Five reasons LED lighting systems are perfect for high school football fields

high school football field lighting

Upgrading the lighting system at a high school football field has something for everyone, even the people in charge of the budget. Replacing old halide lamps with LEDs offer an immediate improvement across a range of considerations, including lower electricity and maintenance costs.

Let’s look at a few ways LED lights hit the sweet spots for high schools.

1. Better light quality helps player performance and safety

LED lights are nearly glare- and halo-free. Whether a player is looking up to catch a pass or bring down a kick-off or keeping his eyes locked on the man he’s covering, the light will work in his favor. There won’t be “dead zones” where the ball disappears in a haze. Players won’t have a momentary lapse in concentration as they “blink out” the light after looking up and down. They’ll see what there is to see, which reduces the risk of a bobbled play or an injury.

2. Neighbors like them

High schools are part of their community, and usually, this is a great thing! But not always, not when the community has something to complain about.

Large stadiums with lots of old-school halide lamps end up lighting up the whole neighborhood. People a few blocks away turn off their lights to watch a movie or go to bed but, thanks to the stadium, their living room is still bright enough to read a book. That’s the sort of thing that will cause them to petition the city council to require all games to end by 9 pm so the lights can be off by 10 pm. Or it could be the sort of thing that causes them to vote down the next budget proposal that increases funding for the high school athletics department.

LED lights send their light only where it’s supposed to go: down towards the field. This is a feature of the lamps themselves, and stadiums can go one step further by installing attachments that reflect what little light spillage there is back towards the field.

LED sports lighting systems are also easy to control and customize. People who live nearby may be OK with stray lighting one night a week, but no more than that. This could limit how much you can use your field throughout the week and throughout the year. 

With an LED system, the team using the field can turn on only the lights they need: half the field for marching band practice, the full field at partial lighting levels for soccer practice, and then everything at full blast on game night. And, if an event ends early or late, keeping the lights on or turning them off is as easy as pressing a button: no more waiting an additional hour for someone from the maintenance staff to come down and operate the lighting panel.

3. LED lights create a better fan experience in person and at home

Fans will benefit from the crisp, clear views LED lights provide just as much as the players do. They will also get to enjoy entertaining light routines that are simple for the facility staff to operate. The stadium can have “dancing lights” as the players come out of the tunnel, a narrow band of light on the starting lineup during the national anthem or a light display that goes along with the school fight song after a touchdown. These are all easy to program and execute, and take place without interrupting or delaying the flow of play on the field.

LED lights are also better for the cameras. The uniform light saturation, lack of glare and unobtrusive fixtures will make your games more attractive to broadcasters and streaming services.

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4. LED lighting systems save money in all sorts of ways

Installing an LED sports lighting system for a football field costs more than installing a halide lighting system. After that, it’s all savings.

LED lamps use about two-thirds the amount of electricity as halide lamps for a given illuminance level. Boom, that’s direct savings off of your electricity bill. They will also be on for less time each week since you won’t need to have the full stadium lit for every practice, game, and special event. You only turn on the lights you need, so you only pay for the electricity you actually need. No wasted light means no wasted money.

LED lamps also last longer than halide lamps, which means you’ll be buying fewer replacement ballasts over the life of the system and you won’t have to pay the electrician as much for simple replacement jobs.

These systems are also more weather resilient, from the poles to the lamps themselves. This will cut down on having to repair or replace equipment that gets damaged due to high winds or snow.

5. They can even help high schools raise money

Happy people are generous people, and we just went through a bunch of ways LED lights make your stakeholders happier. If the community is happy, they’ll approve higher budgets and become sponsors. If the fans and alumni enjoy the games more, they’ll make more donations. When your games are on TV, you bring in direct revenue from the broadcast and attract even more sponsors and donors. 

Our cost calculators are the perfect way for high school athletic directors and facility managers to get an estimate of an LED lighting system for their football fields. Take a look, see how much they cost, figure out how much you’ll save and then get creative with what else you can do with new lights.