There is an increasing need for hockey facilities to be used for longer periods each day. In most cases this requires the use of artificial hockey pitch lighting.
This not only maximizes the value of any investment in a synthetic turf pitch because the pitch can be used for longer periods (e.g. when it is dark), but also enables the use of the pitch when it would otherwise be unusable.
Training can be carried out on an evening and also matches can be held in the evening when spectators are more able to attend.
However, it is important that the appropriate type and quality of hockey pitch lighting are used for three fundamental reasons:
to ensure the safety of the players and other people involved in the game
to provide better viewing for spectators
to ensure that the significant amount of money spent on the installation has been well spent
Lux levels of hockey pitch lighting
Many league and cup competitions specify the minimum level of lighting they require, and artificial grass pitches designed for multi-sport should ensure that their proposed lighting considers the needs of all the various sports to be played.
Where no requirements are stated the minimum levels of performance should be in accordance with FIH and or English Hockey recommendations. Care must be taken to ensure that the lighting design produces uniformity of the required illumination and that glare and light pollution are minimized.
Lighting of full size pitches is normally achieved by 2 or 3 lamps mounted onto a 6 or 8 column system (15m or 16m high) which is positioned along the side of the pitch outside the fence-line. Columns may be hinged for ease of maintenance. A unit is required to house the controls and a 3-phase supply may be required.
To minimise running costs and for flexibility of use, the lighting system should allow part illumination of the pitch (half pitch and/or thirds) and a lower level of lighting for training.
Hockey requires a minimum maintained average illumination of 500 to 750 lux depending on level of play. For Razorlux where football is the primary sport and hockey is secondary a minimum level of 350 lux may be used.