Athletes need well-lit conditions, not only in competitions or at night, but anytime they are skateboarding, climbing, skiing or swimming. In poorly lit conditions, even small bumps can become dangerous obstacles or cause a missed handgrip. “Sports facilities should be illuminated without hard cast shadow zones, with light that’s neither flickering nor blinding,” says graduate engineer Frank Wieland Roedel, Head of Sports & Area Lighting at Siteco. “As with all large areas, the energy efficiency of the lighting technology plays a major role in sports venues.”
The uniform and energy-efficient illumination of a large area is a complex task with different solutions depending on the situation. Floodlights can be distributed over the area or be arranged around the area to be illuminated. “For instance, floodlights distributed over the area of a soccer field are not a viable option,” says Roedel. Instead, the lighting technology must be arranged around the field. “We then select the most suitable lighting technology to accommodate on-site conditions,” explains the lighting expert. The Floodlight 20 LED system of the Osram subsidiary is frequently chosen for sports facilities.
Asymmetrical light distribution
The system, which was recognized with the 2015 iF DESIGN AWARD, is exceptionally powerful, and, because it can be fitted with 15 different matching LED/lens systems, it stands out for its high flexibility. “This enables us to always achieve optimum illumination results for defined application geometries, whether in parking lots, large logistical areas, roads or sports venues,” says Roedel. Asymmetrical floodlights are used, for example, on soccer fields. In technological terms, they are small optical masterpieces: “They require very good LEDs, excellent optics design and outstanding optical materials,” Roedel says.
High image accuracy
The special optics, which Siteco develops in-house and produces with PLEXIGLAS® via an injection molding process, ensure optimal light distribution for the various LED/lens systems. The brand-name polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) by Evonik has outstanding light transmitting properties and enables precise image accuracy with the sophisticated lens design. “PLEXIGLAS®, with its superior resistance to weathering, is the material of choice for optics in outdoor applications. Moisture, sunlight and temperature cycles hardly affect the material’s properties; luminaires therefore provide a constant, high quality of light for many years,” says René Kogler, product manager at Evonik. Accordingly, the material is ideally suited for the various climatic conditions encountered in sports facilities–dry in a climbing hall, cold on a ski slope, sunny in a skate park, or moist in a swimming pool complex.
Efficient area lighting
In addition, the LED technology stands out for its low energy consumption. “That’s a decisive argument for large areas, which is currently prompting many sports venues to update their lighting technology,” says lighting expert Roedel. The Floodlight 20 LED system reduces the so-called light pollution above athletic facilities and enables more efficient and homogeneous illumination than its predecessors. The optical quality and weathering resistance of PLEXIGLAS® results in illumination that enables ideal competitive conditions and peak athletic performance in sports venues, while also protecting the environment.