Discussion Paper – Selecting lighting for sports and equestrian arenas

Lighting for equestrian arenas

Discussion Paper – Selecting lighting for sports and equestrian arenas

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  • Modern Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights uses substantially less energy, and lasts much longer, than high pressure sodium and metal halide lights.
  • In most cases, replacing old lights provides a rapid return on investment, as well as better lighting for users.
  • It is highly recommended to prepare a lighting plan, using precision measurement and appropriate evaluation software, when installing or replacing lighting in indoor and outdoor sports environments.
  • Professional preparation of a lighting plan ensures that the amount and quality of lighting being installed will to meet relevant regulatory standards for the conduct of safe events.

Australian Standard AS/NZS 2560.1-2002 provides standards for light intensity (Lux) and the uniformity of light for sports facilities. Different minimum levels are set across a range of sports, and for graded standards of participation (professional/amateur/training etc.) Careful design of pole location, height, and mounting angle is also critical in managing glare from point sources below the participant’s horizon of vision.

For Equestrian arenas, high light uniformity is especially important – shadow must be minimised to best cater to horses poor direct forward vision relative to their strong lateral sight. Uniformity is a measure of the proportional variance between the lowest and average Lux measures across the illuminated surface.

LED lighting is preferred for all new and retrofit installations due to the massive reduction in energy consumption and lifetime in comparison to metal halide lights. Retrofitting sports stadiums and grounds will also in almost all instances provide a substantial improvement in light levels – any existing installation more than 5 years old will have degraded. Retention of lumen performance over time is critical in maintaining the light levels on sports arenas.

Induction lighting should also be considered for equestrian applications. Induction lighting is not point-source and has a softer, broader output which gives lighting planners the option to design very high uniformity solutions using fewer lights, or with constrained fixing points, than would be the case with LED’s. (Induction lights are also applicable to high reflectivity environments such as indoor swimming pools).


Lighting Plan for soccer field

(Example – basic lighting plan for a soccer field)

Technical Background

Heat is the major factor affecting LED longevity and light output. Specified premium heat transfer materials (nanotube and thermal glue technology) used to attach LED’s to the main body of the light can be up to 6 times more conductive than cheaper generic materials. Such materials remove heat more efficiently and are key to the effectiveness of the light design in drawing heat up and away from the LED chips. Inferior lights use cheaper and less conductive materials, smaller and cheaper heat sinks, and are subject both to earlier failure and faster performance degradation. Inferior lights may also use cheap unbranded LED’s manufactured to lower quality specifications.

Ecoglow sources premium quality LED industrial, commercial, municipal, and residential lights from S-Tech and a small number of other selected sources. www.s-tech.com.au
S-Tech are an Australian LED engineering company who design and build lighting using only the best LED chips from Nichia in Japan. Nichia chips are renowned for high efficiency, longevity, heat resistance and retention of lumen performance over time. S-Tech designs its own power supply rather than rely on the “off the shelf” components, and incorporates “soft start” technology to reduce wear and damage on electrical infrastructure and to help control site power factor.

S-Tech lights from Ecoglow are fully supported with an iron-clad 5year Australian manufacturer warranty. We provide proven performance (>10 years) around Australia with a statistically insignificant failure rate. In those rare events of failure, Ecoglow resolves warranty claims rapidly. We can provide over 50 reference sites across Australia.

We have the capability to tailor lights for a project, i.e. high CRI or clear reflector and colour temperature. Our lights do not interfere with C-bus systems or other electrical infrastructure.