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How to light Sports Facilities

Creating safe and glare-free arenas for athletes and fans

How to light Sports Facilities

Light Sources

Light sources for sports facilities fields have commonly used metal halide and HID technology. Due to recent advancements, LED technology has many advantages and is rapidly replacing metal halide and HID fixtures.

The efficacy of LEDs is much higher than metal halide or HID, and colored lighting is much easier to achieve. For large facilities that want to provide an enhanced fan experience, LEDs can be easily programmed for color changing effects without the use of bulky colored filters. This significantly reduces the amount of labor required for color effects, and the high efficiency of the LEDs reduces operating costs even further. In addition, LEDs require less maintenance and provide a longer lifespan.

The small size of each LED source also provides an important advantage for sports lighting – lenses can be more easily designed to distribute output evenly over a large area. As optimized beam spread is critical, LEDs are the preferred choice.



For outdoor sports facilities, the tightness degree is critical to resisting weather conditions and maintaining photometric performance over time. A high tightness degree (IP 66) is recommended. For indoor sports facilities, tightness is less important, but a high tightness degree (IP 66) is still recommended to resist humidity and maintain performance, especially for pools and field houses. Luminaires chosen for any sports application will depend heavily on fixture locations and photometry.

OMNIblast OMNIstar

Installation layout

Pole height and pole location are critical to determining how much output is required, but the type of facility will also determine installation layouts, as municipal parks or high school fields will require less output than a large major league’s arena. When determining a sports installation layout, luminaires should be oriented to reduce glare while simultaneously providing the most uniform illumination possible.


Uniformity is critical to any sports illumination layout.


Smart Lighting

As technologies evolve, larger sports facilities stand to benefit from enhanced controls and programmability. With smart controls, it becomes easier for arenas to create unique lighting effects that enhance the spectator experience with less effort. For smaller facilities or indoor courts, occupancy sensors and dimming scenarios can help reduce energy costs by turning off the lights or reducing output when no one is around. Smart controls can also help municipalities look for possible failures and optimize on/off schedules for when students are out of school or when a tournament is underway.


Example of Illuminating a Sports Facility

At the new Nándor Hidegkúti Stadium in Budapest, Schréder’s OMNIblast luminaire provides the required light levels, color rendering, and color consistency for high-definition television broadcasting. The luminaires also provide advanced glare control and are flicker-free for slow motion replays, effectively meeting all the lighting criteria as required by UEFA and FIFA guidelines.

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