Athletic Facility Lighting – Beyond HID Lighting

Athletic Facility Lighting in GymAthletic facilities are a challenge when it comes to good lighting practices. They have high ceilings, are wide open spaces, and are very large. These features mean that these sites can be very expensive to illuminate, but you don’t have to increase your lighting overhead unnecessarily if you employ the services of a professional lighting designer and work with a Lumax local sales representatives to find the right luminaire for your particular athletic facility.

There are some off-site challenges for these facilities as well. Many athletic facilities are situated in residential areas, which are “fully” active several nights a week. In order to minimize these light impacts from sports facilities, set the proper mounting heights for the lighting. 

Athletic Facilities Lighting

Many people think that reducing off-site light impacts can be achieved by lowering the heights of lighting, but this is not the case. The lower you place lighting, the higher aiming angle, and therefore the more light delivered off-site. Reducing off-site impacts of sports facilities can be reached by mounting the lighting properly.

Most athletic facilities use high-intensity discharge (HID) and Fluorescent lamps. HID lamps have shown great efficacy and long life span. They can be metal halide, high pressure sodium or HPS. One of their most recognizable features is that when they are turned on, they show a time delay. A user will see a slow buildup of light from the source until the lamp reaches its full brightness.

Fluorescent lamps are also efficient and have a long life span. They also have good color rendering and low brightness. However, they have low optical control and they are particularly temperature sensitive.

More and more athletic facilities are using LED lighting, and LED is a frequent replacement for HID and CFLs. They deliver good color quality, they have more illumination levels and the consistency in light distribution is great. LEDs are also a popular choice for gyms and stadiums because they are durable and thus, are safer for people and have lower maintenance costs compared to other luminaire technologies.


Gyms and stadiums have unique lighting challenges. Lighting should be appropriate for both the people who are participating in athletics and also any spectators and staff. Because there are a number of lighting options available, challenges to overcome, and the cost over-lighting is so high, an audit and asking professionals for their services is a good tip.