Is sports lighting the most overlooked lighting design of them all? Think about it. Without careful lighting designs, there would be no 'after-work kick arounds', no Friday night training and absolutely no televised screening of major league sports. Sports lighting designs facilitate the world of sport after dark, but they are often drowned out into the background. So how do these essential designs get overlooked, and is that the main aim of the designer?
Obtrusive Lighting defines the level of light impacting the surrounding areas, a great design will maximize field lighting and minimize impact to neighbouring infrastructure. To achieve optimal cut off between field and surroundings, careful considerations should be made to meet the visual requirements and comfort of participants, spectators and surroundings. Lighting designers will select the appropriate location, correct optical control and adequate mounting height for floodlights. This creates the perfect angled line from the lowest luminaire, to the centre of the principal playing area and eliminates the effects of obtrusive light, assisting in minimizing the effects on residents, animal species & fauna. Our latest sports design, Hammond Park Oval, is pictured below depicting the illuminated play area, measuring an average at 75 Lux, in contrast to the a commendably low 2.9 lux measuring on residential properties
Light spill/ Pollution
Light Pollution goes further than assessing the immediate surroundings it also considers the ecological and environmental impacts of a design, particularly in residential areas. To counterattack this the designer will choose specific products that have carefully planned optics. The best products will have optical covers around diodes that reduce the scatter of light and focus the light beam in specific directions. H.I.Lighting can pull the best products, from local and international Brands, and pick the most bespoke, aimed optic for the desired outcome. Abbeville Oval, pictured below, had four x Optivision LEDs aimed down and into the centre of the oval. The angle of the designed combined with the focus of the fitting minimize the lights ability to reflect into the sky and thus the resulting light pollution.
The final stage of completing a low-key brilliant design is meeting compliancy in lux standards. This defines the total amount of light, and uniformity observed across an entire field. Once a well-rehearsed design is brought to life and lights are installed, an audit will occur that entails mapping precise light levels across spots on the field. Lux uniformity is the overall goal, observing a limited tolerable difference between any given spot on a field and the total averaged overall reading. Achieving uniformity means players are not disadvantaged by uneven lighting, and spectators can watch easily without getting irritated eyes, or squinting constantly. The Dockers stadium, below, shows how H.I.Lighting achieved uniformity across an entire AFL sized oval.
A great lighting designer minimizes impact to the surroundings, chooses the most appropriate product and always complies to Australian standards. So yes, all these considerations make lighting design an underestimated forte, but it is the goal of the designer; to make the design so seamlessly perfect that users don't think twice. Use H.I.Lighting to illuminate your sports field, and make sure the results are quietly brilliant every time.