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We often get asked the question ‘Can I replace metal halide bulbs with LED bulbs in the same fitting?’ Whilst this would be nice and convenient it is unfortunately not possible at present.  That is not to say it will never be possible.  As most of us over-30-year-olds can testify, things that were totally impossible are suddenly and surprisingly ubiquitous the next minute.  For those under 30 nothing is any longer regarded as impossible, so watch this space!

Although all lamps generate heat in some form or another, the way metal halide and other traditional forms of lighting work is very different to LED.  Metal halide lamps push their heat forward.  This means that they need a glass or high-temperature plastic cover to cope with the heat.  However, the body or frame holding the bulb itself can be light and thin, often mild steel or plastic as there is no heat coming out the back of the lamp.  By contrast LED’s generate a lot of heat but it flows out the back, with very little coming forward.  In this way a plastic lens can be used for the front, but requires an aluminium heatsink as the back part of the housing to help remove the heat build-up.  This simple contrast means that (for the moment) the way the 2 types of lamps operate is fundamentally too different to be able to make the change simply by replacing bulbs.

Whilst we are aware there are products on the market which claim to do this swap out, be very careful.  At this point a realistic wattage replacement is 1.2kW of LED for a 2kW of metal halide power.  As of mid-2018 this would be regarded as a highly efficient sports light.  This means that the heat generated is equivalent to 240 x 5W domestic lamps, but crammed into a light that is about 600 x 600mm.  If you were to further reduce this size to that of a 2kW bulb, it is technically, and practically, impossible to remove the heat.  As a build-up of heat would destroy the LED’s, this leaves the only other conclusion that it cannot therefore produce the right amount of energy. This is of course simple to prove.  Get lux readings of your existing lighting layout and then ask the supplier of the alternative bulbs to do the same.  If they don’t have the facility to produce lighting layouts it is very unlikely that the product will work.  If they can prove that it works then you know that science has again progressed and we need to do some catching up.

The response is often ‘Well it works at home!’  This is perfectly true and is only possible due to the low current draw of these lamps and, consequently, the low amounts of heat that will be generated.  The more that is expected out of a lamp in terms of light output, the more heat will be generated.  Domestic lamps are often only 3 or 5W but produce a good glow in their setting.  Compared to a high intensity lamp like a sports fitting, these domestic units are very large by comparison, giving a lot of surface area which also helps dissipate heat.  If a sports light was created that used domestic 5W bulbs it would likely measure more than about 2sqm.  Space in the ceiling of house is not really at a premium, hence light fittings don’t have to be very streamlined.  However, having a large and heavy light 25m in the air increases the cost and engineering challenges for the pole manufacturers.  Additionally, if clubs are wanting to replace metal halide fittings with LED, the modules have to be similar to the metal halides in dimensions and weight for the same reason.

The only viable solution currently is to have a module that is matched in size and weight as mentioned, but then also has optimised light output to compare with the metal halide.

So, proceed with caution if the option looks too simple and cheap.  As with most things in life, if it looks too good to be true, it may be just that!

On the field, lighting levels are measured with a light, or lux, meter.  The results are expressed in Lux (lumens/m2) or foot candles (lumens/ft2).  This gives an objective measurement of the amount of light at a specific point.  However, prior to achieving this, the layout is planned using a digital file called an IES file.

Each lamp has different current draw, efficiency, CRI, colour temperature and most importantly, beam pattern. The IES file contains the beam pattern of the luminaire to be used, in a format that allows the designer to plan the position of the poles, height of the poles and angles of the luminaires in order to achieve uniform lighting at a particular lux level.  The engineer can very accurately achieve an end result once he knows what standard or ideal he is working towards.

These standards are set out by governing bodies, sports associations, local governments and other interested parties.   Almost every country, and sometimes even states, have got their own regulations and recommendations in regard to lighting levels for sports but many of these are guided by associations and federations.  Every sport has been individually assessed by professionals and there are minor tweaks and changes to differentiate one from another.  The influencing factors include the size of the ball, the speed of play, the size of the field and distance from the spectators. If play is being videoed or televised also has a large impact on the level of lighting, as well as the definition required.

