WHY YOUR SPORTS FACILITY SHOULD UPGRADE TO LED Lighting
Owners of some sports facilities question how much they will actually save by converting to LED lighting and intelligent lighting controls. A typical stadium or sports court will employ 1000 watt to 1500 watt metal halides which are replaced with our 300 Watt to 800 watt high efficient LED fixtures drastically reducing energy costs up to 70%. Convert these numbers to the amount of hours your facility runs these lamps multiplied by the energy cost from the utility company on your power bill equals a dramatic reduction in the costs to run your current lighting system.
Lighting in these sports facilities is difficult and expensive to maintain. Traditional metal halide and high pressure sodium lighting lasts only a fraction of our new LED lighting system making it a requirement to replace burned out lighting and ballasts 5 times more than LED lighting. Some facilities require full or partial facility shutdowns, protection for the playing surface, and work to be completed in overhead lifts by electrical contractors which is very costly. By converting to LED, you gain the benefit of ‘maintenance free’ lighting that will last decades without the need for maintenance.
Every day we get many calls from potential customers, and each one has a different reason why they want to convert over to LED. Many are concerned about the ongoing cost of maintaining their current Metal Halide or High Pressure Sodium Bulbs. With bulbs lasting at most 20, 000 hours, and in a lot of cases, only 15,000 hours, getting rid of this maintenance juggernaut becomes a major reason they are looking to replace old stadium lights with LED.
But let’s look at the behavior of a Metal Halide Light over it’s lifetime. A metal Halide suffers significant lumen degradation quickly. It is not uncommon for a Metal Halide to lose 1/2 of its initial lumens within the first 7500 hours of life, or half life of the bulb. So at some point, as the bulb gets older, its effectiveness becomes limited, and it should be replaced, and that is probably well before the bulb had completely failed. It does not make sense to light a football field with metal halide bulbs that are 80% old. Even though the lights are still “on”, the field is dim. And even more so, even at 1/2 life, the bulbs should be replaced. Which makes maintaining stadium light or sport arena lighting systems a chore. And changing out bulbs in a stadium is not cheap. These lights are mounted high, as much as 100 feet in the air, so bringing in equipment and man power makes a bulb change an expensive proposition. So it may make sense to upgrade stadium lights to LED to eliminate this costly spend.
For the record, LED’s lumen degradation is significantly better than Metal Halide. Some of our systems still maintain 70% of their initial lumens even after 100,000 hours of use. So when you convert to LED, your days of maintaining Metal Halide bulbs will be done.
QUALITY OF DELIVERED LIGHT
An issue with older metal halide or fluorescent lighting is that the light output and color temperature of the light degrade in just a few years. LED lighting delivers consistent color temperature that will not degrade over the life-cycle of the fixture. In addition, we can direct the new LED ligting system to the playing surface where the light is needed unlike traditional lighting that has“spillover and wasted light in areas that are not needed. This results in better, more uniform light for athletes and spectators.
There’s a saying we like to discuss with our customers, you need less quantity when you have better quality. Let’s for a moment compare High Pressure Sodium Lighting to LED. If you look at the package the HPS bulb comes in, it lists an incredibly high initial lumens value for that bulb. What’s not listed is the bulbs Color Rendering Index (CRI). This index is a quality scale of the light source, a range between 0 and 100, with 100 being the best score you could achieve. With LED Light, it is rare for the CRI to be below 70, compared to HPS, whose score is less than 30. Even with Metal Halide, you would have to purchase specialized bulbs to match LED’s CRI color score.
So how does this all translate into light on the playing field? It’s simple, it makes everything appear sharper and brighter. Colors appear as they should, and are not discolored by the light source itself. And in the case of the HPS light, you have to compensate for the poor quality with more quantity. So our advice to you is to not just focus on the amount of lumens a bulb produces without completely understanding the quality of the light the bulb is able to create. And with LED, higher quality is a good thing!
So when it comes time to upgrade your stadium lights, LED has three basic advantages: reduction in energy consumed, reduced maintenance cost and a better quality of light.
LED vastly improves the quality of your sport fields and arenas. Not only do they create a higher standard in your facility, but they reduce the costs you are spending to light your areas on the back end as well. After the 3 solid reasons it’s time to upgrade to LED in your sports arena, I think you are well on your way to making the right and solidly informed decision when it comes down to purchasing your upgraded system.
Another challenge with older halide and fluorescent lamps is that lighting controls shorten the life-cycle of the lamp, taking a system that is already difficult to maintain and increasing the frequency that maintenance is required. Lighting controls range from simple switches to advanced integrated systems made up of sensors, controllers and drivers. LED lighting offers the unique benefit of improving with lighting controls – the more your LED lighting system is dimmed or turned off, the more time you are adding to its usable life.
Have any questions, comments, or even more reasons why you should upgrade to LED? Comment them down below or if you want to do it privately, write to us!