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Most of us remember when the lights went out at the 2013 Super Bowl, resulting in a 34-minute delay. The delay was caused by the use of metal halide sports lighters. Metal Halide lamp and ballasts have a restrike time, which means even if you turn the lights back on it will take 15 to 20 minutes for the light to start to come on and gradually return to full brightness.

When the lights go out at a sports stadium, metal halide lamps require a significant amount of time to restrike and warm up. Even with some pulse-start metal halide lamps requiring only several minutes to reach 90% of full brightness, patrons need light immediately in order to safely move about the stadium. Furthermore, the game is interrupted, leaving fans impatient. And if it’s the Super Bowl, it’s also keeping several million fans impatient.

Because of this, stadiums often use fixtures that provide instant restrike so the stadium is safely illuminated after the lights go out. Unfortunately, instant restrike fixtures cannot be HID and require an excessive amount of energy, resulting in an extremely high energy bill and a lot of wasted energy.

LED, on the other hand, is the ideal solution to this problem. Unlike HID sources, LED has instant on/off capabilities and instantly reaches full brightness. Unlike other instant restrike fixtures that often use halogen sources, LED is energy-efficient and won’t rack up the energy bill. Access Fixtures newest 567w LED sports lighter has the light output equivalent to a 1,500w metal halide sports lighter while using 65% less energy. It also lasts approximately 33 times longer than the metal halide equivalent. In other words, it is an effective restrike luminaire.

LED is available at a premium compared to metal halide, but the benefits are arguably worth the extra cost. For sports stadiums and large industrial facilities, the instant on/off capability is almost a necessity. If the Super Bowl had used LED fixtures, millions of football fans wouldn’t have been waiting impatiently at home.

To learn more about sports lighters, contact an Access Fixtures lighting specialist.