Horse Arena Lighting for Every Application
A horse arena is an enclosed area typically used for indoor or outdoor equestrian training and shows, sporting events, rodeos, and entertainment purposes. Whether you are upgrading the lighting in an existing arena or building a new space, ensuring your arena has exceptional lighting is crucial. In order to achieve the best lumen output and performance—and to appropriately illuminate your arena—it is imperative to select the appropriate fixtures and fixture placement. The most important factors to consider when selecting arena lighting include light levels, energy efficiency, safety, and limited light trespass; however, there are many other elements to consider.
In most cases, 15–20 footcandles is acceptable for casual outdoor arenas, though this depends on the size of the arena. For hunter/jumper training, the recommended footcandle level is 40, while for both training and competitive dressage, a 50-footcandle minimum is recommended. If you are lighting a competitive show-jumping arena, 70 footcandles is appropriate. There is relatively limited information regarding the minimum amount of footcandles for many equestrian sports including bull riding, so much of your personal preference for your individual facility will come into play. Access Fixtures lighting specialists can help you determine exactly how many footcandles your horse arena or bull riding arena requires.
The Goals of Horse Arena Lighting
Access Fixtures has a range of equine-suitable lighting. Whether your fixtures are for an outdoor or indoor riding arena, stable, or barn, Access Fixtures has a solution for you. Choose between LED sports lighters, high bay, low bay, and vapor tight lighting to find a suitable way to safely illuminate your horse riding arena. The top two goals when lighting an indoor riding area are safety and appropriateness. A lighting solution is unsuccessful if shadows, glare, or generally insufficient light renders parts of the arena unsafe. Just as important is the appropriateness of each fixture to the application; arena lighting fixtures must be able to stand up to the water, dust, debris, and dirt present in all arenas. Access Fixtures has a large selection of indoor equine-friendly fixtures. To ensure your arena is well-lit, evaluate the lumen output and performance of each fixture.
LED – Fixture Efficiency
Because of the size and purpose of riding arenas, properly lighting one often requires a number of fixtures. This means the need for low energy costs is as important as ever; this is why most customers now prefer long-lasting and powerful LED fixtures for their horse arenas. Each successive generation of LED technology is more energy efficient than the last. Today, LEDs last up to ten times longer than fluorescent fixtures. The durability and glass-free design of solid-state LED fixtures means no lamp breakage. This saves costs and is also safer when fixtures are located over horse stalls or riding arenas.
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Whether your fixtures are being placed indoors or outdoors, in stables or arenas, or in wash rooms, it is important to select luminaires with appropriate IP ratings. IP ratings refer to ingress protection ratings and are used to qualify levels of dust- and water-sealing effectiveness. It is crucial to pay close to attention to what IP rating your fixture has; always consider the environment into which the fixture will be installed. Is there dust or debris? Exposure to the elements? Moisture? If this is the case, (which it probably is, if you’re lighting an arena), select a fixture with a high IP rating.
A fixture rated with any of the following three ratings are equally protected against dust, dirt, sand, and debris (as indicated by the “6” digit). The liquid/water protection for each of these three ratings is unique. Here is a summary:
- IP65 – Water resistant
- IP66 – Water resistant against powerful jets
- IP67 – Completely sealed and submersible
For Outdoor Arenas – Choose APTA and APTI
Are you looking to extend riding time after dark? Search our selection of sports lighters for the perfect solution to your outdoor riding arena. While every stadium has different needs and therefore should be lit with different fixtures, an Access Fixtures lighting specialist can point you in the right direction. APTA and APTI fixtures are usually slip-fitter mounted on wooden poles or metal poles with a variety of bullhorns and mounting equipment options. These types of fixtures are nearly identical except that APTI is the higher-wattage version and is comprised of two rows of LED modules instead of one. Depending on your arena lighting project requirements, one may be more suitable than the other.
APTA and APTI sports lighters are all L70 rated at over 200,000 hours, making them perfect for lighting outdoor horse arenas. They require little maintenance and are all IP67 rated, meaning they are completely sealed from dust, water, and corrosion. Each module of the APTA and APTI sports lighters is individually sealed and if in the rare event that one is broken, the others will continue to operate. APTA/APTI fixtures are even submersible. APTA and APTI sports lighters come in multiple Kelvin choices from 3000K to 5700K to suit any lighting ambiance. All color options provide 70+ standard CRI, but both 80+ and 90+ CRI are available as add-on options.
