General Lighting Sports Human Centric Lighting LED

Across the Board, Racehorses Do Better with LED

While it’s well-known that LED lighting is cost- and energy-efficient, some British stable owners observe that LEDs may also improve the physical health and well-being of their racehorses, too.

Lighting Decisions for Horse Facilities

Farmers and riders have long experimented with horse barn lighting options. There are obviously a number of requirements for these kinds of lamps—not only do they have to provide high-quality light, but they must be watertight and extremely corrosion-resistant.  While the T5HO vapor-tight high bay fixtures are often recommended for horse barn lighting, it may be time to consider a new-technology upgrade.

Keith Foster, who owns Exhibition Seeds, and Stephen Fry, of HydroGarden, suggested full-spectrum LED lights. They recommended the lights be put into two horse stalls at Phil Kirby’s Sharpehill Stables in North Yorkshire, England, and Kirby agreed. Kirby installed the LEDs in two of his horse stalls, leaving them on from 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM each day for six weeks. They haven’t looked back since. 

The stall of one of the racehorses in Kirby’s observations.

LED Success in the Stable

After just two weeks, both horses required an increase in daily food rations, and Kirby noticed clear improvements in each horse’s skin, muscle tone, appearance, and gallop. Kirby told HydroGarden that the two horses with LED lights in their stalls performed better than the other horses relying  on what little natural light was available.

The Science Behind LED Effectiveness

LED lights promote the release of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which carries energy to cells. When the ATP level of each horse was increased, cells could more efficiently use nutrients and eliminate waste. This benefited every aspect of each horse’s health. Similar studies in Italy and Singapore found that LED lights can improve the body’s ability to heal muscle strains and wounds, too.

LED-lighting-in-stable-atmosphereIncreasing LED Lighting During the Winter

Unfortunately, Kirby had to stop the LED trial short when summer approached, as the horses needed softer ground for running than what was available in the region. Kirby plans to add the LED lights to two additional stalls in the coming fall to give the horses the full effect of the lighting through the winter months, when natural light is harder to provide. He also plans to use the lights from October to March on foals and yearlings with the hope that the young horses will achieve better size.

Human Applications of LEDs

Given how well the racehorses responded to the lights, it isn’t too surprising that humans can benefit from LEDs as well. Not only have LED “tail lights” been utilized to increase the safety of horses and their riders, LEDs help regulate our circadian rhythms, keeping us and our horses in competitive, performance-ready condition.


Lighting the Way to a Healthier Future

We’ve only just begun to explore the benefits of LED lights, but we expect them to work just as well for horses as they do for humans. I have a feeling the equestrian community will soon see that LEDs are an easy way to help their horses (and save owners some money, too).

Would You Bet On It?

Do you believe in the possibilities of LEDs as much as I do? Would you be more willing to bet on a horse that had been exposed to LED barn lighting?

Here is a collection of places you can buy bitcoin online right now.

Sports LED

LED Lighting for Volleyball Courts Makes Regulatory Compliance Easier

If you run outdoor volleyball facilities for a town, club or professional association, you know how much of a headache compliance with light-trespass and light-pollution regulations has become. Even light systems that are compliant at installation degrade in both light quality and fixture orientation, and bam—you have an unhappy neighbor or a regulatory official pounding on your door.

LED volleyball court lighting systems are now available to help you save money with greatly reduced energy costs, reduced maintenance needs, and greatly improved lighting for players. Many LED fixtures available for sports lighting now are able to reduce the energy use by 50-60% as compared to traditional HID systems. Improvements in LED technology has increased the rated life from 50,000 hours to an astounding 100,000 hours; almost 10 times the life of pulse start-metal halide lights. This extension in lamp life allows for your sports court lights to fit regulations longer.

Beyond  reduced energy use and increased life, LED lighting is carefully shaped, focused and tuned using custom optic designs to direct all the light to the ground, right where you want it, without glare to observers outside the court area and without spillage upwards to contribute to light pollution and “dark sky” impingement. This ability to direct light in specific directions helps prevent non-compliance due to a slight movement in a mounting arm. In addition, custom light optics prevents shadows on the courts as well as fixtures or lights obstructing players views.

Lower energy and maintenance costs, better lighting for court and player needs and a reduction in “light law” violations… what’s not to like?