Another point to mention is CRI or Colour Rendering Index.  Many standards that were written pre-2010 or thereabouts don’t take LED into account as it wasn’t then available for sport applications.  If this was the case it is likely that no mention will be made of CRI.  This is because metal halide fittings, which have been used in sport for decades, naturally have a high CRI.  For those who don’t know we have inserted a comment on Colour Rendering Index giving the Wikipedia explanation as of May 2018:

‘A colour rendering index (CRI) is a quantitative measure of the ability of a light source to reveal the colours of various objects faithfully in comparison with an ideal or natural light source. Light sources with a high CRI are desirable in colour-critical applications such as neonatal care and art restoration.’

Put a bit more simply: ‘How much detail can we see’. If you are studying something fast moving or in great detail, it is important to have a very high CRI.

Anyway, back to the standards!  Mostly this information is available to download for free and we have listed some of the regulatory bodies below, but this is by no means exhaustive.

In this article we have tried to summarise required lux levels for some of the most common sports, based on the three most common types of usage, excluding televised professional games:

  1. a)Class 1 – High level competition involving national and international matches.  Stadiums are large and therefore spectators are some distance away from the action.
  2. b)Class 2 – Mid-level covering regional clubs.  Viewing is likely to be somewhat closer than for Class 1 and crowds are smaller.  This could also be a suitable level for training for Class 1.
  3. c)Class 3 – Local competitions and recreational use with no grand-stand and spectators very close to the field.  This could also be a level suitable for training for Class 2.

The summary below is gleaned primarily from our interpretation of the standards (averaging where there are differences), the majority of which are set out in EN12193.  Please note FIFA and others refer to the Classes in the reverse order and so Class 1 is for training, and so on.

 

  Lux Levels Required
Sport Type Class 1 Class 2 Class 3
Football (Soccer) 500 200 75
Rugby 500 200 75
Tennis – outdoor 500 300 200
Tennis – indoor 750 500 300
Baseball 750 500 200
Hockey 500 250 200
Athletics 500 200 100
Golf 100
Playing court 500 200 75
Swimming pool 500 300 200
Multi-purpose sports hall 750 500 200
Ice Hockey Rink 750 500 300
Badminton/Squash 750 500 300
Alpine skiing 100 30 20
Horse racing 200 100 50

 

Regulatory bodies

The regulatory bodies listed below have detailed recommendations and suggestions, covering a host of topics apart from lighting levels.  For a deeper dive into what is required, you may find some of them useful.

Fifa standard for lighting

Guidelines for lighting for AFL, Soccer and Netball in Australia

UEFA lighting guidelines

US Soccer Foundation

All USA sports – NCAA

Football Association of Ireland

Rugby Australia

Standards Australia

International Tennis Federation

Federation of International Hockey

Illuminating Engineering Society – Paid for version

CIBSE Lighting Regulations – Paid for version

So, that’s a very broad overview.  To see where you are compared to the standard there are a few apps for lux measurement which can help such as Light Lux Meter Pro for iOS or Lux Meter (Light Meter) for android.  Download one of these and you can easily check if you are getting the type of output you thought you were from your fittings.

 

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 It will also give you an idea of how energy efficient your current system is and if you could improve this by replacing the bulbs or converting to LED.  There are a number of suppliers that will do a free assessment once you have provided this basic information, along with a field/pole layout.

Sport lighting is a specialised and complex science.  The lighting level, evenness, glare, CRI, heights and spill-light control are all aspects the designer has to take into account and all these parameters vary depending on the application.  For a game where the ball is small and fast moving, like tennis, high lighting levels are required with a very good CRI.  If the game is being videoed or televised the lighting levels and pitch uniformity have to be of a very high standard.

Over the years we have taken a lot of this for granted with metal halide systems.  Although an old technology, metal halide naturally produces a very high CRI, flicker-free light with a very good colour temperature. The development of the reflectors over the years has resulted in a very efficient system that was relatively simple for designers to specify.  With only two main beam patterns, almost any big-field sport was catered for and increasing the number of lights brought up the lux readings to the desired level.

The introduction of LED a decade ago was thought to signal the death of 2kW metal halide fittings as they are ‘old and outdated’.  However, while all other forms of lighting were changing rapidly, sport lighting remained surprisingly static. Early adopters burned their fingers with very heavy lights that gave bad light and failed regularly. As a result designers have shied away from these digital fittings that could potentially give them a bad name.  From our attempts, even as recently as 2015, it needed nearly 3000W of LED power to get a similar beam to a 2000W metal halide. Considering the extra weight and necessary pole thickness upgrade and the 100% increase in unit cost LED, was not looking very favourable.

