10 Things to Know for Choosing the Right LED Sports Lighting Fixture

When we are looking for a sports/stadium light, how do we know if it’s a good one or it’s the right one? how do we know if the light worth the price or money? Below are things to consider for buyers to choose the LED sports/stadium light.

The Lumen Efficiency

Sports light usually operating at high wattage and many amounts of pieces, which means they will cost a lot of energy expenses, the more energy-efficient lights consumes lesser energy at the same lumen performance, the lumen efficiency is what you need to check considering the energy effect, and meanwhile, it is an iconic specification to justify the manufacturer’s technical level.

Thermal Management

To all the electronic devices including lighting fixtures, overheating is the main killer of lifespan, it causes damage to the circuits and components, the LED chips may fell off and the solders may melt down by the heat. So, when choosing the lights, consider ones that are made with the appropriate size of the heat sink, meanwhile choose those made of quality aluminum, more advanced aluminum has the highest conductivity rate, common products are made with the die-cast aluminum housing and heat sink, and there are some better materials for cooling such as the cold-forged aluminum you can choose according to your budget and requirement. Besides, the well-designed structure may improve the heat dissipation as well, the fixture with a separate driver design allows the heat to flow away better than the fixture that puts everything together too tight.


Beam Angles

The beam angle directly affects how the light will spread on the field. The narrower angle usually leads to lower light uniformity, and as the angle is wider the light regularity gets higher. The perfect right optical angle distributes the light on the field with no dark spot or awkward angles. Therefore, figure out and choose the light with proper beam angles is the key to create a balanced effect on your targeted field.


Glare Control

To the sports lighting, the lights are supposed to be shining on the right target, you don’t want extra light shooting in the wrong directions, that’s the glare, the lights without glare control causes visual discomfort to the players and audiences, and even to the broadcasting camera, the filming quality will be affected as well. When choosing a light, the high-end optic lenses and the shield/ top visor are common solutions for glare-proof, sometimes the asymmetric optical light beam may solve the problem as well. The glare rating value is an important factor to consider.


Sports lights are usually mounted on the top of tall poles, and the cost of the poles always occupies the major part of sports field light project budget way more larger than light’s cost, the heavier light requires a bigger pole, bigger pole cost a higher fee, so a fixture with lighter weigh at the same wattage reduces more cost of poles, that means the contractors may win more profit from their project and sometimes they may win new projects for themselves with a cheaper quotation. So remember to check the weight from the datasheet and compare it with others at the same wattage or lighting factors, to ensure you will buy the light with better value and cost-effectiveness.

Weather Proof

Sports lights are usually operating in outdoor condition, the harsh weather could damage/defective the light directly, weatherproof is essential to maintain the lifespan, especially the waterproof or IP rating, an outdoor fixture should be at least rated on IP65 or UL wet location standard, IP66 or higher will be great, light with these features are promised to operate safely from the rain, dust or blown sand. Meanwhile, thunder and lightning effects are things you shouldn’t miss, especially for lights that are supposed to be mount high on the pole, when lightning strikes around it occurs too much electrical pressure, or voltage overloaded in a circuit cause failure of the circuit’s components, therefore the surge protection is necessary, it protects the electronics from burst voltage caused by lighting or sometimes abnormal fluctuation of the power system, usually a 10KV surge protector will do, but the higher the better.

EPA (Effective Projected Area)

Sports field purpose lights are usually mounting high on tall poles, especially wind zones or hurricane and typhoon area, where winds could be strong and the air are moving fast, EPA rating determines how the fixture will stand in the wind, and a fixture with a large EPA wind load rating will be hard to last long, it may cause the light’s beaming direction deviated, technical failure or sometimes a serious risk of pulled off from the top of the pole. The structure and shape design is the key to handle that, the spherical streamlined shapes are common solution to lower the EPA wind load. Overall, check out the EPA rating factor first when choosing a light is essential.


IK Rating

According to IK & IP Testing for Lighting Products IK “ratings are defined as IKXX, where “XX” is a number from 00 to 10 indicating the degrees of protection provided by electrical enclosures (including luminaires) against external mechanical impacts. The IK rating scale identifies the ability of an enclosure to resist impact energy levels measured in joules (J). IEC 62262 specifies how the enclosure must be mounted for testing, the atmospheric conditions required, the quantity and distribution of the test impacts and the impact hammer to be used for each level of IK rating.”

IK rating is another factor to prove the quality and durability when choosing a light. Sports light are usually rated at IK10. 

TLCI & Flicering

For HD TV broadcasting/filming, lights with low flickering allow cameras to capture every single moment in a sports match, especially slow-motion replay requires better flickering control, TLCI( Television Lighting Consistency) is same important to be measured, it reflects colors more accurate that camera could capture, usually a TLCI>90 will meet the requirement of broadcasting.

IES( Illuminating Engineering Society) file

It is required to check the IES file is the key reference to find out the exact practical lighting performance of a specific light, especially when you need to find the best-matched light for your project on hand, you need the IES to put in the lighting engineering layout tool like Dialux, you’ll get to see the direct effect of the light you’re choosing that stimulates on your project. Download the IES file from the website or ask it from the supplier is always the first thing first when choosing a light.

I would love to see your comments or email: info@aikoled.com if you have any opinions or any questions. Or share if you like it.

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