General Lighting Sports Fixtures

Will Your Poles Stand Up To The Wind?

It can get windy out there no matter where you are, but it can get especially gusty in coastal Florida and other similar high-wind zones. If you have pole-mounted fixtures lighting your parking lot, tennis court, or even just your backyard, things can get pretty interesting in areas like those during hurricane season.

Whenever Mother Nature gets herself all riled up and throws a major storm in our direction, the media serves up almost endless images of light poles swaying in the wind along with the inevitable examples of a few that couldn’t take the stress and toppled over onto some car’s windshield or ended up strewn across an outdoor tennis or basketball court. At times like these, it’s hard not to worry if your light poles are going to stay up or, instead, be turned into deadly, wind-blown debris. At the very least, you’re always going to wonder how much it’s going to cost to replace whatever gets blown down.

Pole-mounted fixtures have definite advantages. They are bright, require very low maintenance, and operate cost-efficiently.  As such, they are an ideal solution for outdoor sports lighting and similar applications. However, this type of installation has an inherent structural challenge; it’s unbelievably top-heavy. Mounting one or more large, heavy, cast-metal fixtures on top of a slender pole, and doing so in an area known for its high winds, can easily turn into a recipe for disaster if the wrong pole is specified.

Many companies that sell light poles insist that the ones they recommend for use in low-wind applications are also capable of coping with higher-velocity wind zones. In fact, this is rarely true. Quite often, a pole will be able to withstand certain wind stresses, but that may not take into consideration the fixture(s) installed on top. Let’s face it, a 4”x4” 7-gauge steel pole with two 70-pound fixtures mounted on top probably won’t stand a chance when things get breezy in coastal South Carolina.

Dan Rodriguez, Sales Manager for Worcester, MA-based Access Fixtures says his company offers multiple solutions to this problem.  “Quite a few of our customers have installations in zones where Class V hurricanes are a frequent occurrence,” he said. “For applications like this, we strongly recommend a much more robust structure. Typically, our customers will choose a 5”x5” 7-gauge pole for virtually all high-wind applications, but for areas with the most savage, sustained winds, we also offer a standard 6”x6” 7-gauge as well as poles custom built to any size or specification.”

While selecting a larger, more robust pole may incur a small price premium when compared to purchasing the smaller, weaker 4”x4” variety, the stronger, more durable pole will protect your investment and – most importantly – ensure your installation meets local code.

Rodriguez commented, “Before purchasing pole-mounted fixtures for high-wind zones, it is important to identify their Effective Projected Area; what we in the lighting industry refer to as EPA. The EPA of a fixture is equal to the area exposed to direct wind from a particular angle. All pole-mounted fixtures and mounting hardware have EPA ratings. Obviously, the total EPA and the weight mounted on any pole must not exceed the pole’s maximum rating for the wind zone in which it is located.”

The moral of this story:  Pay close attention to your local codes, and strongly consider building in a little extra buffer to ensure your fixtures stay up in the air where they belong rather than succumbing to the powerful combination of strong winds and gravity.

General Lighting Sports

Light Pollution at Award-Winning Target Field

Target Field opened in 2010 to rave reviews for its atmosphere, amenities, and even its food. ESPN The Magazine ranked it as the No. 1 stadium in North America. And it’s LEED Silver Certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.

But Target Field has one major problem for nearby Minneapolis residents who live in the Falls and Pinnacle condominium complex, according to MinnPost. Unlike most of the sports world, they aren’t so happy with Target Field. During the day, they have a wonderful view of the ballpark from their windows and balconies. At night, they have a not-so-wonderful view of the blinding lights.

Light pollution can be a major problem for multiple reasons. Excessive or misdirected light can disrupt wildlife and ecosystems, and as Target Field proves, it can also affect humans. It obscures the view of the night sky, disrupts sleep, and can make it difficult for drivers to see. This past August, NPR even discussed light pollution in Light Pollution and ‘The End Of Night.’

The problematic lights aren’t the ones used to illuminate the field, but a separate set called “housekeeping light” that helps cleaning crews see all the garbage that fans have left behind. They shine onto the seating areas for an eight-hour cleaning schedule after each game or event, as well as into the homes of residents in the 19-story Falls and 27-story Pinnacle buildings.

