Case Study: Florida Beach Resort's Volleyball Court Lighting Fixture System Project

Our client was a resort in Florida. Near the resort clubhouse, and not too far from the beach, was a volleyball court surrounded by stadium bleachers. Various types of volleyball games were played in this facility, and the resort wanted us to design a lighting system that would accommodate them all. They also requested that we light all outdoor areas under the stadium with the most energy efficient lights as possible, and they were hoping we could decorate the facility a bit with wooden lighting poles.

The main challenge in this project was creating a volleyball court lighting system capable of generating varying levels of foot candles. In recreational games, where only family members and friends of players are in the stands, only 30-40 foot candles of light are required. However, it was not this simple. Even though this was not a stadium-sized facility, it was nevertheless a very popular location for a number of local tournament games—some of which were televised on local sports channels. As a general rule, non-televised volleyball tournaments require between 50-100 foot candles of light on the court, depending on the number of spectators. However, once TV cameras are rolled in, foot candle minimums jump to over 115 feet. In essence, then, our client needed one volleyball lighting system that could do the job of three. Additionally, this system had to be mounted on poles that could withstand the many hurricanes that buffet the Florida Coast. Wooden poles would be out of the question, but before our proposal was complete, we would end up offering something better.

Our Photometric Design Software Proved Invaluable in creating this multi-functional lighting system. Our basic approach to lighting this volleyball court was to install sports lighting fixtures on three independent switches. Each switch would control a different group of lights that would generate the necessary foot candle levels for recreational, tournament, and televised tournament volleyball. In order to be able to produce increasingly higher levels of light without simultaneously producing hazardous glare, we had to render three dimensional models of the facility and systematically analyze the luminance from every possible angle. This allowed us to determine the optical requirements and wattages for each fixture installed. It also allowed us to determine the exact lighting angles that would be necessary to create an evenly-lit court without throwing light back into the stadium and into the eyes of spectators. We were even able to factor in the location of cameras for televised matches and make fine-tuned adjustments to both direction and optical requirements to ensure that the excess spill light would not reach the cameras.

The client was more than happy to pay for this advanced design work due to the fact that a local contractor they had hired to do the installation promised to do the job in 2/3 the normal time if such a systematic layout of the proposed system could be forwarded to his crew.

Poles and equipment were selected after our design analysis was complete.
Although we could not recommend wooden poles due to wind zone regulations, we were able to find rust-colored, galvanized steel poles that closely resembled wood in appearance. For the outdoor areas beneath the bleachers, we used pulse-start metal halide low bays to provide bright lighting in and around concession areas and restrooms.

No comments: