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Sports Lighting is one of the most common types of projects we work with and one of the most requested and utilized fixtures we sell. LED Lighting has changed and has become more efficient since their beginning. This is why more baseball and softball fields are upgrading their Metal Halide fixtures to more energy efficient and cost saving LED Lighting.  

The unique issue with baseball and softball fields is making sure the light levels in the infield are brighter than the light levels in the outfield. For most recreation to collegiate ball fields, there are typically 6 to 8 pole available. The most common configuration is 8 – 4 pole lighting up the infield and 4 pole lighting up the outfield.

LED Sports lights are that unique combination of power, high quality lighting and optics. Choosing the right combination of lights can be tricky, if not for lighting plans. The lighting plan solves most issues inside software – before any money or commitment is made. 

Read the steps we consider our the most important to adding LED Lights to your softball or baseball field.

 

8 Tips to Help you MAKE YOUR DECISION BASEBALL and SOFTBALL LIGHTING DECISIONS EASIER

1. Lighting Plans is the #1 Key to Success

The first thing before buying LED lights is to create a lighting plan. This is because different fields need different requirements; pole height, field size, foot candles, all effect the amount of fixtures a field will need. A perfect example of this is a 4 pole softball field isn’t going to need or have the same amount of fixtures as an 8 pole baseball field.

A lighting plan is very important and is more so important when lighting an outdoor space because it can show how many foot candles is in the infield and outfield separately. It can also give a visual on what the lighting will look like with a 3D render. This is important as we can make changes as needed for customer satisfaction.

 How many Sport Lights do you need?

The amount of sport lights a customer will need really depends on so many factors which is why lighting plans are important. The amount of fixtures really depends on the amount of foot candles needed and desired. This is also effected by, pole location, pole height, and field size.  

Lighting Plans take the risk out of purchasing lights.

We have done thousands of FREE lighting plans. We have several sport lights to choose from to meet almost any requirement or budget.  

 

2. Pole Placements: Baseball Fields

Most baseball and softball fields we’ve seen have either 4, 6 or 8 poles. The more poles that are located around the field, the easier it will be to provide balanced, even lighting.

Secondly, in most cases, taller poles are better than shorter poles. It allows the lights to work naturally providing balanced, even lighting. It also has the benefit of helping against glare.

Softball Field Lighting Layout
Softball Field Lighting
Screenshot 2022 04 18 133008

Softball Field Pole Placements

Softball
Screenshot 2022 04 18 153606

3. Determine The Light Levels you need – think lumens

The hardest part of thinking about light levels is learning that watts are not the same as lumens and higher wattage doesn’t always means bright lights. 

Try starting with understanding what lumens per watt is. 

Once you understand that then choosing the right fixture, with our lighting specialists guidance, should be easier. When  choosing a fixture it important to keep in mind pole height and field size. Optics can help a lot with shining the light further but sometimes its not enough and a heavier duty fixture is needed to get the ideal lighting.

Unlike indoor fixtures there seems to be an ideal pole height for field lighting and that is around 40 ft. However a tall pole height isn’t always an option due to budget. With a lower pole height the best option is typically a tighter optic as we can get more light further out with a smaller fixture.

Baseball Imf 400

4. Foot Candle Requirements and Options

When lighting a softball field or a baseball field there are two sets of foot candles that matter; the infield and the outfield. The infield usually has more foot candles than the outfield. The standard amount of foot candles changes based on what level of play the fields are being used for.

Softball Field and Baseball Field

Collegiate (Televised): Infield: 100 FC, Outfield: 70 FC

Collegiate: Infield: 70 FC, Outfield: 50 FC

High School: Infield: 50 FC, Outfield: 30 FC

Little League: Infield: 50 FC, Outfield: 30 FC

Recreational: Infield: 30 FC, Outfield: 20 FC

5. Three Common Sport Light Options: Compact, lightweight but powerful

There are 3 types of Sport Light fixtures we typically use 200 Watt, 400 Watt, and 600 Watt. Each fixture has its use and our lighting specialist are capable to help pick the right fixture for our customers’ project. Typically a lower pole height requires something like the 200 Watt or 400 Watt fixture but this is easily changed based on each customers’ needs.

