Because the standard unit of measurement in any outdoor lighting design is the footcandle, government regulations normally specify footcandle minimum requirements for parking lot lighting, and security lighting, and athletic field lighting. One sport that warrants particular attention to footcandle lighting levels is soccer. Because soccer fields have sprung up all over the country with the rising popularity of the game, it is common to find them widely varied in size and function. To effectively light a soccer field, a professional designer or DYI certified electrical installer has to take certain critical factors into consideration before purchasing soccer field lights, mounts, and poles. Sometimes even a professional designer has to consult with an electrician who is familiar with local municipal outdoor lighting codes, and sometimes a DYI in spite of local expertise has to call the US Soccer foundation for recommendations on which soccer field lighting equipment will give a given location optimal foot candle spread with minimal glare and strict regulation of light pollution.
To save a step for the contractor and to reduce the margin of error for the DIY installer, RLL Design streamlines this information into a consolidated set of expert tools and consultation services offered for free through our online forum and complimentary over the phone to serious inquirers and clients. We also inventory a complete selection of soccer field lights, equipment, and mounting accessories to optimize game visibility for players and to maintain your facility in good standing with governing compliance standards. Because so many games are played at night, player safety is foremost in consideration when developing a soccer field lighting system. To produce clear visibility without blinding glare, lighting experts must mathematically determine the precise level of foot-candles needed for the size of a particular field. They must also take into account whether or not spectators will be watching the game, as this constitutes a second layer of light that must be evenly spread over the field.
One foot candle is equal to one lumen of light spread evenly over a space of one square foot. Special equipment is required to measure footcandle levels, and normally only professional electricians have access to this equipment. This is one area where neither DIY electricians nor outdoor lighting designers relatively new to sports lighting ever want to cut corners. Municipal codes are strict in almost every part of the country, and dark sky laws now extend from coast to coast requiring athletic field lighting be kept on the field and out of neighboring homes and businesses. By taking the time to ensure your proposed system meets with all legal requirements and fulfills the recommendations of the US Soccer Foundation, you can provide your client or your own organization with an insulating factor against liabilities that could result from injuries on an improperly lighted soccer field.
Light levels on soccer fields will vary greatly depending on field size, status as a practice field or game field, and the number of spectators viewing the game. Here is where RLL Design can offer such a powerful competitive advantage when it comes to determining just what should go into a system. By doing the calculations for our clients, we help even the most advanced mathematicians double check their work, and we help DYI installers with limited time and resources save a step.
Voltage also factors heavily into determining which soccer field lights will produce ideal, glare free visibility on the field. RLL Design sports lights are regulated with sophisticated magnetic transformers that control voltage levels and produce superior electron flow. Our specialists will help you assess the needs of the field and choose from a range of multi-tap ballasts ranging from 120, 208, 240, and 277 volts. Contractors installing lights in professional soccer stadiums can also obtain 480-volt ballasts for game and spectator lighting. Stadiums of this size normally require as much as 75 footcandles of continuous, horizontal target illumination, compared to the mere 30 footcandles required by a local municipal or schoolyard practice field.
If you are a contractor, working with a vendor like RLLD who can supply you with lights for either scenario gives you a strong competitive advantage over other firms who may only have access to fixtures appropriate for a certain sized field only.
Regardless of your level of expertise, it is always a good idea to call an RLL Design specialist to ensure your voltage calculations have correctly matched your lamp type to your ballast. Incorrect estimates can create hazards and consume more power than necessary. However, when properly ballasted and fitted on the correctly sized poles, RLL Design soccer field lights will produce a more efficient light than cheaper, competing equivalents. Advanced reflector arrays help the metal halide lamps within the fixtures spread the light more evenly across the field and simultaneously prevent excess spill light from creating light pollution and glare. This makes the game more enjoyable to watch, more safe to play, and eliminates complaints from neighboring businesses and homeowners.
RLL Design, in keeping with recommendations made by the US Soccer Foundation, recommends you use galvanized steel poles to mount your soccer field lights. These poles are more resistant to strong winds and will last longer, protecting investment dollars from replacement costs. To help contractors and DYI installers place their lighting fixtures at the precise, necessary height, RLL Design stocks a full repertoire of mounting assemblies to accommodate effective illumination of any size field from the recommended distances from sidelines and fences.
RLL Design specialists will help both professionals and end users research regulatory codes, make all necessary calculations to determine optimal lighting levels, and supply all fixtures, poles, mounts, and accessories needed to fully light a soccer field of any size, anywhere in the United States.
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