How Bright Does Sports Lighting Get?

BRC stadium lighting

The trend toward nighttime sports events has increased over the past few years. It makes sense, as it means more people can make it to the game and the players escape the heat of the day. The lighting rigs at all the major stadiums are huge, providing near daylight conditions. So, how bright does sports lighting get?

Generally speaking, a rugby, league or Aussie Rules field will need 200 000 lumens to light up the entire field. A lumen is the Standard International measurement for the power of light as perceived by the human eye. A lumen is dependent on the distance from the source to the measuring device, as well as the spectrum. Roughly speaking, one candle is equivalent to one lumen.

While 200 000 lumens is enough to light up the field, in the bigger stadium, like the GABBA, they need far more light as they also need to light up the stands and they need to be able to use TV cameras. In these types of stadiums, they will often go past the million-lumen mark.

The main aim with sports lighting at the moment is to achieve the same luminosity with less power usage, as traditionally the big stadium rigs have been very inefficient.