However, LED manufacturers like Cree and LG have continued to improve light output and efficiencies. Optic designers have carried on working away and now there are some systems that can truly replace metal halide one for one.

However, when looking at doing a swap out there are a number of points to consider.

Weight and sail area (surface area)

The poles you currently use have been designed for a specific weight and sail area.  Increasing either, or both of these could have quite dramatic effects in high wind.  Make sure that neither of them exceeds what is currently used or obtain the original poles drawings to make sure the increase can be accommodated in the existing design.  This should be carried out by a qualified structural engineer.

Lux levels

Assess accurately what the current lux levels are of your field, decide what you need.  Just because you had it designed to 500 lux 20 years ago by no means guarantees that is what it is at present. Be realistic and don’t over-specify unless power consumption and capital budget are not an issue.

Power consumption

Once the layout design has been completed, ensure that the power consumption is within the tolerances of what you have available for peak demand. This might sound obvious but many systems have been implemented without taking this into account.

  • CRI requirement will depend on what level of sport is being played. For most training and club applications 70 CRI is sufficient.  If the games are to be televised or it is amateur level with a small ball i.e. cricket, then 90 CRI may be needed.  This is not something that can be changed later so needs consideration early on as the price is affected by up to 20%.
  • If you’re not sure about the company making the lights, or can’t find out much about them, the two most important parts of the light are the driver and the LED’s. Ask for make and model and research these thoroughly.  If both these components are from a reliable source, it is likely the lamp will stay the pace.
  • Some manufacturers have now used the metal halide beam patterns to model their LED optic. This makes is simpler for the designer so but essentially the beam pattern, uniformity etc should be dealt with by them (or the manufacturer if they offer this service) and you should be able to rely on them for this.

If you can satisfy all these requirements then, when added to the benefits of digital lighting, you will have made a good decision that will last a long time.

There are currently three main forms of lighting used in sport applications.  Filament (halogen), discharge (metal halide and HID) and LED.  All have benefits and disadvantages in certain circumstances and it’s important to understand these when considering an upgrade or changing lights.

Traditional halogen lamps use a filament which heats up as the electricity passes through.  This glows, producing light and a lot of heat.  As a large part of the energy goes into the heat side of the equation, the halogen light is not very efficient from an energy perspective and is generally only able to be used for small court type sports like tennis.  However, the heat is all out the front of the lamp so the housing can be made from any material (metal, aluminium, plastic etc) and the front lens (typically glass) manages the heat.  This means the lamps can be quite small and mounted easily.  The main advantage of halogen is that they are cheap to buy but are really only suitable for small club or personal use due to their short life span and inefficiencies.

Metal Halide and Sodium Vapour are discharge lamps, much like a fluorescent tube, where the gas is the lamp is glowing, rather than a filament like with halogen. These types of lighting are more efficient than halogen but their useful life peaks very quickly, and their performance deteriorates after a few hundred hours.  In fact, a metal halide lamp will lose 25% of its original performance within the first 250 hours of use.  Like halogens, the heat comes out the front, allowing for light weight, typically metal pressed bodies or housings and glass fronts.  A frustrating fact of metal halides is that once they turn off they have a significant re-start time of about 10 minutes.  Metal Halide has been the main-stay of high powered sports lighting for decades and provides very good light economically.  The units are cheap to buy and are very proven in the field.  On-going maintenance can be expensive as the bulbs have to be replaced regularly.  This can be a nuisance, particularly when mounted 25m in the air.

LED’s are the latest innovation and have been in the market for about 10 years.  They have replaced other forms of lighting in most applications but have struggled with delivering value in the big field sports. One of the reasons is that unlike halogens and metal halides, LED’s generate heat behind them.  The LED’s are mounted to a flat pc board (electronic circuit board) and all facing in the same direction.  When turned on the pc board will heat up very quickly but very little heat radiates from the front. This means that the front lens can be plastic but the back-end, or housing, needs to be aluminium or some other type of heat-sinking material to remove the heat from the pc board.  For static lamps, like in a warehouse or fixed pole application, like sports fields, the manufacture has to account for high ambient (room) temperatures and low, or no, airflow. This is a critical part of the lamp as LED’s will fail if they get too hot. This important design aspect makes the lamps very heavy and often larger in surface area than other forms of lighting, like Metal Halide, Sodium Vapour and HID.  As an example, a car spotlight 100W halogen lamp will weigh 700g compared to an LED of equivalent wattage which would weigh about 4kg.  A well designed LED system is likely to provide the best long-term investment.  However, look into it carefully as there are many levels of quality and performance and just because it is LED is no guarantee that you will automatically improve on an older, metal halide system.  Also, when considering upgrading your metal halide fittings with LED, ensure that the poles are capable of supporting the extra weight and sail area.

