Taking the LED: What Are the Benefits of Switching Sports Lighting?

There are two questions when it comes to renewing lighting for sports venues, especially at the grassroots level. The first is “Why now?” and the second is “Why LED?” In terms of timing, there’s a range of factors, including increasing awareness of the benefits of saving energy for the planet, as well as finances for sporting venues.

At BEKA Schréder, we’ve been lighting stadiums, fields and swimming pools, so let our experience answer “Why LED?”

Changes in recent years, including the development of new products, mean that LED solutions are now affordable and appropriate for sports facilities of every level, including recreational and casual teams. Let’s discuss how BEKA Schréder, the extra player on your team, can make LED lighting work for you.


The Story of Sports Lighting So Far 

Most sports facilities, especially outdoor ones, are illuminated with HID (High Intensity Discharge) lamps.

HID lamps make more visible light per unit of electric power consumed than fluorescent and incandescent lamps, which is why they’ve traditionally been used for floodlighting. But they also require a warm-up period, as the gas inside needs to heat up to reach full brightness, and the output of HID lighting can deteriorate by up to 70% over 10,000 burning hours. Eventually, due to quicker lamp depreciation, the lamps need changing more frequently.

Until now, it usually made sense for sports facilities to just replace the lamps in their existing floodlights. But the new generation of modular LED products marks the beginning of a new era. Here are some reasons why switching makes sense.


Instant (Re)Play

In amateur and recreational sports, a lot of participants are coming from day jobs to train and play after work. That means every second counts and waiting for HID lights to warm up can be a waste of valuable time when playing after dark. Unlike HID lamps, LEDs have instant strike and re-strike times, so lighting is at full power and ready to play - just like you. Also, if the worst should happen, as it did at Superbowl in 2013, the lights will come straight back on at full power - phew!

LED sports lighting solutions offer multiple benefits to traditional HID floodlights


Light Your Sports Club, Not Your Neighbourhood

LEDs offer a great level of visual comfort, with white tones that are optimised for a sports environment. Over decades of lighting stadiums, we’ve honed our expertise in photometry, and all our floodlights have a range of symmetrical and asymmetrical light beam options. It’s easy to light a pitch, but it’s not just about illuminating the field: you need to be able to see your team members and opposition, including the equipment used (like a cricket ball).

On top of that, it’s important to get the right light in the right place, without light spill. Not just for players, but for your area as well. Sports facilities in residential areas have to be extremely careful - as well as regulations on light pollution, nobody wants neighbours complaining.

2018 was a special year for Paarl Boys’ High School, as they celebrated their 150th anniversary! Located at the foot of Paarl Mountain, this school is one of the oldest in South Africa and steeped in tradition. However, this does not stop them to stay ahead of the times. As part of their hockey field that was built, floodlighting was included in this prestigious project. The benefits of LED technology were recognised, thus enabling instant strike when switched on. LED floodlights can also easily be dimmed to the required lighting levels using DALI controls. Three switching stages were set. The use of the appropriate optics directs the light onto the field.

Sports field lit up with LED lighting


Have look at our other recreational sports lighting projects.


Save Time, Energy and Money

Over the years we’ve seen many venues reluctant to switch over to LED because of cost. So we turned our expertise to creating a modular system which means that all types of sports facilities can afford to switch to LEDs the next time they’re considering re-lamping their existing HID floodlights. It’s a way to save energy on lighting, while you burn your energy on the pitch. We call this system the OMNIBLAST-E. Together with our existing sports lighting products, such as OMNISTAR MICRO/MINI, OMNISTAR MIDI/MAXI and LEDFLOOD, we offer a whole suite of solutions to change your game for good.

Switching to LEDs saves energy in three main ways. Firstly, the actual LED fittings consume less energy than the equivalent HID lamps. Secondly, equivalent illumination can be provided with fewer light sources. And thirdly, with no warm-up times and easy control via a smartphone app, you only use the lights when you need them. In addition, maintenance costs are lower, because the control unit is mounted remotely (so no need for unnecessary time-consuming maintenance) and the lifetime of LEDs is considerably longer than traditional HID light sources.


A Smart Substitution

Schréder has a history of firsts when lighting sports venues, including arenas, indoor sports halls and swimming pools. We equipped the first stadium in Eastern Europe to be lit exclusively by LED technology, we were the first to create an interactive luminaire that enabled Wi-Fi connectivity, and reduced energy consumption by 67% at the pool in Ans, Belgium, while enabling swimmers to enjoy the water until 10pm most nights - a first for the city.

A smart ans sustainable sports lighting solution saves ans swimming pool nearly 70% energy consumption while extending opening hours


So, the next time you’re considering changing the lamps in your existing lighting, have a look at whether it’s time to give your ‘game’ (and finances) a boost with a new LED lighting system. Our experts will provide you with a bespoke solution, commission everything correctly on site and provide training to ensure you get the most out of the system, to help you performplay and win.