John Hayden, PE, CEM, CSDP
The smell of leaves. The sound of the referee’s whistle. The sight of your school’s football team…cast in shadows and uneven lighting. Don’t let a low-quality lighting system ruin the fun fall tradition of Friday night lights!
If your school district’s Friday night football games are being played under the same lighting system that was there when the stadium was installed 10 or more years ago, it’s time to consider a system replacement. An old and inefficient lighting system may not just be robbing spectators of a nicely lit game experience; it could also be robbing your budget of unnecessarily high utility and maintenance monies.
Mt. Pleasant Area School District offers an example of a lighting replacement project that was installed quickly and is already providing a healthy return on investment. The district kicked off its project in June 2018 with the goal of lighting the first home football game on August 31. The work included replacing the high mast lights and running new power and control wiring from the stadium’s main distribution panel to the new poles. The new Musco Lighting system included glare-free LED lights and digital lighting controls with smart phone application usability. Most importantly, energy use has been reduced by 48 percent and the district will save about $30,000 per year in lamp, ballast, and service contractor labor savings.
Replacing your stadium’s lighting system with LED technology has many benefits:
- Reduce glare – Older stadium lighting system designs use luminaires that have a lot of glare. New LED systems eliminate glare for the spectator.
- Light up your players, not the neighborhood – LED are inherently highly directional, meaning their intensity can be limited by design. The result is that the desired area to be lit up, like the football field, is where the light is aimed, while adjacent areas are not lit to the same intensity.
- Reduce maintenance costs – Older lighting systems have significant maintenance costs. It’s one thing to purchase the replacement lamps and ballast, which together may cost a couple thousand dollars. But the cost of getting the replacement lamps and ballast to the top of the mast 80 to 130 feet up can be significant, especially when they must be replaced every few years. Whether climbing the mast or renting a lift, the cost of the replacements adds up quickly. LED stadium lighting systems, with their 10- to 25-year warranties against failure, guard against the recurring cost of lamp and ballast replacement.
- Get back to the game – You may recall recent nationally televised football games where the lights went out momentarily, but it took 30 minutes for the lights to regain full intensity, resulting in delay of game. LED lights do not have this problem. When the switch is turned on, the lights come to full power immediately, meaning your team gets right back into the action.
- Use more to save more – The longer LED lights are on, the more you save!
Talk to Reynolds to discuss ways you can improve your stadium’s lighting. Your team will be glad you did!
John Hayden, PE, CEM, CSDP, is a senior project development manager for Reynolds with a passion for energy efficiency and asking lots of questions. His favorite projects to delve into are ones that require him to research various solutions to resolve efficiency and performance problems. With more than 34 years of comprehensive experience that includes estimating, engineering, project management, and design/implementation of high efficiency systems, John finds great satisfaction in helping his clients cut energy use and discover savings through grants, rebates, and efficient systems.
With more than 20 years of experience in the construction industry, Reynolds is a full-service building solutions provider with a wide array of service offerings to our clients, including construction, construction management, restoration, energy, and commissioning and engineering.
At Reynolds, it is our goal to become the first contact for all building solutions. Throughout the course of a relationship with our clients, we strive to resolve each and every issue as it arises, so that our clients end up with a high-quality project that meets their needs…every time. Interested in learning more about Reynolds including our lighting system improvement program? Contact us today.
Photos by Musco Lighting