When we (those of us over 40) think of an LED we tend to think of a little glowing diode on a pc board or electronic toy and register the fact the LED draws very little power.  While this may be correct for a single diode, when we ramp things up 10W of power is the same whether you’re powering a halogen bulb or LED.

OK so where is this power-consumption advantage of LED then?  And will I not get any benefit from changing over my old 2kW Metal Halide sports lights?

The answers lies in a number of factors which have to work together to make LED effective.  The key elements that the manufacturer has to blend are the following:

  1. Identifying the application
  2. Selecting an LED
  3. Designing an optic
  4. Designing the heat sink or housing
  5. Control of usage and dimming

The first point to consider when designing a lamp is what the application is.

Designing for the application

In a warehouse, the size of the lamp is not an issue as the roof space is generally a void.  Because the lights are running constantly, the user is more concerned about the power usage or efficiency.  For this user a high lumens/watt ratio is ideal as it means using less electricity.  Lights are therefore designed to have a large surface area and use lots of LED’s. Although this costs a bit more initially, the pay-back in power consumption easily justifies it.

Whilst this is good for warehouse lighting, it is not necessarily so for sports lighting or vehicle lighting.  Having a large and heavy light at the top of a 25m sports pole causes problems with ‘sail area’.  Much like a ships sails, these lights will cause resistance to the wind and put a lot of strain on the pole.  For instance, if you’re wanting to change from Metal Halide to LED, the poles at your club may have been designed for holding 10 lights weighing 20kg/each with a sail area of 0.8m2.  These are then replaced with 10 LED lights weighing 30kg/each and a sail area of 1m2.  We don’t have to be mathematicians to realise that we could well have an issue on a windy day!  Likewise having a very ‘energy efficient’ 350mm-diameter driving light on your 4WD is not going to look very cool or be very fuel efficient.

So as we said, the application is very important when designing a light and there is no best-fit for all industries.

Selecting the LED

Selecting the LED for a specific application is a complex problem.  There are hundreds of options on the market from dozens of manufacturers, covering the spectrum from 0.2W up to COB’s which can be over 50W.  As a rule of thumb, the less hard you drive an LED the brighter it glows relative to the wattage you put in.  This efficiency factor is called lumens/watt. So for instance a 5W LED may be producing 100 lumens/watt at 5W but if you run it at 2W it will produce 130 lumens/watt (Lumens being the measurement of light output against how many watts are put in).  Although the overall lumen value is less, the actual efficiency (or light output to current-draw) is much higher. Therefore if you run 5W LED’s at 2W you will get a high efficiency (lumens/watt).

The LED however just produces an intense glow of light and in itself has no control. For this we need an optic or reflector which will guide the light where we want it to go.

Designing an optic

This step is done in conjunction with the choice of the LED as they have to work together and is the most critical aspect.  Each optic or reflector is therefore optimised for a specific LED and this combination will determine the energy efficiency and light control.

As mentioned above LED’s themselves just produce a ball of light.  Harnessing this and guiding it exactly we it needs to go is the work of the optic.  There is three main ways to do this a) Total Internal Reflection optic b) Chrome reflector c) Combination of both.  There are pro’s and con’s for all three and we won’t go into that in any depth here.  Sufficient to say this control of the light decides whether to beam is going to be 5° wide and go 1km down the road, or 100° wide for a wide flood etc.  Sports lighting uses a combination of beam patterns for different applications.  The most difficult has proved to be the asymmetric narrow beam needed for large, field based sports like baseball, football, soccer and cricket.  Most manufacturers have taken the easy route of having a round beam pattern in a set number of angles.  However in big-field sports this proves to be very inefficient and can require up to 50% more power to achieve the same result as using a 2kW metal halide fitting.  Given that LED’s tend to be more expensive than metal halide, this can result in the project costing a lot more than you perhaps budgeted.

