The World Series wrapped up this past Sunday with the Kansas City Royals winning over the New York Mets in game five. Millions of viewers watched in excitement as the Royals made their comeback early in the ninth inning, gaining their first World Series title since 1985.
While many of us were not lucky enough to be sitting in the stands, those watching from home may have noticed how much lighting affects the view. In fact, beyond the baseball field, many professional sports have been stepping up their game lately with the help of new lighting technology. These changes come as a welcome improvement for the players on the field, the fans watching at home, and certainly for stadium electric bills!
Inside the Seattle’s Mariners Safeco Field, for example, things are brightening up thanks to the help of high-efficiency, low-voltage LEDs. The Mariners are one the first professional sports organizations to make the change towards a more energy efficient future by partnering with a company called PlanLED to replace over 570 metal halide lights with LED fixtures. John Hwang, CEO of PlanLED, described the project as “the most advanced lighting system in sports history.”
So what does this mean for the organization and players who will be welcoming this new lighting into their stadium?
- The LED fixtures use only 800 watts.
- The LED lights are 20-30 percent brighter while using 60 percent fewer watts than metal halide lights.
- The more efficient LED lights will reduce power usage by 784,000 kWh each season, saving more than $50,000 in energy costs alone.
- Because LED lights last longer, there are also savings in maintenance costs over the life of the fixtures.
- Sunlight registers 100 on the Color Rendering Index. Metal halide fixtures register 63, and LED lights are at 81, making for dramatic improvements in visibility for players on the field, fans in the stands and those watching at home on TV.
In a cloudy city like Seattle, brighter lighting and reduction of shadowing can go a long way to improve player engagement, and safety on the field. This change also promises a higher quality viewing experience for the fans at home, especially when it comes to high definition screens, and slow motion replays. Other facilities, like the Arizona Cardinals Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, the NRG Stadium in Houston Texans, and the Staples Center in Los Angeles, have all recently converted to LED lighting and the promise towards a energy efficient future!
Where does your team stand on making the switch?
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