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LED Golf Course and Driving Range Lights

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LED Driving Range and Golf Course Lighting

Discover how to save money with energy efficient lighting options for your golf course. High Power LED Options to light up fairways and driving ranges.

Proper golf course lighting is achieved with LED. Whether it's for a golf course or driving range lighting. LED offers reduced overhead costs and a better experience for the facilities golfers. Adding high power LED flood lights to driving range extends the operating hours and reduces lighting costs.

Golf Course and Driving Range Lighting

LED Golf Course Lights Make Golfing At Night Possible

Nighttime golfing was once a rare thing. On moonlight evenings, golfing enthusiasts would play the game using glow-in-the-dark balls. But, this would involve a lot of eye straining as the lighting fixtures used in golf courses were not powerful. But led golf course lighting changed all that. Nighttime golfing is now a reality and those who love the game can play into the night. For golf course owners, this is a welcome change as the courses remain open long after the sun has set.

Golf is unlike other outdoor sports as it is not limited to a small playing area. A typical golf course covers 150 to 200 acres of playing space. Lighting a golf course is no small undertaking. This is why some golf course owners never bother to change the lighting. Also, the installation and operation costs of golf course lighting have to be justified by golfers who take advantage of it.

HID lights, which were the go-to lights for golf courses a few years ago, are expensive to maintain. They do not have long life spans and the light output decreases according to the usage. Powerful LED golf course lighting has brought about a transformation. It's made nighttime golf possible and economical.

High-quality LED golf course lights produce sufficient amounts of light for nighttime golf. Also, it only uses 30% (or less) of the energy traditional lighting systems consume. The good thing about LEDs is they can be controlled and paired with intelligent systems. They detect natural light and adjust the light according to the ambient light. This ensures less electricity is used and enough light is generated.

Furthermore, LED lights do not have a warm-up and cool-down time. They attain full illumination as soon as electricity is fed to them. HID lights, such as metal halides and high pressure sodium lamps, have a warm-up and cool-down time. They must be switched on before darkness sets so they can produce ample light by the time it's dark. With LED lighting, golf course managers can turn the lights on and off as needed. This furthers decreasing energy consumption.

The prospect of nighttime golfing is appealing. Not only to golfers who are only able to play at night but also those who prefer the cooler temperatures. A lot of golfers, especially those in Southern parts of the U.S. with high temperatures during the summer months, prefer to play golf early in the day. Before the high temperatures make being outdoors uncomfortable.

Powerful LED golf course lighting allows golfers to play the game when temperatures are optimal. Golf GPS devices and rangefinders also work well under LED lighting. For golfers whose sight is a bit worse at night, bright LED golf course lights can help them to maintain their par — or even beat it.

While professional golf tournaments will be played in the day, well-illuminated golf courses give golfers alternatives for when they can play. Nighttime golf also enhances the appeal of the sport, given that there are many other sports to choose from.

 

LED Golf Course Lighting

Why LED Golf Course Lighting

Longer Life Span

Traditional lighting such as metal halide and high intensity discharge lamps are neither durable nor energy-efficient. And instead of converting all the electricity they draw into light, they convert up to 75% of it into heat.

Light-emitting diodes are very energy-efficient as they convert most of the electricity they pull (up to 95%) into light. The high efficiency of LEDs is the main reason many golf courses are switching to this modern lighting.

Lower Lifetime Costs

 

The cost of running golf course lights is usually dependent on the size of the course and the level of competition. Recreational golf clubs with 18 holes need approximately 200 lux. If the golf course covers 5,000 square meters, 1 million lumens will be needed (5,000 x 200 lux). If you get LEDs that produce 140 watts, the energy required will be around 7,000 watts. This figure specifies the lowest theoretical power required.

The median electricity cost in the United States is $0.12 kW/h. If the golf course is open every night for 6 hours, the running costs will be 6 hours x 7,000 watts x $0.12/1,000. The daily running costs will be $5.04, the monthly running costs will be $150, while the yearly running cost will be $1,840.

But, if metal halide bulbs are used to light up the golf course, more power will be needed (3-5 times more). This means that the annual lighting costs will be approximately $5,520-$9,200. And while LED golf course lighting maybe expensive initially, it lasts longer and saves you money in the long run. In fact, the payback period for LED lighting is usually 2 years or less.

Lower Maintenance Costs for Golf Courses

Long Life Expectancy

 

The minimum life span of LED lights is 50,000 hours. If these lights are installed in a golf course and are only used for 6 hours a day, they can last for more than 20 years. Those with a rated life of 100,000 hours can last much longer. This is why LEDs are such a great investment, the bulbs are very cost-effective.

Also, LED lights usually have the L70 rating, which means they keep 70% of the lumens for the entire life span. Traditional lighting technologies do not have long life spans and lose the lumens from the moment they're installed.

By the time they get to half of their life span, they may generate 70% less visible light. The bad news is even as the bulbs produce less light, they may continue to draw the same amount of energy as when they were first installed, or more.

