Source: Energy Manager Today; Emily Holbrook
LED lighting is poised to take over high-output stadium and arena lighting, according to a study by Research and Markets, which states, “the stadium lighting market is expected to grow almost $200 million by 2023, up to $622.2 million.” LEDLightExpert.com CEO Dara Greaney says, “While the 44% is strong dollar growth, the lower price points of each fixture could equal over 65% increase in unit volume.”
The driving factor in the adoption is the cost per lumen. Lumen measures light, where the traditional measure of watt is just power used. That cost per lumen improvement is driven by more efficient LEDs and cheaper luminaries. LEDs in large outdoor fixtures have gone from 80 lumens to watt average in 2013 to 130 lumens to watt average in 2018. The cost of that watt in high-output fixtures is decreasing, now at $1.36/watt of street pricing in 2018. Even with the energy savings, the upfront cost was the barrier to entry. Now with the high efficiency, dropping costs and versatility, LED lights are making gains in the world of stadium and arena lighting, according to the report.
LED lights hit the professional sporting market a few years ago and their stronghold on this market continues to increase. The NFL Bowl game was introduced to LED lighting back in 2015. Major League Baseball began adopting LED lighting the same year. The San Diego Padres’ Petco Park was one of the first stadiums to make the switch to LED lights back in 2016. MLB requires an extremely bright playing field with the infield minimum at 250 footcandles and 200 footcandles for the outfield. Compare this to the average parking lot which would be around 10-20 footcandles.
The uses of LED stadium and sports lights go well beyond sports. Rodeos and roping arenas, high school and college sports venues, racetracks, concert arenas and more all take advantage of sports lighting. With the cost of LED lighting dropping while the efficiency keeps growing, LED lighting has seen supercharged growth.
In January 2019, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) published an updated ANSI C136.18 for the use of LED lights on roadways. The same high-altitude application stadium lights can also be used in high-mast applications on road. Since both require precise, clean lighting with low glare, the adoption rate there should be quick, creating a whole additional market.
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