How to design golf course lighting?

Golf course lighting is different from general sports lighting. It has a large illuminated area, strong directional lighting, and requires high illuminance. The lighting must allow the golfer to clearly observe the flight path of the ball in space and the approximate location of the landing point. At the same time, the lighting design must also pay attention to the lane lighting and the ambient lighting around the fairway. The above are the lighting requirements for golf courses. Combining the above requirements organically, the comprehensive design can meet the lighting effect of the golf course.

To play golf at night, there must be lighting with sufficient illuminance, which puts forward quite high requirements for golf course lighting. Golf course lighting requirements are different from other sports field lighting, and the issues to be considered are different from other sports fields. The golf course has a large area, many times larger than other sports fields, and is divided into many fairways. For a golf course with a par of 72, there are 18 fairways and 18 holes. In addition, the direction of the fairway is basically one-way, and most of the adjacent fairways are one-way, and the terrain of the fairway changes in various ways, with ups and downs. This makes the positioning of the light pole, the type of light source and the direction of light projection of the lamp obviously different from other sports fields. The design of golf course lighting is more complex and challenging.

Golf is an outdoor sport that makes full use of space. People walk on the grass, and the ball flies in a space of 10-20 m. When considering the lighting of the course, not only the illuminance of the golfers walking and the illuminance of the ball falling on the lawn should be considered, but more importantly, the light in the upper space of the course should be as uniform as possible. For example, flood lighting is adopted, and one or more large-area light sources or small light sources from multiple directions are used to make the lighting soft and meet the visual requirements of golfers. In a golf course, a golf hole is mainly composed of three parts. Tee, fairway and green. Among them, the fairway part includes bunkers, pools, bridges, slopes, hills, long grasses, golf balls, car path and other different sections.

Due to the different design styles of each course, the arrangement of these parts in the course is also different. Bunkers, pools and long grasses are defined as course obstacles in the “Rules of Golf”. They will make golfers feel a challenge, so night lighting must also take them into consideration in order to facilitate their due role. Proper lighting arrangements can also increase the fun and challenge of playing golf at night. For each hole, the tee is the primary area, and the lighting here should be designed so that left-handed or right-handed players can see the ball and the end of the driver well without hindering the tee shot.

The horizontal illuminance is generally required to reach 100-150lx, and the lamps are mainly floodlights with wide light distribution. Light from two directions as much as possible to avoid the shadow of the ball, club or golfer from affecting the player’s vision. When installing, the light pole is usually installed at least 1.5m from the rear edge of the tee. For a tee table with a larger area, multi-directional lighting is required. The installation height of the lighting fixtures on the tee table should be greater than or equal to half of the total length of the tee table, but at least not less than 9m. The installation practice shows that increasing the installation height will effectively improve the lighting effect of the tee table, such as lighting with a 14m high pole, the effect is much better than using a 9m low pole lighting.

The position of the fairway part of each hole is integrated with the natural landform, and the width varies according to the difficulty of hitting the golf ball designed by the hole. The range is between 32m and 55m, and the average width is about 41m. The perimeter of a typical fairway curves throughout, widest at the landing area. Therefore, for the lighting design of the fairway, you can consider using narrow light distribution floodlights for tracking lighting from both sides to ensure sufficient vertical illuminance. The relevant vertical plane refers to a facade perpendicular to the centerline of the fairway. Its width is the total width of the fairway at this point, and the height is about 15 m from the height of the centerline of the fairway to its top. This vertical plane is located at the midpoint of the two light poles of the fairway. Practice has shown that if these vertical surfaces are selected in the landing area, the effect on hitting the ball is better.

It is also necessary to design certain lighting illuminance for on-site obstacle areas, such as bunkers, pools, and small bridges, which can be between 30 and 75lx, so as to ensure that golfers can hit the ball again smoothly when they hit these areas out. At the same time, proper design of these local lighting can also add a bit of charm to the golf course at night. The golfer hits the ball through the fairway, hits the ball on the green, and puts the ball into the hole to complete the shot of the hole. The green, as the end of the hole, is generally higher than the fairway, and has high requirements for its horizontal illuminance, which is generally required to be 200-250lx, and the ratio of the maximum horizontal illuminance to the minimum horizontal illuminance is not greater than 3:1. Since golfers can push the ball from all directions to the hole on the green, the lighting of the green area must be designed to have at least two directions of illumination to minimize shadows. The light pole is installed in the 40-degree shadow area in front of the green area, and the distance between the lamps is less than or equal to three times the height of the light pole, so the lighting effect is better.

When setting up lighting poles, it is necessary to consider that the light irradiation cannot affect the golfers’ hitting the ball, and do not cause harmful glare to the golfers on this fairway or other fairways. The forms of glare include direct glare, reflected glare, glare caused by extremely high brightness contrast, and glare caused by visual discomfort. For the lighting golf course, the light projection direction setting of the light is basically along the hitting direction. When there are no adjacent fairways, the impact of glare is less, but for adjacent fairways, because the two fairways hit the ball in opposite directions and the light projection directions are opposite, the lights adjacent to the fairways will cause strong glare to the golfers . This glare appears in the form of direct glare, which is very strong under the dark background of the night sky, and will cause a very uncomfortable feeling to the golfer. Therefore, when lighting adjacent fairways, the effects of glare must be reduced.

Contact AIKO for your next golf course lighting solution. AIKO has experienced designers and engineers to provide you with professional lighting solutions, so that the light can illuminate where it should illuminate.

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