Directional

 

LED lights produce light directionally, in 180° unlike high intensity discharge lights which produce light in 360°. They do not lose a lot of lumens like HID lamps. Approximately half the light produced by traditional lamps has to be reflected and redirected to the target area.

This process makes the output of omnidirectional lamps much less efficient. Because some light is lost during reflection and redirection. It also means that traditional light fixtures need more extra parts than LED lights, which makes the unit costs go high.

LED Optics Image

Create the Perfect Lighting Design for a Golf Course or Driving Range

Do a Golf and Driving Range Lighting Photometric Analysis - For Free!

 

A photometric analysis is a great way to visualize a proposed lighting solution. As well as the lumen output over a given area before purchasing LED luminaires. Lighting engineers use photometric software to input the design and adjust a property’s layout. They add the fixtures, lighting poles, trees, buildings, and other features that affect the property’s lighting.

After the features are added, the photometric computes the lighting levels based on the data and gives a comprehensive layout. The results give foot candle measurements for different points across the property. Also the average measurements for the entire property.

Driving Range, 200 yards X 100 yards, 8 600W LED Driving Range Lights, mounted at 25 feet high and 80 degree tilt

 

The measurements enable lighting specialists to make recommendations regarding the number of fixtures needed and the specific types. They allow the specialists to create a good lighting design and not one based on guesswork. In case one layout does not work, the photometrics are modified and reevaluated.

This helps them to create the lighting solution before the fixtures are purchased. This prevents the frustrations and the high costs associated with making changes in the field. With a photometric analysis, you can see the exact light your golf course will have before installation.

Consider Color Temperature

 

The Kelvin scale is used to measure the color temperature of lighting sources. The low end of the spectrum is red while the high end is blue. The color temperature of daylight at noon is 5600K. Light sources with color temperatures lower than this produce light that appears red, orange, or yellow. Those with color temperatures higher than this emit light that appears white or blue.

Color temperature can be used to create a specific mood in a golf course. Golf courses have different needs and the color temperature required usually depends on the level of play. For example, professional tournaments must have LED luminaires with a color temperature of 4000K-5000K. However, in a recreational driving range or a community golf club, both warm and white lights are used.

LED Color Temperature Guide for Golf Courses

Uniformity of Light

 

One of the most important features of LED golf course lighting is its ability to evenly distribute and diffuse light, resulting in high uniformity. High uniformity means that the overall brightness levels are the same.

LED golf course lights have diffusers that ensure they evenly distribute light and that there are no bright spots. Diffused light usually dissipates with distance to prevent light encroachment. The illumination reaches the end of the field but fades with distance, allowing the lights to meet Dark Sky regulations.

Golf balls travel fast, the average speed is 60-150 miles per hour, but it can be as high as 200 miles per hour. As the ball moves from the tee, it often goes beyond the illumination field as it gains altitude. This is usually the case if sky shields are used to prevent light from travelling upwards, the ball goes beyond the visual scope.

Sunlight is the best diffused light source, and cool LED lights are the closest to this light. They provide uniformity and have the added benefit of controlled dissipation. Diffused LED golf course lighting can be designed to illuminate within the property line. As the light moves away from the target area, it fades so as not to disturb neighboring properties.

Flicker-Free Lighting

 

One of the greatest challenges of lighting is mid-frequency flicker. In the United States, alternating current is used to power lighting. Traditional lighting flutters at the same regularity as the electric cycle. This equals to 60-120 cycles per second flicker.

With metal halides, the flickering can be accompanied by a slight vibration. The problem with flickering is that it stops the visual cognition of action. For example, a 60 cycle per second flicker can remove 0.73 feet of visual cognition from a golf ball travelling 30 miles per hour. This is equal to someone making a chip shot with a sand wedge.

Hitting a ball off the tee at 150 miles per hour can cause a loss of 3.6 feet of visual cognition per second. Cognition becomes more confusing as the golf ball slows down, because the brain must adjust itself for the changing strobe effect. This is the reason why it's so difficult to track the movement of a golf ball at night under conventional lighting.

The strobe effect caused by traditional lighting has been linked to mood swings, headaches, strobe epilepsy, seasonal affective disorder, and sleep disruption. These problems can be escalated by the intensity of exposure and the flicker rate and drop off. It is a serious deficiency in traditional lights because of the flicker's intensity.

LED Lights Used in Golf Courses, Driving Ranges and Mini-Golf Courses

LED for Miniature Golf Courses

LED spot-lights are used in miniature golf courses as they have a high luminous efficacy and are very reliable. For accuracy of illumination, the lights have optical lenses and different opening angles. In larger courses, the lights are paired with floodlights which provide good visibility over the entire golf course.

LED Lights for Nighttime Golf

Nighttime golf places very high demands on lighting as there must be enough light for adequate illumination. Golf differs from other sports played on fields as it is played on a much bigger field. High powered LED flood-lights are used to illuminate golf courses at night because they make golf balls as visible during the night as they are during the day.

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