So, when you’re looking into this, be sure to get an IES lighting plan done before committing to purchase.  Many manufacturers will do this for a nominal sum, or even free, and is very important to make sure that you can achieve the right lighting levels without overloading your existing poles or ending up using twice the amount of electricity.

Designing the housing

Essentially this should be the simplest part of the design but is still very important.  The LED’s are working away and the optics are putting the light where we need it but unless we remove the heat effectively, the light isn’t going to last for very long.  On the other hand if we space the LED’s out and make large cooling fins, it will run very cool but will be too heavy to replace metal halide fittings one for one.

Designers use special software to model heat build-up and ensure that there is a balance between too much aluminium and sail area (like a ships sail) and being too small and risk overheating. Many high-powered LED sports lights weigh 2-3 times that of 2kW metal halides but are no more efficient.  Care needs to be taken to ensure that the poles have been designed to cope with the extra weight and sail area.

Control of usage and dimming

With digital LED lighting more options are available to us to save energy.  App based controllers are now available to interface with almost any lamp and can be used for pay-as-you-play, dim for training, get energy usage reports and much more.  These systems can have a rapid pay-back and take a lot of hassle out of managing the day to day problems of responsibility and maintenance.  Your lighting supplier would either have their own bespoke system or will have alliances with third party providers to offer a range of packages from simple to very complex.

Conclusion

So, in conclusion if you are wanting to install digital LED lighting for the energy efficiency, make sure that you are able to achieve this as it cannot be taken for granted.  If you are unsure we would recommend investing a few hundred dollars in getting a third party to cross-check that the lighting layout provided is accurate, as once the lights are up it could be an expensive mistake.  Suppliers should be willing to provide the IES files so this can be done.  Also use a lux meter to test what lighting you currently achieve and ensure that you have come-back on the supplier if minimum standards are not met.

We often hear in the press and trade magazines about the (supposed) benefits of LED lighting.  So the, what about the down-sides?  Is it really that amazing, and if so, why hasn’t every sports field in the country changed over yet?  Why are there new fields being made that still have the dreaded old technology metal halides?

Like all things in life you get good and bad products, and when choosing LED lighting for your sports club, or your latest design, there are a number of things to be aware of.  If you’ve ever been involved in an LED upgrade that’s gone wrong, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Weight and sail area

Most poles have been designed for metal halide fittings.  Whilst these are quite large, they are relatively light for their size.  Due to the way these bulbs work, all the heat comes out the front so there is no need for heat sinking.  By contrast LED’s generate heat out the back and therefore need a critical mass of aluminium to remove the heat from the LED’s and prevent them overheating.  This mass depends on the efficiency of the lamp and can tend to be very heavy compared to the metal halide.  Before swapping out make sure that the poles can cope with the weight, unless you have selected a lamp that can replace metal halide one for one.

Light pattern

Most LED’s have been designed with an optic that produces a round halo of light, compared with an asymmetric pattern found with most metal halides.  This can be very inefficient and you need to make sure that your existing light levels can be achieved with a similar number of modules (to prevent pole overload) and current draw (to prevent using more electricity).  Ideally find a lamp with an asymmetric pattern similar to the modules you currently have.  In this way you can be more assured of a good one-for-one switch over.

Angle of fitment

Most metal halides are designed to be mounted flat, or horizontal.  This ensures that there is a reduced chance of players being affected by the glare from the lamp as the lamp is ‘throwing’ the light forward.  With many LED’s the optic is designed such that the light is emitted directly out the front of the lamp.  This requires the lamp to be at a 20-45° angle, potentially interfering with the players’ sight during play, dazzling them if they look near the light from the wrong direction.  Ensure that the fittings are designed to be mounted horizontally (or a maximum incline of 10°) or make sure that the pole positions are placed such that it won’t affect play.  This, along with the beam pattern can also affect the amount of spill-light which can be annoying for neighbours.  Check this carefully when you have the lighting plan done.

Energy efficiency

As mentioned above it should not be assumed that LED will automatically be more energy efficient.  In many systems, more watts of LED power are required to match the light output achieved by a 2kW metal halide.  This needs to be checked once the lighting layout has been confirmed and required lux levels achieved.  Add up the amperage required as an upgrade to your power supply later is an expensive option.

Longevity

Typically LED lighting is expected to last 50000 hours.  This is somewhat of an industry expectation but many never do. One of the primary issues is the drivers or power supply.  This is the ‘brains’ of an AC powered system and the quality of the driver is often the quality of the system. Check the brand and factory guarantee of driver as this is likely to be where problems occur.