Dan Mather, the president of the Falls and Pinnacle homeowners association, has been pushing the Twins and the Minnesota Ball Park Authority to do something about the light pollution. Four years and many phone calls and meetings later, the park has started to do something about the problem. The first base lights will no longer be used and six to eight individual bulbs were re-aimed recently to avoid shining directly at the buildings. Fortunately, Mather noticed a big difference after a recent Paul McCartney concert at Target Field.

This issue could’ve been avoided before they received complaints from nearby residents. Factors like light source and angle at which they’re directed can make a big impact. LED lighting, in particular, is known to reduce light trespass.

Before starting any lighting project, it’s important for property managers to consider factors like light pollution and light trespass, or risk incessant complaints from the neighborhood. I, Dr. Bulb, think it’s always worth it to be a good neighbor! $550 million ballparks should not be an exception.

Sports LED

St. Mary’s Stadium Becomes First LED-lit Arena in Europe

Southampton sports fans are in for a treat this year as St. Mary’s stadium has become the first stadium in Europe to provide full LED lighting. As I’ve noted before, LED lights have been advancing to the point where they are more energy-efficient as well as more cost-effective than traditional bulbs. Since these lights are long-lasting, they will reduce the amount of new lamps the stadium must install each year. Best of all, lighting in the stadium will be enhanced with improved brightness.

The improvements were conducted by the club after the Premier League issued guidance for the 2015 season asking for increased brightness. In many European stadiums, the lights are inadequate for safe football playing. The lighting improvement will continue the sports club’s tradition of lighting excellence, being the first stadium in England to have floodlights installed 64 years ago.

Ian Williams, the club’s CTO, commented that the lights were the beginning of the club’s new partnership with Vision Accendo lighting. The company specializes in building energy-efficient LED lights for use in stadiums, commercial applications, and even home use. The lights will provide 360 degree lighting from all angles of the stadium.

Unlike traditional florescent lights commonly used by football clubs across Europe, these new lights are almost flicker-free. This means that slow-motion replays will look much better as each frame will be smoother. Compared to the league’s guidance that new lights should have no more than a 6% flicker rate, the .2% flicker rate of this new equipment will put St. Mary’s far above any other stadium in Europe.\

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Sports LED

LED Lighting for Pirates

In 2001, a security guard working the evening shift at the Gulf Tower in Pittsburgh had a very important responsibility. Whenever the Pittsburgh Pirates hit a homerun, he was instructed to press a button which triggered a strobe light at the top of the building. I, Dr. Bulb, wouldn’t mind having that job! I definitely know my sports lighting.

The lights have come a long way since then. According to the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette, the lights atop the Gulf Tower were retrofitted with energy efficient LED lights, which enabled the owners to have a little more fun. C&C Lighting designed the system for a new and improved weather beacon in addition to sequences for holidays and sporting events. Last May, the lights revolved like a rotating red hockey strobe every time the Pittsburgh Penguins scored.

Now, it’s time for the Pittsburgh Pirates to get in on the fun! The lights turn on whenever the team hits a homerun, scores or wins. Check out the diagram below, created by the Post-Gazette.

Larry Walsh, senior vice president of Rugby Realtors, owner of the tower, had been coordinating the displays for much of the summer using his cell phone.

Since the tower is visible from PNC Park, it adds an entirely new element to the baseball game, according to Walsh in the Post-Gazette. “It’s gotten incredible response. I think the impetus was the fact that from PNC you look straight out at this building and it stands out there alone in the distance. It’s a natural fit for 38,000 people to look out and see it as a symbol.”

In mid-August, Walsh turned the great responsibility over to Paul Denillo, the Pirates’ production coordinator of in-game entertainment. Using programs set up by the Gulf Tower owners, he turns on the light shows with a simple click of a mouse. Home or away, the Gulf Tower serves to inform Pittsburghers of their beloved baseball team’s success.

Illuminating the tops of buildings has been around for a long time, even on the Gulf Tower. In 1932, the top six floors were designed to display weather conditions using different colored lights. Unfortunately, the high cost of maintenance of the individual neon tubes caused the owners to cease the lighting displays several decades later. But with the low-maintenance of energy efficient LEDs, a 21st century weather beacon was possible.

LED lighting saves the day again!

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