Football Pitch Lighting: Key Considerations for 2024

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Football Pitch Lighting Key Considerations for 2024

You must have seen many spectacular football stadiums that can accommodate tens of thousands of people, but have you ever wondered what standard of lighting they are using to help accomplish perfect football matches? No matter for those who are curious or those who are planning football pitch lighting design, this passage can provide the information you need!

Standard lighting for a football field

FIFA specifies that a football field’s length is 105–110 meters and its width is 68–75 meters. Besides, for the athletes’ safety, there must be nothing obstructing their path within five meters of the field’s sidelines and bottom line. For the two types of football fields: non-telecast amateur football stadiums and TV broadcast professional football fields, the lighting requirements are different. 

The document No. 83 of the International Sports Federation and the regulations in GBJ133-90 have mentioned the illumination level standards for football fields in the following table.

Viewing distance (m)Illumination level (lx)

LED lamps outperform other light sources when being used for football pitches. Moreover, they can provide super bright light to meet the architectural requirements of football venues and ensure the clear view of players and spectators. Secondly, LED lamps have a long service life, which reduces reducing the frequency of lamp replacement. And they can withstand the harsh weather of outdoor areas. Moreover, LED lamps have high energy efficiency, can save energy and are not likely to produce too much heat. Large football pitches should use LED high mast lights that are 15 to 20-meters-high.

Placement of the light poles

There are four common arrangements of the poles on the football pitches:

Being set at the four corners of the football pitch and using a group of five LED lights for each pole.

four poles at corner Football Pitch Lighting arrangement

Arrange four poles on the two sides of the pitch, and use five LED lights for each pole. The power of each LED light should be 300-500 W.

four poles Football Pitch Lighting arrangement

Distributing six light poles on the two sides of the football pitch. There should be three LED lights on each pole.

six poles Football Pitch Lighting arrangement

Placing eight light poles on the two sides of the field. For each pole, two lights are enough.

eight poles Football Pitch Lighting arrangement

Glare control of football pitch lighting

Unreasonable design of lamp arrangement, projection direction, brightness, etc. may cause glare. To avoid glare, it is crucial to set the light poles correctly.

For the corner placement of the poles, the installation position of the poles must be outside the contact area of 10° from the center point of the goal bottom line and 5° from the midpoint of the sideline. The stadium’s center point and the light pole should be at least 25° apart in order to reduce glare.

light arrangement to prevent glare
required angle for four lights corner placement

For the side arrangement, the poles should be installed 10° away from the goal line to avoid interfering with the goalkeeper. There must be a minimum of a 25° angle between the lamp’s lowest point and the center line’s parallel point.

required angle for four lights side placement

Illuminance uniformity of football pitch lighting

Football field lighting needs to meet uniformity requirements to ensure that the cameras capture high-quality images. The requirements for vertical illumination, illumination uniformity, and illumination gradient are high for large-scale competitions like football matches. For different levels of competition, FIFA has set different standards.

Competition classificationCamera typeVertical illuminationhorizontal illuminationcolor temperature (K)color rendering index
Ev.ave(lx)Illumination uniformityEh.ave(lx)Illumination uniformity

Table 1. Lighting standards for televised football pitches

Competition classificationHorizontal illumination Eh,ave(lx)Illumination uniformity U2color temperature (K)color rendering index

Table 2. Lighting standards for non-televised football pitches

Color temperature and CRI of football pitch lighting

A light source’s color rendering index refers to the level of color rendering that the light source restores to an item. The higher the value, the better it expresses the object’s true color. In general competitions, the CRI should exceed 80, and in national and world-level competitions, the CRI should exceed 90.

As for the color temperature, the lower the color temperature, the more yellow the light source is, and the higher the color temperature, the more bluish the light source is. The color temperature of the competition is usually 4000K or above. At the same time, in order to meet the needs of the high-definition live broadcast of the camera, the color temperature usually should be no less than 5500K.

To wrap up

For football pitch lighting design, there are many things to consider, which include standards, placement of lights, glare control, illuminance uniformity, color temperature, CRI, and so on. Reliable sports lighting manufacturers will analyze the field and provide specific lighting solutions. Casyoo is dedicated to offering the most suitable sports lighting design for every customer. Browse our high-power LED sports lights and contact us now for more professional advice!

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Victor Guo

Victor Guo

Lead electrical engineer with 17+ years of experience designing electrical street lighting systems, monitoring electrical-related work at site, and discussing proposal and lighting implementation options. Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. Knowledgeable in LED lighting design, project management, safety and compliance.
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