Gymnasium LED Lighting: How to estimate the costs?

cost of LED lighting for sports halls
Gymnasium LED lighting: costs, benefits and selection criteria

Converting to energy- and resource-saving LED lighting is one of the most frequent upgrades as part of renovating or building an indoor sports facility. Especially for college and high school sports, where gym space is used for a variety of sport and non-sport purposes, the versatility and longevity of LED lighting offers a significant advantage over conventional options. All-proof LED lighting goes even further, enabling athletes to train and play without glare and disturbance while also being able to withstand a stray ball that flies into it. 

LED lighting systems score points because of their lower energy consumption and significantly longer service life, more than offsetting the slightly higher purchase price compared to conventional lights. How many lights you need, how bright they need to be, protective features (e.g., impact resistance), how much natural light comes in through the windows or skylight, the electrical requirements and all those other concerns flow from the overall usage plan for the center, so an integrated approach to planning and design will ensure a satisfactory and budget-friendly lighting plan.

To ensure the best possible playing experience in indoor sports facilities, the appropriate LED lighting must be installed to evenly illuminate the playing areas and meet all relevant safety criteria.

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What determines the price of LED lighting for gymnasiums?

Like anything else, the amount you will spend on LED sports lighting comes down to the quality of the units, the amount that you need and the labor to install them. While the lighting is an overall small portion of the budget for a full-scale sports facility renovation or new construction, it still needs to be part of the initial planning process. Lighting systems should integrate with all the rest of the work in terms of functionality and, obviously, affordability.

The following factors should be considered when purchasing LED lighting for gymnasiums:

The main uses of the sports facility will determine the lighting class of the LED system. For a professional environment, where TV or livestream cameras may be used, facilities should meet the standards of Class 1 lighting. At the other end of the use spectrum – training, recreational use, school sports – class 3 lighting is sufficient. 

LED lighting systems offer precise, responsive control. The lights are dimmable and the set-up can be designed so you only need to turn on the fixtures you need for the game, practice or event taking place. 

High-speed balls are a regular hazard to conventional lighting systems in indoor sports centers. Impact can damage the lighting – potentially causing a delay in play, court closure while awaiting repairs and the cost of the repairs – and potentially injure the players, coaches and spectators. As a result, the engineering requirements for sports complexes require LED lighting systems to be protected by ball-proof fixtures and mounts. Grid coverings with a mesh size less than 60 millimeters are one example of a standard piece of protective equipment.

Conversion to modern LED gymnasium lighting

Various factors influence the decision whether the current lighting system should be replaced or retrofitted with LEDs. 

The primary focus should be on the age of the existing lighting, followed by what  you want to achieve with the overall renovation project. If the facility’s entire lighting system is outdated in all areas, a top-to-bottom overhaul complete renewal is almost always worthwhile. For energy, cost or maintenance savings, converting to LED lights is a relatively simple solution, at least for the illumination aspect. LED lights can provide an increase in the total illumination of up to 30% compared to conventional indoor sports center lighting.

Sports centers overhauling their lighting systems want to be able to control the lighting of each individual hall section separately. More than just an on/off switch for each room, facility managers want to use only the amount of energy they need. LED lights are ideal for this level of real-time, room-by-room adjustments so each part of the sports center is lit precisely as it should be – and no more.

How much do ball impact resistant LED lights cost?

The cost of ball impact-resistant LED lights varies depending on the size of the gym, the lighting requirements and the quality of the equipment. If the facility is used for school and club sports, light systems with less brightness can be used. If the hall is used for higher levels of competition (e.g., national and international competitions) or professional-calibre non-sporting events and gatherings, the facility will need to spend more time plotting out brightness, sight lines and the locations of the fixtures.

What's it for? Finding the right LED lighting system for the gymnasium

Gymnasiums – other than those used by pro or top-flight college programs – rarely host just one sport. Most are multipurpose arenas, so everything in them from the surface to the lighting must meet all of the possible requirements. 

The lighting must be designed for both the athletes and spectators. Players have to be able to see the ball without it getting lost in glare or shadows. 

LED lights are responsive and adjustable. They can be installed with daylight-dependent control, dimmers and tiered lighting so as many lights as necessary – from the bare minimum necessary to set up for an event to maximum illumination for a championship game – can be in use. Presence detectors ensure that the lighting system switches off as soon as the court is no longer in use. This minimizes the energy costs for the facility and extends the life of the system.

When it comes to the type of LED tubes to use, there are three important points to consider:

  • Light color
  • Power consumption
  • Maintenance certification

Not all LED lights have the same color: they can range from a cooler shade of blue to a warmer shade of yellow.

Another important factor in the overall cost of LED sports lighting is the power consumption. This depends in part on how many individual light units are installed, so smart planning and design of the lighting infrastructure definitely pays off. LED lights also vary in power consumption depending on the manufacturer and model. Here it is worth consulting both the manufacturer’s specifications and independent tests to find the most energy- and cost-efficiency lighting.   

Finally, organizations such as TÜV certify commercial lighting solutions. From the quality of the tubes to maintenance, these cover many areas that buyers should pay attention to.

9 good reasons for converting your gym to LED

  1. Large annual cost savings possible by linking LED lighting and various apps
  2. Energy efficient and environmentally friendly technology
  3. Due to simple installation, installation costs drop dramatically
  4. Complete delivery of LED systems, including cabling and suspension material
  5. Up to 100,000 hours of uninterrupted operation without maintenance
  6. LED lighting reaches full brightness almost immediately upon being turned on
  7. Full gymnasium LED lighting without glare affecting the players
  8. Almost noiseless operation of the LED lights ensures undisturbed game operation
  9. Through regular inspections and certification, lighting systems always meet the stated specifications

Gymnasium LED lighting: Protecting the lights from the game below

Lots of balls, some pretty hard, flying around at high speed. The players can at least move out of the way, unless it’s their job to stand in front of those balls. The light systems, on the other, can’t move and aren’t supposed to take one for the team. It’s up to the facility managers, then, to ensure their indoor sports center lighting systems can handle the impact of whatever is happening in the game.

Ball impact-resistant LED lights are built to withstand impact with a ball: they won’t shatter, break or fall off their fixture. 

How do we know that? Testing for these systems involves 36 shots at up to 38 miles per hour hitting the lights from different directions. Not a bad day’s work.

Many gyms and sports centers have replaced their conventional lighting with impact-resistant LED fixtures in recent years. The prospect of cost savings from higher efficiency, longer-lasting bulbs and less damage makes the conversion to LED attractive to many facility managers and municipalities. Particularly as part of a broader renovation of a sports center, modernizing the lighting should be considered as a source of improvement and smarter economics. 

Most sports centers are  multifunctional and therefore must be equipped for a variety of sports. LED lighting is versatile enough to match almost any use concept for the facility and can have a place in just about any planning process.

LED Sports Center lighting characteristics and brightness levels by type of sport

Ball-proof LED lighting systems for indoor sports facilities are available in different brightness levels. According to the level of competition (school and club sports, national or international competitions), the appropriate equipment can be selected. Experienced lighting designers and manufacturers know which lighting class makes sense for any requirements and can provide valuable tips.

Ball-proof LED lights for indoor sports facilities are available in different brightness levels. According to the level of competition (school and club sports, national or international competitions), the appropriate equipment can be selected. Experienced lighting designers and manufacturers know which lighting class makes sense for any requirements and can provide valuable tips.

The cost of LED lighting for these facilities varies depending on the size of the arena, product quality and type of lights. Costs can be calculated using the LED sports lighting cost calculator.