What are the key considerations when lighting sports facilities? From indoor gyms and swimming pools to outdoor sports pitches and courts, how do the lighting requirements differ?
Achieving light levels that are compliant to current regulations are not the only consideration when lighting sporting facilities. The modern classes that are put on at these premises are increasingly more of a meeting and social scene rather than a simple work out. With this in mind, it is no wonder why the lighting is now much more exciting, intelligent and as invigorating as the background music. Lighting and music can have a huge impact on the way we feel and perform so utilising this power is a great idea in these scenarios.
Consideration of RGB colour changing lighting connected to a control system can deliver a high tempo, motivating disco style environment which in harmony with the modern music encourages that adrenaline rush required to get the most out of the activity.
Whilst a versatile approach to lighting some areas is required, other areas such as the gym need a different approach to light planning. Gym lighting needs to be bright as well as uniform, these areas are generally decorated with bright walls and large mirrors, which combine to give a large amount of inter reflections. Generally the lights in this area are simple quality down lighters that are arranged in dense configuration to provide a consistent light level. This will contribute to users having increased energy levels and will help them look good, the lighting should look to enhance this.
Swimming pools are very different too; they are generally lit by a series of high output IP65 up lights that reflect lighting off the ceiling. This avoids glare and contrast issues that could disturb the swimmers during their sessions. The careful positioning of the lights will enable the lighting to achieve the lighting regulations and create a well-lit and relaxing area.
In stark contrast, the lighting of external sporting activities such football and tennis is driven by guidelines rather than creativity. Careful consideration of the amount of light that spills into the windows of the neighbouring houses. This sort of negligence causes complaints, distress, and potentially restricting the activities that take place. Designers need to consider excellent light uniformity and varying lux levels to accommodate differing playing standards
Lighting in these varied environments requires an understanding of the strict regulations as well as the aesthetic feel that the sporting facility is portraying to ensure a high quality lighting design.