It’s that time again lighting fans, March Madness! 64 teams enter the bracket and only one comes out on top. I cannot wait to see my favorite school performing under the lights. President Obama may have chosen Indiana as his champion, but I, Dr. Bulb, have put my money on Louisville taking home the title. While watching these incredibly talented young men compete, you have to remember that they were not always playing on the big stage. Most basketball players learn the game at a young age on an outdoor court, hopefully one with quality lighting that allowed them to continue playing even after the sun went down.
There are a few options when it comes to basketball court lighting; induction lighting, LED lighting and probe start and pulse start metal halide lighting.
Induction lighting: Incredible lamp life, up to 100,000 hours, also the most expensive.
LED Lighting: Lamp life of 50,000 hours, good color rendering index, very energy efficient.
Probe start metal halide: Lamp life of 20,000 hours, 5-10 minute start up.
Pulse start metal halide: Extended lamp life, reduced maintenance costs, consistent color and less energy use for more lumens.
I, Dr. Bulb have done extensive research on value and light quality and have come to the conclusion that pulse start metal halide basketball court lighting is the best overall option. Pulse start metal halide lighting uses an electrical ballast that controls fluctuations in the lamp. Other types of lamps experience these fluctuations, which over time will change the color of the lamps. Having one of my basketball court lights be yellow and the other be blue would really throw off my jumpshot. Pulse start lamps are able to maintain a constant color throughout their life because the advanced ballasts.
Pulse start metal halide lamps last 5,000-10,000 hours longer than probe start metal halides and allow for 14% less lumen depreciation. In addition to the low price of pulse start lamps is the large energy savings. Pulse start lamps create more lumens while using equal electricity, which is good for the environment and your bank account. A quick startup time of about two minutes means that no time is wasted when you want to get outside and practice your free throws.
So good luck to all the schools fortunate enough to be involved in March Madness. You can bet that I, Dr. Bulb, will have my eyes glued to the TV as the top teams in the nation battle it out to hoist the champion trophy over their heads. I will also be cheering for the lights to function properly, unlike at this years Super Bowl.