Waterproofing

LED’s are more sensitive to moisture than the rugged old metal halides.  The manufacturers will generally be offering a warranty of some description but the lamps should have a minimum of IP65 for water and dust protection.

Colour Rendering Index (CRI)

Metal Halide fittings naturally have a high CRI and so this high definition has largely been taken for granted.  With LED’s we have to choose what CRI is needed for the application and will range from 60 to 90+.  If the lighting is purely for training purposes, then almost anything will work.  However, for televised games and large capacity crowds, it is important to have a CRI of 90+ otherwise a lot of the detail will be lost through poor colour definition.

So, after knowing all these potential issues with LED is it really worth it?  The answer is definitely ‘Yes’ but research into which fittings you get is very important.  In short, it’s easier to get it wrong than to get it right.  Look into these aspects and once you’ve ticked them all off with confidence you’ll have a lighting system that will provide exceptional performance for many years to come.

 

Firstly, let’s get one myth out of the way.  That is the belief that LED automatically will be more efficient and longer lasting than their dinosaur relatives, metal halide.  As it turns out this more frequently false than it is true.  Now that’s not because LED is bad or inefficient, but in high-power applications like sport, there is a lot more science to it than most domestic or warehouse applications.  The big issue is the size of the field, along with the level of lighting required, making sports lighting the holy grail of LED lighting.

So, having got that out the way let’s look at the benefits you can expect to get if you choose the right LED light for your sports club.  We’ll also comment on some things to look out for to make sure you don’t end up with a red face at the next committee meeting.

One for one replacement

As it turns out the biggest expense is not the lights themselves.  The poles, electricity, trenching and control systems combined are all significantly more than the lights, although the lights tend to get the attention.  If you already have poles in place, look for a light that will allow you to utilise these.  This involves assessing the weight and sail area (surface area) to ensure there will be no additional load that hasn’t been allowed for in the original pole design.  Along with that is the beam pattern needs to be able to provide the same light as you currently have without increasing the number of fittings.  If you do increase them then the gross weight and sail area still needs to be the same as the original metal halide fittings.

Power usage or energy efficiency

As mentioned above, just being LED doesn’t make a sports lamp efficient.  In fact, in most studies and comparisons we have done, the LED’s required significantly more power when achieving a specific lux value than did their metal halide comparisons.  Because this will vary based on the beam pattern, the safe way to do it is to get the design layout done to the required lux and then you can easily compare power usage.  To be fair to LED, just make sure you are getting the new design to the same level of lighting as what you currently have, rather than what you would like to have and assume you have.  This needs to be done with a lux meter such as Lux Light Meter Pro for iOS or Lux Meter (Light Meter) for android.

 

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Low or No Maintenance

For those who are tired of replacing metal halide lamps every year, this aspect is a major bonus.  Assuming you are buying an LED with a good quality driver (5 years guarantee should be normal) you should not have to do anything other than occasional cleaning, for years.  The LED modules are built as a system and there is basically nothing that can be done.  So for those who have had to hire cherry-pickers, scissor lifts and the like, this is a genuine saving.

Superior definition

With having a range of LED chips to choose from, the lighting can be customised to suit your needs and budget.  If the ground is being used for training then 70 CRI is adequate.  If the field is used for international games that will be televised, then 90 CRI is a must.  LED gives you this flexibility but has to be thought through before purchasing as there is no quick-fix once the modules are in place.

Instant On

Ever had the power cut during a game (when using metal halides) and had to wait 10 or 15 minutes for them to come on again?  This can be frustrating to say the least and is another issue that is totally removed with LED.  The modules start instantly and even when soft-starting, will be up to full power within 5 seconds.

Digital Control

Does your club accountant ever complain about electricity bills and how the lights have been left on overnight, or why do we have to use full power for training?  With digital lighting, there are many apps and control systems that allow you to give access to different members via SMS codes, pre-set lighting levels for training vs games, auto-off, remote checking etc.  All this gives you greater control and transparency and also opens up options of pay-to-play to help fund the running expenses.  Also, being digital, there is much more that can be done with the lighting system to make it multi-functional so the facility can be used for other functions, beyond sport.

So, whilst it’s not a given that LED is going to improve your bottom line, there certainly are a lot of benefits if it’s researched properly and the right decision is made.