Monday, February 2, 2015

LEDs Light Up Super Bowl XLIX

LEDs were in the spotlight at the 2015 Super Bowl. The first Super Bowl to be illuminated by LEDs yielded a lighting energy savings of 75 percent over traditional lighting. LEDs have overcome some of the early hurdles and they now offer excellent lighting quality while consuming only 25 percent of the energy of traditional lighting. The cooler-burning LEDs also cut air-conditioning costs by 30 percent.

The new lighting at the University of Phoenix stadium was provided by 44,928 Cree XLamp MK-R LEDs, and installed by Ephesus Lighting.

LEDs offer a number of benefits including efficiency and quality. LEDs are far more powerful than traditional stadium lighting. The new lighting at the University of Phoenix Stadium uses 480 fewer fixtures than the previous system (300 LED fixtures replaced 780 metal halide fixtures). Even more dramatically the new LED lighting system uses 930,000 less watts of power than the previous system (310,000 watts for LEDs vs 1.24 million watts for metal halide bulbs).

In addition to substantially lower power requirements, the lighting quality of LED lighting is also superior to metal halide. LEDs make everything look better by producing nearly double the illumination of the old metal halide bulbs. The LEDs are also more life-like and they provide more uniform lighting. This reduces shadows which helps to improve visibility for both players on the field and viewers.

The high profile of the Super Bowl is a great way to disseminate the value and quality of LEDs.  As explained by Michael Watson, Cree’s vice president of product strategy: “The Super Bowl and stadium lighting is sort of like the holy grail from an LED perspective.”  

Super Bowl XLIX may have been the first to be illuminated by LEDs but it is not the last. A value equation that combines quality and efficiency mean that LEDs are destined to dominate the future of lighting.

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World Cup 2014: An Environmental Post Mortem
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