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LED floodlights headed to US Super Bowl

Fast forward: The National Football League is running towards the future of lighting.

A top American football arena has become the latest major sports venue to light its playing field with LED technology, as the home of the Arizona Cardinals switched on this week and prepares to host the sport’s Super Bowl extravaganza in February.

The University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., replaced 780 metal halide fixtures with 312 LED units from Ephesus Lighting, the website Product Development & Design reported. The stadium used them for the first time five days ago as the Arizona Cardinals stymied the San Francisco 49ers 23-14.

Although LEDs are known as energy savers, their promoters say that they provide another key advantage as floodlights: More uniform and brighter light that cuts down on shadows. That improvement not only helps players and fans at the stadium, but is also a big visual boost for high definition cameras and thus for television viewing.

Stadium operators can also turn LEDs on and off at the flip of a switch rather than waiting for them to warm up. And they can also change their brightness and colours through digital controls.

That all bodes well for an international stage like the Super Bowl, where the action includes not only the championship football game, but also glitzy and light-reliant halftime entertainment shows which over the years have included everything from wardrobe malfunctions to Michael Jackson to the LED-trimmed outfits of the Black Eyed Peas to last-gasp rockers.

LEDs – light emitting diodes – have made major inroads into other areas like street lighting and home lighting. They now look ready for a big move into professional sports floodlighting, as a handful of clubs around the world are pioneering the technology.

In London, for instance, Chelsea Football Club (soccer for our American readers) switched to LEDs in August. In that case, stadium officials are not anticipating huge energy savings because they have boosted lighting levels to the point of eating up efficiency savings.

University of Phoenix Stadium, however, does anticipate a major reduction in its electric bills, according to the story, which says the lights will require 310,000 watts, or only about a quarter of the 1.24 million watts of the metal halides.

The article notes that Ephesus, based in Syracuse, New York, has itself lit several other sports venues with LEDs.

Lighting game on!

Photo is from Action Sports Photography via Shutterstock