LED (light emitting diode) fixtures focus multiple narrow beams of light. They produce brighter, more uniform light, which significantly reduces glare and shadows on the field and creates a better atmosphere for players and fans watching the game at the ballpark.
For fans watching on HDTV, LED lights provide better color rendering by more evenly distributing light across the spectrum. There is also no flicker, which is necessary for the super-slow-motion technology now in use during game telecasts.
Joe Garagiola, Jr., Senior Vice President of Standards & On-Field Operations for Major League Baseball, said: "Thus far, our experience has indicated that the Mariners new LED technology at Safeco Field will be better for our players, fans in the ballpark and viewers watching at home. We applaud the Mariners for an innovative step that promises to improve efficiency and the fan experience in numerous ways, all while serving as a welcome addition to our overall greening efforts."
In addition to the improved experience for players and fans, LED fixtures are more efficient and have a longer lifespan than metal halide lamps. Safeco Field's LED conversion will reduce energy consumption for field lighting by 60-70 percent. In addition to energy efficiency, the LED lamps last over 100,000 hours, or more than 30 years. Metal halide lamps must be changed every 3,000 hours or so. And unlike metal halide lights, which need a 20 minute warm-up, LED lights respond instantly when switched on.
"The benefits of converting to LED lighting are across the board from the play on the field to supporting the Mariners long-established sustainability goals," said Joe Myhra, Seattle Mariners Vice President Ballpark Operations. "The GigaTera fixtures represent the latest in LED technology. This project was the result of the work of many partners, including Planled and KMW, working together on this new approach to sports lighting."
"It's a privilege for us to partner with the Seattle Mariners to light the first MLB stadium with the most advanced sports lighting system in sports history," said John Hwang, Planled CEO. "We are also planning to hold workshops and seminars in partnership with Lighting Design Lab, Green Sports Alliance and Human Centric Lighting Society to share our experiences with other venues."
Planled is producing a video that documents the project from the beginning to serve as a resource for others who are interested in learning more about the use of LED lighting.
NRG Stadium, the home of the Houston Texans, University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona, which is hosting the 2015 Super Bowl on February 1, and Staples Center in Los Angeles are among the professional sports facilities in the U.S. that have converted to LED lighting.