Lighting General Guidelines

Sports lighting Design involves design calculations for the type of lighting to be used, the number and height of poles to be used, the Array of luminaires, lux distribution, etc. The purpose of the lighting is to create a comfortable and visually appealing environment for both players and spectators and for television broadcasting if any for the play. Hence the design needs to be precise and accurate to suit all the requirements. Also, when the match is on the competition level the lighting design should be based on stringent guidelines allowing a safer and precise atmosphere for the play.

The size and speed of the play object play a part in the lighting level required for that sport. As an example, a cricket field requires a higher lighting level because of the speed of play, small ball size, and larger viewing distance. However, a football field required a lower light level, since the speed is slower, the ball is bigger and the play area is rectangular and smaller.

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The size of a sports facility and the distance at which spectators are viewing also decide the lighting class or level required for the sport.

Lighting Levels required for exterior sports fields are lower than the indoor sports courts. This is because the exterior adjacent spaces to courts are darker during nighttime. Hence, they provide good adaptation levels for the sports being performed.

The principal playing area is the main playing area inside the court marking. The total playing area is the total area that covers both the principal playing area plus the additional safety area inside the court boundary fence.

Glare is a crucial factor for sports field lighting designs. CIE 112 talks about the Glare evaluation system for outdoor sports and area lighting

CIE 112 specifies glare rating factor (GR) ranging from 10 to 90 on the evaluation scale. The lower the GR value, the better the visual perception for the players.

Generally, a maximum GR value of 50 is specified for sports courts.

Our Sports lighting design services offered are as below

  1. Advise suitable standards as per the requirement.
  2. Prepare lux calculations based on the Standards.
  3. Advise appropriate luminaire models, wattage, and quantity.
  4. Produce the lighting layout drawing
  5. Advise luminaire array per mast for exterior installations.
  6. Produce luminaire aiming details for floodlight designs.
  7. Prepare luminaire specifications for the designed Sports Field.
  8. Prepare the luminaire bracket layout for high masts.
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Standards considered

  1. EN12193:2007(E)
  2. IESNA RP-6-01 -Recommended Practice for Sports and Recreational Area Lighting
  3. IESNA Handbook 10th Edition
  4. International Tennis Federation Guide to Lighting Tennis Courts
  5. FIFA Lighting Standards for Football Stadiums
  6. UEFA Football Stadium lighting Guide
  7. SLL Lighting Handbook
  8. Abu Dhabi Lighting Manual – Issue-1: dated 14th February 2016, Part-2 Section-B – Sports Area Use Lighting-4.3 Schedule of Lighting Levels
  9. Above we all we recommend checking if any specified standard /guideline as recommended by the concerned sport’s governing body for the courts to be designed.
General Guidelines for Lighting

Types of Fields

  1. Indoor Sports Halls & Fields
    • Indoor Cricket Field
    • Indoor Tennis Field
    • Indoor Multipurpose Court
    • Athletics
    • Boxing
    • Billiards
    • Bowling
    • Football
    • Hockey
    • Table Tennis
    • Gymnastics
    • Swimming
    • Wrestling
  2. Outdoor Sports Fields & Stadiums
    • Football
    • Tennis
    • Cricket
    • Athletics
    • Equestrian
    • Volleyball & Basket Ball
    • Hockey
    • Go Cart Racing
    • Swimming
    • Cycle Racing
    • Golf driving range
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Common lighting terms designed and measured in Sports Field

  • Average Lux level is the average amount of light incident on the playing surface.
  • Uniformity level is the measure of the evenness of the spread of light over the playing area.
  • Uniformity level U1 is calculated as min lux level divided by Average lux level.
  • Uniformity level U2 is calculated as Min lux level divided by Maximum Level.
  • Vertical Illuminance is the amount of light on a vertical plane at the play area.
  • Glare is the amount of disability glare to a person’s eye with the presence of lighting.
  • Colour Rendering Index Ra is the ability of a light source to render the colours naturally.
  • Colour Temperature is the colour temperature of the light emitted by a light source.
  • Uniformity Gradient is the Raito between lux levels at two adjacent measuring points.

Major considerations for designing a sports field

The lighting level required is different depending on the following main criteria:

  1. The sport
  2. Indoor / Outdoor
  3. Lighting Class of Play which can be based on:
    • International Level or Televised
    • National Level / Televised
    • Regional Level / Televised
    • Local Level
    • Training
    • Recreational

Lighting Class Specification for Sports Events

Selection of lighting-class as per EN12193:2007(E) is:

  • International & National Level sports events come under Class I.
  • Regional Level sports events come under Class I & II
  • Local Level tournaments fall under Class I, II & III.
  • Training type of events come under Class II & III.
  • Recreational and School Sports events are under Class III.
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