Best practices for Sports Lighting
Indoor tennis, pool, field houses, and gymnasium and air structures
Because many indoor athletic facilities use inverted lighting, designing and implementing new lighting takes special skill. GUSCO has the experience and knowledge to design a superior sports lighting system that will be energy efficient as well as provide superior light output weather you are using direct or inverted lighting. Since there is no natural light having the appropriate light levels in your facility is important and costly. All levels of indoor sports require high visual levels not only to play the sport but also for safety factors.
GUSCO Energy has extensive experience with all types of indoor sporting facilities such as:
- Indoor Tennis Facilities Lighting
- Indoor Soccer Facilities Lighting
- Indoor Pool Lighting
- Field House Lighting
- Indoor Volleyball Lighting
- Indoor Hockey Lighting
- Gymnasium Lighting
If you have been in a lot of indoor sporting facilities, the one thing you usually notice is the lack of lighting or poor quality light. This is a result of one main factor: many indoor athletic facilities use metal halides for their sports lighting. Metal Halides typically lose 70% of their light output in 3 years! So just in a years’ time you will notice a dramatic change in light output, especially if you are using inverted lighting. So you are still paying for and using the same amount of wattage but only getting 30% of the light output–not really a good deal.
Why it’s a smart idea to use LED’s to light your indoor tennis, field house, gymnasium or athletic facility
- LED’s are the smart choice for sports lighting. A typical LED installation can have a payback period of anywhere from less than a year to around three years. Another advantage is that LED’s are virtual maintenance free saving a tremendous amount of money on re-lamping and ballast costs. LED’s or Light Emitting Diodes LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. Ok…..so what does that really mean?
- LED lighting is part of a lighting group called Solid State Lighting. SolidState Lighting includes both LED and OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode). LED based lights are small light sources that become illuminated by the movement of electrons through a semiconductor material.
- The LED light starts with a tiny chip very small about one millimeter or the size of a piece of pepper. The chip is comprised of layers of semi-conducting material. LED lighting packages may contain one chip or multiple chips and are mounted on a heat conducting material called a heat sink and they usually have an enclosed lens.
- LED diodes, in general, are made of very thin layers of semiconductor material; one layer will have an excess of electrons, while the next will have a deficit of electrons. This difference causes electrons to move from one layer to another, thereby generating light. Manufacturers can now make these layers as thin as .5 micron or less (1 micron = 1 ten-thousandth of an inch).
- LED’s have been in use for many years in electronics but only in the last 3 or 4 years have they been used widely in commercial lighting settings. LED’s are totally different in how they produce light. The majority of current sports lighting technologies such as fluorescent, induction, plasma and metal halides all use the same basic principles to produce light. They are simply using gas filled tubes that use heat to excite gases to produce light.
- LED’s are extremely efficient producing better light while using 70 to 90% less energy and work extremely work with lighting controls.
Lighting controls are the perfect companion for LED installations for athletic sporting facilities such as: Field Houses, Indoor Tennis, Hockey, Volleyball, Basketball, Air Structures and Pools because of the increased energy savings and convenience. There are several types of sports lighting controls such as motion sensors and multi-level dimming. Motion sensors use infrared technology to sense when a person enters an area. As soon as a person enters the area the lights automatically come on. When the sensors detect no movement after a predetermined time the lights can either turn off or go to another lower light output such as 10%. Multi-level dimming works with motion controls allowing your light fixtures to dim to different levels after there is no activity in an area. The lights can be programmed to dim to any level you wish, so if you still want light in the area for whatever reason you still can have it but at a much lower level. Multi-level dimming also is a big benefit for sporting facilities because you could program the lights to run at a lower level but more than adequate level for normal functions. But, during a special event you could actually boost your light level to it’s maximum output and after the event is over return the lights to their normal operating level. Controls allow you to have full control over your lighting by zoning different areas such as courts and half courts. Why turn on all the lights if only certain portions are being used.
Above is a picture of Siena Height Field House. Their field house is broken out into three different sections. Above is the basketball court. They now can turn on just the basketball court while the other two sections are off.
Senia Heights University section 3. The Siena Heights Field House used a combination of Lusio 4M and 6M inverted LED.