The function of lighting is to allow participants and spectators to see what is happening, without handicapping them with glare or inadequate illumination levels.
The SLL Lighting Handbook and SLL Lighting Guide 4: Sports Lighting provides detailed guidance on sports lighting requirements.
There are many factors which need to be considered when planning lighting for sports pitches, such as:
- The standard of play - leisure, amateur, club, national or international
- The requirements of the sport itself. The action might be fast-paced with participants running and moving quickly or it might be much slower as in bowls or archery
- The direction of view. It may be upwards as in tennis, downwards as in bowls, or a combination of both, as in rugby and football
- The number and location of spectators
The common objectives are:
- To have the correct illumination level for the participants, given the standard of play
- To allow spectators to watch and see the action clearly
- To create a safe environment for players and spectators
- To avoid glare and an uncomfortable environment
Sports Pitch Design
The size and nature of the facility will often dictate the type of lighting. Luminaires must be installed outside the playing area mounted on columns at sufficient height to avoid being hit by balls or other objects, and also outside the field of view of participants and spectators.