One of the most convenient features of these sports lighters is the sheer amount of optics choices that can be installed on your fixture to best suit your horse arena lighting needs. Optics determine the beam spread of light and whether the light falls in a particular pattern. Optic choices include 10, 25, 40, 60, 90, 120, or 150 degrees. A smaller optic degree such as 10 will create a narrower but more concentrated beam of light while a larger optic degree will create a wider but more dispersed beam of light. To determine which optic type will be best for your lighting project, contact Access Fixtures and ask for a photometric analysis.
Other options include standard 0-10v dimming capability or an added motion sensor. This choice allows for these fixtures to go on and off outside the arena at night without continuously wasting power. Bird spikes, which are easy to install and effective, are available to prevent nesting and landing on the APTA and APTI fixtures.
For Indoor Arenas – Choose HIIO, APTA, or EPTA
Access Fixtures offers equine-friendly indoor fixtures, those that are vapor tight, and those that are enclosed. There are different reasons to select a specific type of fixture, and we will break it all down for you. When selecting your fixtures, you can choose between vapor tight lights, high bays, and linear fixtures.
The first choice for lighting an indoor riding arena are LED high bays such as the APTA and the HIIO. The APTA high bay features a mounting bracket and is discussed more in-depth in the outdoor horse arena lighting section of this guide further down.
Two of the most defining features of the HIIO high bay light is the choice of optics and the IP66 rating. 120, 90 and 60 degree beam spread options are available to facilitate the correct beam spread that optimizes the light distribution for every size facility and ceiling height. The IP66 rating means that each fixture is completely dustproof and suited to wet or humid environments. Fixtures are sealed, keeping out bugs and dirt. The fixtures can be washed with water which may be necessary in an environment with animals. Sturdy heavy-gauge die-cast aluminum housings incorporate built-in heat sinks for long-lasting reliability. Long-lasting and efficient rated LM70 at 50,000 hours of life, these high bays will perform for years to come with little maintenance. These features combine to make HIIO a versatile choice for indoor horse arenas. They also come with a 5 year warranty.
Access Fixtures’ linear EPTA LED fixture is another viable option. It is sleek, efficient, and perfectly designed for a variety of locations including some indoor horse arena layouts.
If your riding arena has a unique setup or if you have specific requirements or lighting goals, the Access Fixtures lighting specialists may recommend a photometric analysis. Are you concerned about light trespass? Max/min ratios? Average footcandles? Minimum footcandles? These calculations and others are part of our photometric analyses. Since the application and design of arenas vary so widely from location to location, photometric studies are prudent and often necessary. A photometric analysis is a simulated proposed lighting solution that allows our lighting specialists to evaluate the space that is being lit and make the appropriate judgement regarding fixtures, light levels, and footcandles.
These analyses offer the incredible opportunity to view the light output of your riding arena or a given area prior to purchasing any fixtures. They are easy to manipulate and inexpensive to design, which helps limit extra costs and the risk of insufficient light.
Benefits of an Improved Lighting System
Riding arenas can often be difficult to light effectively. The last thing you want is bright, flickering lights that affect a horse or rider from being able to perform the task at hand. Additionally, the arena needs to be well-lit year-round. This increases riding time for all involved. While natural light is welcomed, artificial light will prevent shadows and make sure the arenas light levels are appropriate for the activity. A well-lit arena will also decrease the amount of time horses have to spend in their stalls; this means more movement, more exercise, and increased psychological well-being for your horses. Another benefit to an improved lighting system is that horse riders can train in a bright and safe environment at any hour of day or night.
Speak to an Access Fixtures Lighting Specialist about Choosing the Right Fixture
Are you lighting a sports arena or equestrian center? How about a rodeo or racing arena? Access Fixtures is your factory-direct source for all of the light fixtures you need to suitably illuminate your arena. If you have a lighting question, we will be glad to get you answer. We want to make sure you get the exact fixture for your needs, your budget, and your goals. We are passionate about lighting and love what we do. To speak with an Access Fixtures lighting specialist, call (800) 468-9925.
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