Technical Memorandum on the Use of Solid State Lighting in Sports Lighting Applications
|Publication Date:||22 January 2018|
For many years, the most common source type for sports lighting has been high intensity discharge (HID) lamps. More specifically, metal halide lamps have been used due to their high efficacy (lumens per watt) provided in a small package.
Over the past decade, solid state lighting (SSL) technology has enjoyed a renaissance of discovery and evolution. Advances in the efficacy of the sources and the reduction in manufacturing costs have led to widespread use of these sources. Light-emitting diode (LED) is the most commonly used source of this type.
Initially, the relatively moderate efficacy (lumens per watt) of LEDs and their individual-chip size and shape meant that a large number would be needed to provide the same lumen package as a standard HID source. As a result, LED light sources were not an economically viable alternative to HID sources, given the higher illumination levels required for mainstream sports lighting projects. However, with the continued evolution of LEDs, and reductions in manufacturing costs, the LED source is now a viable alternative depending on the project's requirements (e.g., annual usage hours or budget).
The LED light source offers a number of significant advantages, including energy efficiency, longer life, lower maintenance, and dimming capability. As their efficacy continues to increase, they are quickly becoming the dominant light source in artificial lighting. A disadvantage of the LED light source is that it has a greater luminance than the incandescent and HID sources used to-date for sports lighting. This increased luminance requires added considerations regarding the placement and aiming of LED luminaires to limit glare.
In addition to LED light sources, this document also includes a discussion of the characteristics of plasma technology. Although not as common as LED lighting, plasma lighting also offers improvements over traditional HID sources. While the plasma source is not a solid-state source, the use of solidstate drivers and the electrodeless design present a novel approach that is new to the field of sports lighting. Thus, it has been included in this document to compare and contrast new source technologies against the traditional use of HID. (Refer to Annex A - Plasma Lighting.)
As the use of solid state technologies grows, manufacturers and lighting designers need to understand the characteristics of these sources in order to properly design and apply them in sports lighting. This document is meant to outline some of these characteristics and to expose the reader to the issues involved in applying solid state lighting to sports lighting applications.