Home / Solutions / Sports Lighting / 10 best practices for sports lighting projects / 10 best practices for sports lighting projects

10 best practices for sports lighting projects

Nov 23, 2022

For athletes and spectators alike, sport is simply electrifying. Intelligent sports lighting solutions enhance the experience even further. Whether at large stadiums, indoor arenas or small outdoor training grounds, lighting provides clarity and safety, sharpens the focus on the activity, and creates an atmosphere that turns it all on.

Planning a sports lighting project? Thorn has managed and implemented many – for all types of sports facilities. Here are some important things to keep in mind.

10 best practices for sports lighting projects

1. What lighting design fits best?

“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. It’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” – Mark Twain

Sports venues come in all shapes and sizes. Each one poses different challenges with respect to the lighting design. A tailored solution is almost always needed. Thorn can provide assistance right from the start with the planning and design. For stadiums and arenas, Thorn has developed a digital tool that creates a 3D rendering of what the lighting installation will look like after installation. It simplifies the design work and allows clients to experience the lit stadium in a virtual walkthrough.

2. Does it fulfil relevant standards?

Sports lighting installations must fulfil defined requirements in terms of illuminances, uniformity, glare restrictions and the colour properties of the light sources used. These can vary depending on the level of competition. In Europe, EN 12193 defines lighting requirements for three different classes of competition. Thorn engineers are highly qualified and experienced in configuring lux levels, uniformity, glare and colour properties for wide-ranging lighting designs in compliance with respective standards and the requirements of the sport’s governing bodies.

3. Is it economical?

Light emitting diodes or LEDs are highly regarded for their long life, low energy consumption and flexible utilisation. They have already become the standard at smaller venues such as tennis courts and indoor halls, and are also increasingly replacing conventional lighting technologies at large stadiums and arenas. Thorn provides a variety of advanced LED floodlight solutions – from the compact and powerful Altis to the highly flexible Champion LED.

4. Is it ecological?

When designing lighting installations for sports facilities, every effort must be made to minimise light pollution and glare to nearby buildings and the surrounding environment. Modern luminaire optics from Thorn direct the light precisely where it is needed to minimise sky glow, glare and obtrusive light. The use of energy-efficient LEDs greatly reduces energy consumption. Sophisticated control technologies allow for easy dimming and adjustment of the light for further energy savings.

5. What about TV compatibility?

Stadiums and arenas that host televised events with HD or 4K TV broadcasting require powerful lighting solutions that can deliver brilliant colour rendering (CRI 86, TLCI > 80) at uniformly distributed levels while preventing glare and flicker. They must also be able to support super slow-motion camera images. Thorn has a range of LED stadium lighting technologies that are designed to do just that.

6. How convenient is the lighting control?

Sports venues, both large and small, are frequently used for different purposes such as games, training sessions, various events and activities. Light levels and uniformity must be precisely configured for various scenarios – and easy to adjust. Thorn offers complete lighting control packages for all types of indoor and outdoor sports facilities. In addition to providing tremendous flexibility and excellent energy savings, they fully meet relevant sports lighting requirements.

7. What advantages does turnkey installation offer?

Having all of the lighting deliverables and installation phases managed by one experienced partner offers the assurance that the project will be completed efficiently, cost-effectively and on time. In short: It offers customers peace of mind. Thorn can provide support every step of the way of a sports lighting project – from the planning and design to the equipment delivery, installation, coordination of subcontractor inputs, commissioning and maintenance.

8. Is it easy to maintain?

Once installed, lighting must be regularly cleaned and serviced to ensure optimal performance. To determine lighting maintenance requirements and intervals for an installation, it is essential to calculate the maintenance factor. Luminaires and control technologies from Thorn are designed specifically for easy cleaning, maintenance and access to individual components should a replacement or repair be required.

9. Does it allow you to be creative?

Advanced lighting technologies available today allow sports venues to take advantage of new and creative lighting possibilities. LEDs and forward-oriented control systems such as DMX from Thorn make it easy to create spectacular effects typically only seen in theatre lighting. DMX technology lets you control each individual light point. When combined with colour-effect fittings, colour changing is also possible.

10. Does it inspire?

A carefully designed sports lighting installation provides more than illumination. It creates a mood and atmosphere, giving a venue a distinct personality all its own. Intelligent sports lighting captures and directs people’s attention, intensifies the emotions of a moment, and fills a space with energy, excitement and enthusiasm. In short: It inspires our passion.

← Back to overview