Football Field Lighting

A lot of firsts and superlatives describe the sport of football or soccer. It is the undisputed premier sport in the world, played in practically all countries by at least 250 million people, and has a following of 4 billion. The World Cup of Football, the most prestigious association football tournament in the world, is also the most widely viewed and followed sporting event in the world, exceeding even the Olympic Games.

football pitch lighting

It is unimaginable how football can be enjoyed by billions throughout the world without football field lighting. It is estimated that about 40% – 50% of football games are played at night or sunset. Floodlighting for football pitch is an indispensable equipment in modern football. The lighting selection, design setup, and operation should be given enough attention if you hope to get the maximum satisfaction from watching the football games.

The Development of Football

The earliest records of football can be traced back more than 2,000 years ago. Various countries claim to have started the game that has the semblance of modern football. They included China, Greece, Rome, and parts of Central America. Modern football, as we know it today, originated in England in the 19th century when the game was standardized and taken up as a winter game at public schools.

The highest governing body of association football is FIFA, which stands for Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Founded in 1904, it has 211 national associations as members. The first World Cup was held in 1930 in Montevideo, Uruguay.

International competitions are held according to FIFA regulations that require strict soccer field dimensions: the length of the soccer field is 100-110m and the width is 64-75m; there should be no obstacle at least 5m outside the bottom line and the sideline to ensure the safety of the athletes.

For a standard football field, the length of the football ground should be 90-120m and the width is 45-90m.

Football Field Lighting

A field lighting system is a crucial element in a football game for all the stakeholders – athletes, spectators, broadcast media, organizers, and sponsors.

The use of modern floodlighting for football pitch as we see them today did not just happen overnight. Football field lighting underwent a series of changes from the earliest time the games were played.

In the early 19th century, when the electric arc lamp was introduced, lighting was not significantly better than grouping a load of large candles to brighten a place up. While being able to play in the dark was a new and exciting activity, lighting lacked the clarity that sports today enjoy from the modern floodlights.

Back then, only simple lighting requirements were followed. The lux request level of lighting was relatively low for athletes. The audience’s purpose was to watch the game, so lighting requirements had to be increased with the increase of viewing distance. The number of lamps is related to the number of spectators. More lamps needed to be installed in large stadiums. Glare control depended on several factors, including controlling the beam to achieve high illumination, density, the direction of projection, the position of viewing, ambient brightness, and so on.      

The lamps today are previously installed metal halide lamps that emit 75-100 lumens/watt. High-intensity discharge lamps that consist of high-pressure sodium are also popular as they are cost-effective. They have a high lumen-to-watt ratio of about 80 -40 lumens/watt. The development of LED technology has likewise started to make LED lamps common in floodlights. In March 2014, the first match was held using an LED-based floodlight. More clubs are expected to use LEDs in their football field lighting.

The Importance of Football Field Lighting

Football could not have reached its current position as the world’s biggest sport without football field lighting. The importance of modern floodlighting for football pitch cannot be underestimated. The audience of the sport, players, organizers, and sponsors of football know all too well what a professional stadium lighting solution supplier knows about the indispensability of football field lighting in the success of football.

1. Football field lighting makes people productive.

Even with nighttime kick-offs a common practice, working people, after being done with office and household duties, can unwind and enjoy their favorite game either in the stadium or on television.

2.Spectators enjoy the sport to the fullest.

Football under proper lighting provides the clarity that sport enjoys from modern-day floodlights and the highest level of entertainment you desire. You can sit right at the back of a large stand or in front of your TV set and still be able to make out every detail of the players on the pitch.

3.Floodlights provide a different player experience.

Using lights like LEDs gives an even illumination on any field, be it indoor or outdoor. This mimics natural daylight and minimizes the glare giving the athletes a comfortable environment. They can play at any time of the day or night.

4.Floodlights provide safety for both players and spectators.

Proper lighting prevents the unnecessary risk of player injury from playing in a dark area. It also deters lawbreakers from taking advantage of the dark for their criminal intent.

5.It results in a win-win for all the stakeholders of the sport.

Good lighting enhances the vividness of both color and contrast for the spectators’ enjoyment, helps the media in its high definition broadcast, and earns revenue for the sponsors, club, and association.

The Importance of Football Field Lighting


There is a difference between the lighting level needed by athletes and the audience. The required illumination for athletes is relatively low while for the spectators, the lighting needs to increase with the increase of their viewing distance. Any football pitch that relies on artificial Illuminance should be guided by the UEFA Stadium Lighting Guide that sets the requirements for broadcast and non-broadcast level games. They are split into five illuminance levels, with the fifth and lowest level (non-broadcast matches) requiring more than 350 lumens. The higher levels require higher illuminance.

2.Illumination Uniformity

Aside from providing adequate and appropriate brightness for the players, high illumination uniformity should also be considered. The brightness of each spot on the ground should be almost the same. The high uniformity of light ensures the consistency of the tone of the front and back screens when the camera changes the position and shoots continuously. It allows everyone, including athletes, spectators, and broadcasters, to keep an eye on the ball at any time.


Glare can be from a direct light source or reflected. Direct glare is caused directly by the luminous body, while reflected glare is formed by light reflection from a lamp or other reflective surface. There are three common methods for controlling direct glare, which include selecting light-transmitting materials, controlling the protection angle or shading angle, and arranging a reasonable positioning of the light source. The most effective method of controlling reflected glare is to make most of the light on the field come from the proper projection direction; the generated directional reflection will not directly hit the observer’s eyes but will hit the distance or the side. Glare can be better eliminated when no light is installed above the observer.

4.Distribution of Lights

The lighting effect and on-site economy are affected by the distribution of lights on the football field. There are common ways of effectively distributing lights on the field. The widely used ways of arranging lights in football stadiums are: four towers, multi-towers, light belts, and light belt light poles mixed type.

5.Energy Savings

Being able to manage the times the lights are used and light dimming to an acceptable level depending on the level of the match can save money, energy, and the environment.

Floodlights Installation, Operation, and Maintenance

A stadium lighting solution supplier ensures that floodlight installations conform to relevant local laws and regulations and only authorized and qualified personnel work on the lighting. Floodlight positioning and adjustments are critical during their installation and setup. The stadium lighting solution supplier needs to mark the position of the lamp so that when its replacement becomes necessary because of the end of operating life or damage, its adjustment to its original position will no longer be a concern.

Lighting devices need regular cleaning and maintenance to extend their life and high functionality. When they stop working or their functions drop significantly, they should be replaced immediately to ensure that the illumination meeting the relevant requirements is maintained.

high mast installation

Why Choose AIKO Lighting for Football Field Lighting?

AIKO Lighting is a leading China-based professional stadium lighting solution supplier that specializes in indoor and outdoor lighting.

1.We provide expert and comprehensive lighting service.

We don’t just supply and install lighting fixtures. Our services include expert consultation, planning, design, installation, and maintenance. We help our clients achieve the most effective and efficient solution to their sports lighting needs.


2.We guarantee the most appropriate lighting solution for your particular need.

We ensure that our calculations consider all the conditions in your place, including illumination and uniformity, distribution, glare control, and cost-saving.

3.Our advanced technology products provide the maximum benefits.

We use state-of-the-art technology that allows us to manufacture advanced products that are superior to our competitors in terms of performance, weather resistance, service life, ease of maintenance, and cost.

We are a one-stop-solution for all your stadium lighting needs. We understand your lighting needs better than other lighting service providers or contractors. Contact and make us your partner in your sports facility’s important lighting. Email us to get your solution.

More to explorer