Abacus Lighting
Lighting levels for exterior sports lighting are considerably lower than daylight levels and usually lower than for the same sport played indoors. This is because there is generally greater subject contrast outdoors, with a dark sky backdrop, giving good adaptation levels. Illuminance levels are dependent upon the difficulty of the visual task.
Guide to sports lighting levels

Guide to sports lighting levels






Guide to sports lighting levels

In general, fast action, a small playing object (cricket ball) and long viewing distance will require high lighting levels. A slower speed, larger playing object (football) and closer viewing distance will require lower lighting levels. Exterior sports lighting is provided to achieve either supervised training, club, national, international or CTV coverage.

Various lighting guides and lighting specifications are available, recommending appropriate illuminance levels for individual sports. Within Europe, a European Standard exists covering minimum sports lighting levels EN 12193:2007. In addition many sports governing bodies also provide separate specific lighting requirements.


Most recommendations of individual sports lighting levels are divided into classes of play:

  • Class I - Top Level Competition.
  • Class II - Intermediate Level Competition.
  • Class III - Lower Level Competition & Supervised Training.

Lighting for CTV broadcasting has specific requirements and recommendations (CIE No.83:1989).

The table below provides a selection of recommended lighting levels for principle sports in accordance with EN 12193:2007.

Recommendations of Minimum Lighting Levels
(Table 1)
Sport Illuminance Level
(Em. Horizontal) Lux *
(Non CTV)
Glare
Rating
(GR)
Class I Class II Class III
Em
Lux
Uo
Min/ave
Em
Lux
Uo
Min/ave
Em
Lux
Uo
Min/ave
I II III
Athletics 500 0.7 200 0.5 50 to 100 0.5 50 55 55
Baseball In Fld
Out Fld
750
500
0.7
0.5
500
300
0.7
0.5
300
200
0.5
0.3
50
50
50
50
55
55
Basketball 500 0.7 200 0.6 75 0.5 50 50 55
Bowls (Flat Green) 300 0.7 200 0.7 100 0.5 50 50 50
Cricket
Grounds
Sq
Field
750
500
0.7
0.5
500
300
0.7
0.5
300
200
0.5
0.3
50
50
50
50
55
55
Equestrian 500 0.7 200 0.7 100 0.5 50 50 55
Football (soccer) 500 0.7 200 0.6 75 0.5 50 50 55
Hockey 500 0.7 200

0.7

200 0.7 50 50 55
Horse racing 200 0.6 100 0.4 50 0.2 50 50 55
Netball 500 0.7 200 0.6 75 0.5 50 50 55
Rugby 500 0.7 200 0.6 75 0.5 50 50 55
Tennis 500 0.7 300 0.7 200 0.6 50 50 55
Volleyball 500 0.7 200 0.6 75 0.5 50 50 55

* Em is the Maintained Illuminance Level (specification level) and is the design illuminance level, below which the lighting should not be allowed to fall during the period to planned maintenance.

Whilst every endeavour is undertaken to provide accurate information, Abacus Lighting recommends that the relevant sport guides and standards or the appropriate individual sport governing body be consulted to ensure full compliance with requirements.

Caution: Lighting specifications for locations outside UK may differ from those stated on this web site.