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Sports Lighting Standards

by YAHAM | Jun 22, 2022 | Lighting projects | 550

football field lighting

1. Horizontal illuminance standard

Lighting standards all have specific regulations on lighting detection, and the measurement site size and grid point of each movement are specified in detail. For example, the measurement site of football field is 105 m×68 m. The spacing of grid points is 10 m, and 77 grid points are measured. Other sports also have corresponding regulations

2.Vertical illuminance standard
Vertical illuminance is also important, especially for running people and moving targets in the air, to make the picture clearer on television. They are measured from 90°, 180°, 270° and other directions, so the acceptance of the standard is very strict, because it needs to adapt to the photography of cameras in different directions.

3. Lighting uniformity design requirements

This is based on two measurements that determine the amount of light that’s over the entire pitch. The first is the U1 value that is what any spectator, player, or camera is exposed to. This often contains the levels of light from a minimum to a maximum range that are collected from the illuminance testing. The U1 defines a visual performance experience.

The second measurement is the U2 value that determines the visual exposure at the lowest level. This is related to CRI and levels of lighting design comfort that’s needed to view the pitch and players in-action.

4. Color temperature selection
The average pitch rated for soccer is between 4200K-6200K and depends on the size of a stadium or arena. There are minor color adjustments that TV cameras will adjust to when changing from day to night shoots accordingly. The stadium lights are mandatory even in the daytime to ensure the complete coverage and even transitioning into the night.

5. Avoid flicker factors

Because of the element of flicker issues that are caused by traditional sports lighting, TV cameras often reveal slow-motion flicker. HID, metal halide, and high-pressure sodium lights are still used extensively throughout older stadiums. When TV cameras use 300 frames per second to view slow-motion replays, this flickering can be an issue. Newer stadiums that use LED sports lighting do not experience a flicker problem for 4k or 8K TV cameras.

football field lighting

6. TLCI standards
There are disadvantages of how CRI (color rendering index) is measured. It doesn’t translate well for the newer UHD (ultra-high-definition) 4K/8K cameras so a newer index is used instead for TV. It is called the TLCI (Television Lighting Consistency Index) and is a more accurate requirement for UHD cameras. Even though it’s not approved as an international standard for soccer stadium lighting, it does have high praise from the EBU. This is the European Broadcasting Union that often covers FIFA championships and games.

TLCI completely simulates the specific color performance of TV cameras and displays. It uses 18 reference colors associated with recording and playback devices, allowing for more accurate evaluation of color rendering. As with CRI, this level is capped at 100, with the higher the better. With a TLCI of 85 or higher, cameras with little or no adjustment can be used.

7. Glare control
Glare is an issue that can affect spectators or athletes to varying degrees of discomfort. It’s not limited to the loss of visual abilities on the playing field. This glare is further defined as sports lights that are too bright, too large, or not shielded correctly. This can also relate to sunlight that is reflecting off surfaces (excluding sports lights) which lead to annoying glare. Under the UEFA, tests to determine glare are carried out by the CIE.

The International Commission on Illumination will conduct several extensive tests to determine glare issues. Not until the findings are published by the CIE with a glare rating report. This report is a scale of 1-10 with a lower number representing a better rating. Each direction within the stadium is observed from 0-360 degrees, measuring every 15 degrees in between.

8. Athlete shadow

The UEFA has a very strict requirement on how sports lighting is placed on a pitch. Any stadium that uses a standard 4 corner high mast lighting design is simply not UEFA approved. It has become a golden standard that all hard shadows are removed from a player or object on the pitch. If they cannot be removed completely, the softening of shadows from all angles by 75% is recommended. 

This is achieved by using lighting around the entire parameter of a stadium at selected degree angles. These angles include a variety of combinations which is outlined by the UEFA stadium lighting guide and their broadcasting regulations.

Author:YAHAM Lighting
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