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200 Watt Sport Light replaces 400 Watt Metal Halide

These are a good light weight fixture, cost effective. Great for small fields and short pole heights. Typically best for 30/20 foot candle on fields.

Watts: 200

Lumens: 28000

Efficiency Ratings: 140 lumens per watt

Replaces: 400 Watt Metal Halide

Best Color Temperatures: 5000K

CRI: 70+

IP Rating (Wet): IP66

Voltages: Standard: 100V-277V. High: 277V-480V

Impact Ratings: IK08

Mounting Options: Yoke | 2 3/8 Pole

Surge Protection: Available

Motion Sensors: Available

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400 Watt Sport Light replaces 1000 Watt Metal Halide

These lights are one of our more popular options as they are a great in between and provide nice coverage with a good price point. These fixtures are pretty flexible between pole heights, foot candle requirements, and field sizes.

Watts: 400

Lumens: 56000

Efficiency Ratings: 140 lumens per watt

Replaces: 1000 Watt HID

Best Color Temperatures: 5000K

CRI: 70+

IP Rating (Wet): IP66

Voltages: Standard: 100V-277V. High: 277V-480V

Impact Ratings: IK08

Mounting Options: Yoke | 2 3/8 Pole

Surge Protection: Available

Motion Sensors: Available

Screenshot 2022 04 18 135331

600 Watt Sport Light replaces 1500 Watt Metal Halide

These fixtures are great for large fields, minimal poles, and/or a high foot candle requirement.

Watts: 600

Lumens: 84,000

Efficiency Ratings: 140 lumens per watt

Replaces: 1500 Watt HID

Best Color Temperatures: 5000K

CRI: 70+

IP Rating (Wet): IP66

Voltages: Standard: 100V-277V. High: 277V-480V

Impact Ratings: IK08

Mounting Options: Yoke | 2 3/8 Pole

Surge Protection: Available

Motion Sensors: Available

6. Make sure you know your voltage

The typical voltage ranges between 100 and 480 volts. These drivers switch to the incoming voltage automatically, so there is no need to adjust. The common voltage ranges are:

100V-277V (Standard)

277V-480V (High Voltage Option)

Takeaway: LED Drivers are able to adjust on their own to the voltage that’s coming in as long as that voltage is in the range the fixtures are graded for. That is good as some places use a voltage of 347-480.

37 Voltage Web Icons
39 Voltage Web Icons
347-480V

7. Color Temperatures

By far the most practical color temperatures for outdoor baseball and softball fields are 4000K and 5000K. And between those two options, 5000K is the best option for replacing metal halide lights. If you are currently using High Pressure Sodium Lighting, then either option will be a massive improvement over HPS lights.

Color Temperature Bulbs

8. Choosing the Correct Optic / Beam Angle

Choosing the right optic / beam angle is something to consider but what will really help determine the optics is the lighting plan. The lighting plan done by our product specialist will determine what’s the best optic for the softball or baseball field. Typically choosing an optic is dependent on field size and pole height. Typically with a smaller pole height we  need a tighter optic. That being said pole distance and field size also determines what the best optic will be.

The good news: a lighting plan will discover the best optic / beam angle to use. And its not uncommon to specific different beam angles for the infield versus outfield lighting.

Beam Angle Examples

Video Resources to Help Educate You

Dwayne Kula

 

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About the Author

Dwayne Kula is President of LED Lighting Supply. On any given day, Dwayne is writing content for the site and helps manage the marketing initiatives that are on-going. He has a Software Engineering degree and still dabbles in writing software for the company as needed. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his family, working out, playing the occasional game of golf and exploring New England.

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