LED’s Shed New Light on Sports Stadiums

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Replacing Olds Lights With LEDs

Photo by Alex Korolkoff on Unsplash

Traditionally, sports stadiums lights are metal halide lights, which are high-intensity discharge lighting fixtures. These lighting fixtures typically use around 263,000 kilowatts of power annually in a sports stadiums. When LED lights were first put into War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, N.Y., they only used 32,000 kilowatts of power annually.

Additionally, LED lights provided more direct light on the ice during hockey games than the metal halide lights. LED lights produce light in a specific direction, unlike high-intensity discharge lights, which shoot light in different directions. This means that LED lights can focus directly in one area better than high-intensity discharge lights can.

Previously, blackouts at sports stadiums were frequent with the metal halide lights. It could take the lights nearly half an hour to turn back on. With the new LED lights, blackouts are rare. Plus, it only takes the LED’s 1.5 seconds to reach full brightness after being turned on.

Photo by Ron Smith on Unsplash

LED’s Versatility in Multi-Use Sport Stadiums

Besides the technical benefits, LED lights can also up the entertainment factor at sports stadiums. They can be programmed to a different color, like the color of the winning team that night. They can flash, dim, and even spell out words. The lights can be programmed to whatever sets the mood like for the night. It also adds an additional dimension of entertainment for fans. This also makes sports stadiums lighting more versatile to host concerts, conferences, and other large scale events.

Benefits of LED’s in Sports Stadiums: A Case Study

In addition to the technical and entertainment advantages that LED lights provide in arenas, there are many other benefits of LEDs. For instance, the Dee Center sports stadium at Weber State University has recorded a 70% cut in power used by the center since installing an LED lighting system, which saves the school around $25,000 per year. The lifespan of an LED light is roughly 150,000 to 160,000 hours, which is roughly 17-19 years, eliminating the need to replace bulbs yearly.

In addition to the long lifespan of LED lights, they don’t emit any sound, unlike metal halide lights, which emit a buzzing sound. The bright, white light from LED’s is also beneficial to the vision of fans, cameras, and players. Camera operators at the Dee Center have noticed a difference in the quality of what they shoot due to the lighting. The Dee Centers LED lighting improved the HD definition broadcast ability of TV cameras. This translates to a better experience for people watching at home too, not just the fans at the sports stadium.

The Dee Center has experienced great success with their LED system. So much success that other universities around Utah are asking them about it. They are curious as to whether or not it would be beneficial to their school too. The overall answer is yes, LED lighting saves money, has a longer lifespan, emits less heat and uses less power than traditional arena lighting.