LED sports lighting, like every LED lighting product, is quickly gaining in popularity. Professional sports venues are leading the way, and close to 40 percent already have LED technology in place. As such, it won’t be long before LED fixtures are featured in sports venues of all shapes and sizes, because LED lighting is an upgrade over metal halide technology in every way. For example, compared to metal halide lighting, LEDs are:

  • More efficient
  • Longer lasting
  • Practically maintenance free
  • Better performing
  • Easier to control

With those advantages, LED lighting is the best option for everything from neighborhood to professional sports venues.

LED Sports Lighting Is Neighborhood-Friendly

Professional sports stadiums have plenty of room to work with, but neighborhood parks and fields do not. Many of them are adjacent to or inside of neighborhoods, and here, light pollution is a major concern. Homeowners don’t want light spilling through their windows every time a game is played.

Those homeowners would be happier if their neighborhood park had LED lighting in place instead of metal halide fixtures. That’s because LED lighting is directional due to its engineering. It can be aimed and focused wherever it is needed, like on a sports field. Metal halides, though, are radiant and emit light in all directions, which results in a lot of light pollution.

If uncontrolled light is a problem for certain neighborhood parks, LED fixtures are a proven solution.

Timers Are A Good Fit For LED Lighting Close To Neighborhoods

LED sports lighting can be tied to a variety of system controls, including timers. Timers are particularly helpful in reducing unwanted light spill, as they can be used to switch the lights off at a predetermined time. This will keep the fixtures from running late into the night.

LEDs Maintain Their Performance As They Age

Every fixture fails differently. Fluorescent tubes flicker and hum. Pressurized sodium lamps change color and switch on and off. Metal halides drop in output, sometimes dramatically. LED lamps, however, do not suffer from major performance drops as they age. Because LED sports lights consist of many diodes on a single chip, if a few fail early it’s often impossible to notice. LED lighting is more likely to maintain its performance as it ages, then.

LED Sports Lighting Offers A Quick Return On Investment

While LED lighting does require a larger upfront investment than metal halides, initial costs are more than made up for during the system’s life. There are two reasons why LEDs can pay for themselves within five to 10 years.

  • Greater energy efficiency – LED sports lighting is more efficient than other lighting technologies, so its operating costs are minimal. Compared to metal halides, LED fixtures can produce more illumination with about half of the power.
  • Reduced maintenance costs – This is where sports venues can put a real dent into their operating costs. LED fixtures are nearly maintenance free during their lifespan, which can be up to 100,000 hours in some cases. In that same timespan, a metal halide lamp will need to be replaced several times. By cutting out maintenance costs, you’ll see a return on your LED lighting investment much faster.

Rebates And Government Programs Can Reduce Installation Costs Further

Depending on where your arena or field is, there may be additional opportunities to reduce installation costs. There are local, state and federal programs available that incentivize switching to LED lighting. Tax deductions, for example, are available to facilities that make major improvements to their lighting efficiency. Though these programs can be confusing to leverage without expert help (a lighting expert can help), they can dramatically reduce the cost of installation.

Need To Make A Fast Switch To LED Sports Lighting? Consider A Retrofit

It’s easy to make a strong case for LED sports lighting, but overhauling an existing metal halide system can be daunting, even for neighborhood sport fields. To overcome this challenge, lighting manufacturers have produced retrofit-ready LED fixtures that can plug into an existing lighting system.

There are several types of LED fixtures designed for retrofitting, but some are simple enough to plug right in and run on an existing ballast. Other forms of retrofit LEDs can run without a connection to the ballast or on a separate driver, but these require more work to install. The point is, retrofitting LED is a viable option for sports venues that could use a lighting upgrade, but don’t want to shut everything down for weeks while a full replacement is handled.

Controllability Is A Standout Feature Of LED Lighting

LED lighting is a product of modern engineering, so it is designed to work with modern controls. There’s no metal filament or gas chamber to manage, only easily controllable circuitry. As such, nearly any lighting control on the market can be used with LED sports lighting.

Timers, already mentioned, are a popular option for arenas and fields, but they aren’t the only option. Photocells can be incorporated into LED fixtures, so when there isn’t enough ambient light present, the LED lighting automatically kicks on. It then switches off automatically when the sun is back, so the lamps are only on when needed. Occupancy controls, like motion sensors, are also an option, but these are usually reserved for smaller spaces like tennis courts and indoor basketball courts. Dimmers are another popular addition to an LED lighting system, as they allow for precise control over output levels. This makes it easy to maximize comfort and visibility for players and spectators alike.

Sports Have Never Looked So Good With LED Lighting

Now and into the foreseeable future, no other fixture can compete with LED sports lighting. It ranks at or near the top in reliability, longevity, efficiency, performance and controllability. Even if LED lighting comes with a higher upfront cost, then, it’s a cost that’s easy to justify and zero out before long.

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