From our experience, I can say that most sports facility managers, when choosing an LED spotlight, all they look at is the power (w – watts) that the spotlight has; and it is clear that it is important to acquire a spotlight with the adequate power, but the light that a spotlight emits is not determined by its wattage, and neither does two spotlights with the same light power give us the same results on the track.

In this article we try to clarify what in our opinion would be the 3 most important aspects that we should assess when choosing an LED spotlight for our sports facility.

– LIGHT POWER: It is clear that power is important, but you don’t just have to buy based on watts. In fact, two LED bulbs with the same power do not have to give much less the same amount of light (lumens). As an example, our 150w LED spotlight that we recommend for paddle courts (see image below) provides a real light output of 120lm/w (which is a very good value), our 500/1000w LED spotlight recommended for sports stadiums provides a real light output of 140lm/w. A ‘cheap’ spotlight of similar powers usually gives a real output of about 70-80lm/w, so the difference in light emission between the two will be more than noticeable (a 140lm/w spotlight generates 75% more light than an 80lm/w spotlight).

Beware, there is a lot of deception with the lumens per watt (lm/w) that are offered out there. A high-end product offers a real output of 140lm/w; If it is true that there are chips that already reach 170lm/w. It is important to know that a product with high light output must be accompanied by a quality body that offers high cooling power; if the body is ‘simple’, either the chip will not reach those performances or it will age very badly.

One way for the buyer to have guarantees that what is being purchased complies with what is described, is to see if the seller offers the IES files of the product or not. With the IES files you can perform simulations with applications such as Dialux , based on these simulations, once the assembly is done, with a simple lux meter you can see if reality agrees with the simulation; If it does not match, then either something has been done wrong, or the product does not comply with what is described. If it does not offer you those files, it is advisable to hesitate.

– Beam ANGLE: Here is one of the most unknown aspects for many buyers, and it is surely the most important to obtain good lighting. When we talk about good lighting, we are not only referring to the quantity of light , but also to the quality of it.

Current lighting regulations for sports venues basically focus on two aspects: average lighting (that is, the amount of light on the pitch measured in luxes) and uniformity, which indicates how well or poorly the light is distributed over the entire pitch.

Uniformity is measured with a value between 0 and 1. If there was exactly the same lighting at all points on the pitch, uniformity would be 1, although perfection is impossible to achieve. An acceptable value is understood from 0.50, although good lighting would be considered from 0.60, obtaining very good uniformities from 0.70.

To correctly illuminate a sports court, we need each spotlight to illuminate a selected area within the track, and that as little light as possible be emitted outside the track or to other areas that we did not want to illuminate with that spotlight. If we control the light beam, we will control the uniformity.

In sports LED lighting, it is advisable to use asymmetrical spotlights , that is, for example, with light angles of 60ºx100º or 30ºx70º (one angle in the horizontal plane and another in the vertical); In some cases, such as soccer fields, due to their size, spotlights of, for example, 30º can be used to illuminate distant areas or very specific areas.

What makes practically no sense in sports lighting is the use of 120º spotlights (see the ones in the image below), since with these spotlights a large part of the light is lost, either above the track or outside it; apart from the fact that by covering a very large area, this generates two big problems: 

    – The light that reaches the track does so with very little intensity.

    – It is difficult to control the uniformity, because of the overlaps between the beams of light from some bulbs and others.

From our experience, we see that many spotlights of this type are being mounted, especially on paddle tennis courts, thinking that they are a good option (for price) and then the result is what it is.

For a satisfactory result and without unpleasant surprises, it is important before making the change, to have a lighting study with tools such as Dialux , to know exactly the result that will be obtained with the change to LED. Without obligation, we can carry out this simulation based on our range of LED spotlights for sports venues.

– GUARANTEE: Mounting a spotlight on a sports court is clearly not the same as putting a light bulb in the lamp at home. In almost all cases, we are talking about installations at a height of 6,8,10 or 16 meters, sometimes in areas with difficult access, for which reason platforms, cranes or scaffolding must be rented, which complicates and makes maintenance very expensive in case of product failure. That is why it is very important to assemble a quality product that gives us good guarantees of operation.

For more information, please contact us.


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