too much can ruin the experience for the audience.    All of our lights have built-in measures against glare, including high-end optic lenses and shields.   You will also need a proper understanding of angles and intensity combinations for your lights in order to reduce glare in your particular stadium lighting layout and situation.

































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