Football Pitch Lighting Setup – 7 Things to Consider

Lighting up a sports field is necessary when visibility is required without daylight for players, spectators, or TV broadcasting. The lighting plan for the football field depends on different levels and purposes, to decide on the best lighting plan for your field, below are 7 things to consider.

Nearby Environment

Be aware of what’s surrounding the sports field, especially when there’s a neighborhood community or businesses around. The light pollution/ glare is what you have to pay attention to. Find out about local regulations and how much light glare is allowed. Follow local laws and guidelines to avoid any legal troubles or fines.

Electric Power Setup

Make sure there’s enough electricity available to power the lights needed on the field, notice the related overhead and underground power lines.

Identify Your Field Level

Different levels of football pitch require different lighting effects and standards. In order to decide on the appropriate lighting effect for your field, refer to standards of different sports field classes, this will help clarify the foot candle and uniformity that will be right for your field. This will also help to decide on the number of light poles that would be needed and how the light poles should be placed, allowing you to come up with the best solution for correct performance at a reasonable cost.

Check out the lighting classifications for sports lighting below published by the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES).

how to identify the sports area class?

Light Levels

Class I – 5,000 or more spectators: 100- 150 foot candles

Class II – up to 5,000 spectators: 50- 100 foot candles

Class III – up to 2,000 spectators: 30- 50 foot candles

Class IV – with limited or no provisions for spectators: 15-30 foot candles

Light Poles Setup

The football pitch usually requires 4 poles, 6 poles, or sometimes up to 8 poles might be needed for a more advanced illuminating effect. Check around your field, find out if there is enough space.

More fixtures mounted on more poles will make it easier to achieve high uniformity, the uniformity is where you need to focus to avoid the hot spot and darker spot, so a higher level of solution usually needs more poles. Meanwhile, the light poles could be set-back closer to the sidelines when there are more poles set up, and the mounting.

4 poles setup includes 2 poles on each side of the pitch, commonly used for Class IV and Class III solution, usually they will be set back for 75’ or 100’ away from the sidelines. Mounting height should be around 70’ and 90’. 

6 poles set up will be 3 poles on each side, commonly used for Class II field, will be placed closer to the sidelines usually about 50’ set-back. Mounting height usually around 60’.

The mounting height is not recommended to be lower than 50’, for it does matter to prevent the glare and to use the light beams correctly.

Choose the Right Luminaires

When choosing the sports light for your project, notice the features such as The Lumen Efficiency, Thermal Management, Beam Angle, Glare Control, Weight, Weather Proof, EPA( effective projected area) Wind rating, 3G Vibration Rating, IK Rating, TLCI and Flickering.


Check out my previous article that guides you on how to choose the best light. 10 Things to Know for Choosing the Right LED Sports Lighting Fixture.

Cost and Budget

The budget includes the cost of the light poles, power lines set up, the lighting fixtures, the heavy crane equipment handling cost, the labor cost, the energy consumption. Make the correct calculation based on all these costs before you get the solution started, choose the best solution between your plan A and plan B in your acceptable budget.

AIKO lighting always provides a budget-friendly solution for sports lighting, shoot us an email today to get a quote of the best cost-effective sports lighting solution.

Lighting Design Layout

Once you have an idea about the exact kind of lighting you need, see the Intuitive photometric effect of your lighting plan, and generate an exact detailed solution, you should put the data of your field’s measure and light poles into a lighting layout tools such as Agi32 and Dialux.

Aiko lighting glad to help you use the layout tools for free, send me your field’s measurements and light poles data to, we will offer you a perfect lighting design.

These are the key things to consider for your football field lighting, if you have more questions about sports lighting, we are always glad to help you out, email us today to get a solution quote or anything we could do!

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