It is a fact that more than 80 percent of Major League Baseball (MLB) games are played at night, under the lights. Lights make every play visible to fans, players and coaches and the TV audience at home. However, when you think about it, sports lighting is more than just about being able to see the game clearly. Different shades and intensity of light elicit emotions from us all. What is already an emotional occasion – a sporting event – becomes even more engaging when we not only see but experience light whether it is through its changing intensity or it’s rhythmic synchronicity with music and sound. That is where technologies such as our wireless dimmers come into play. So let’s take a moment to look at the role lighting plays in illuminating sporting events.
The History of Sports Lighting
One lasting symbol of the ancient Olympic is the famous torch that has for generations marked the opening of each series of games. However, the torch alone did not illustrate those early games. The games are illuminated with the help of strategically placed parabolic mirrors. During the night, the games were halted due to lack of visibility. Not until Edison invented the carbon-thread incandescent bulb in 1879 were sports fans able to view night games. This was followed by floodlights capable of producing light on the magnitude of tens of thousands of candle power. Today, we have LED lighting, wireless and the Internet to profusely illustrate games and to make them truly come alive.
In 2013 there was a blackout during the Super Bowl which lasted for 34 minutes. This occurred while the San Francisco 49ers were mounting a rally against the Baltimore Ravens. This event naturally infuriated spectators and illustrated the importance of lighting at sporting venues. However, as we have already stated, visibility is just one requirement of lighting at such events. Here are some tips for experts who will be using lighting equipment at sporting events.
- Proper placement: The hardware must be placed in a manner that makes it accessible to lighting experts.
- Knowledge of available resources: Experts should know ahead of time which electrical energy transmission systems, batteries, fuel cells, generators, alternators, dimmer packs, etc they will be using.
- Experts should put lighting in the proper context: As we said, lighting is not simply about making things visible. Light helps create shadows and texture. Moreover, it reveals and accentuates the beauty of the venue itself.
In short, lighting is as important as any other aspect of sporting venues. Indeed, it is more important than most. Without it games would not be visible, crowds would not be energized and the beauty of the venue would go underappreciated.