Here I will explain what are the rules for lighting the outdoor football terrain. First, we need to define the right category of the field is it for training or for competition?
Choosing the right category of the Football field
Bellow, the table is shown an average horizontal illuminance level Eav for training, practice, and competition games. The horizontal measurement grid should be 1m above the terrain.
Next, when we define the category we can start planning the lights like wattages, beam angles, color temperature, and pole heights. If it is a new field we can suggest the height of the pole, and if there are already poles installed we can choose lights with a corresponding height of the poles.
For the football fields mainly there are two types of fixtures. The difference is with the light beam, it can be asymmetrical and symmetrical light beam. Asymmetrical light beam fixtures are used if there is a shorter distance from the pole to the field, and if there are longer distances fixtures with symmetrical beams are used. Fixtures with small beams 15-30 degrees that are pointed on the field and do not extand beyond the field lead to high lighting efficiency and reduce the glare of the players to a minimum. Fixtures shoud be mechanically resistant and protected against corrosion.
Basic rules for pole placement
The right arrangement of the poles where are installed lights have a significant impact on the light in the field. There are some of basic rules that should be followed for installing poles on football fields.
Image 1 shows the arrangement of the poles in a football terain with 6 poles ( 3 by 3 arrangement).
The first rule is that It is important to have safety distances from the poles to the edge of the playing area. This distance should be at least 3m.
The second rule is not to place poles in the area 15 degrees left and right from the center of the goal. This is very important because if it is not followed it can cause the blinding of the goalkeeper.
L = field length
e = safety distance 3m – distance from the poles to the edge of the field
a = distance from the corner to the pole
15° = area in which no lights may be placed due to blinding of the goalkeeper
In the field, with 4 poles same rules apply to the field with 6 poles.
What are the lighting rules that should be met?
Before any installation, it is crucial to prove by a photometric plan that all of the lighting requirements like illuminance, uniformity, glare, and illumination on the goals are met.
Pole height is important to determine in order to reduce the glare and to ensure good illuminance and also uniformity of the playing field. Tilting of the lights must be ≤70 degrees vertically and the mounting height should comply with the following minimum values:
- Small fields Lph = 14 m, for 6 poles with lights
- Fields with 64x100m Lph = 16 m, for 6 poles with lights, Lph = 18 m for 4 poles with lights
- Playing fields 68 x 105 m and larger Lph = 18 m
Football field with poles placed near the corners
Placing the poles on the corners of the football field is usually done if we have a circular running track around the field.