Solander Oval, Woolooware

Solander Oval – Lit by ewo

Designing and executing a lighting scheme for sporting fields can present a unique set of challenges on the best of days. This is made even the more difficult when faced with pre-existing infrastructure, high density housing and local wildlife habitats in close proximity. Recently we sat down with principal lighting engineer at Rubidium Light, Trent Dutton, to get his thoughts on these challenges, and learn how he used ewo luminaires to achieve a great result for users of the oval and locals alike.

What are the main challenges when designing sport lighting, and were there any particular challenges with this project?

On the surface, sports lighting seems like a simple task, and it can be if you are happy with simply meeting a standard. The challenges increase when you are trying to provide the best lighting conditions for field users and the surrounding environment. At Solander Oval we were faced with existing pole locations, some poles servicing multiple fields and a high-rise residential building just across the street.  Furthermore, we have wetlands on the northern boundary with high environmental value. Balancing all these factors and still achieving a great outcome for nighttime fields users is challenging. Luminaire selection was critical, as their performance and how they were applied formed the building blocks of our design.

What sort of results can a great lighting design achieve for a sports field?

Firstly, we need to meet the relevant standard, but there are other metrics which give you a better indication of the quality of light field users can expect. We find Uniformity Gradient is a great measure of quality lighting outcome, coupled with glare, and you are creating a picture of a quality installation. We set ourselves targets on these two metrics, more than 20% better than is required in the relevant standard. Some standards don’t include these parameters, in these cases, we have created our own internal standards.

What are the main features and benefits you look for in a luminaire when designing sports fields?

One luminaire will never be the best for all fields. Being independent lighting engineers, we can pick and choose the best product for each project. We match our desired outcomes like low glare and good spill light control with other factors like build quality and lumen maintenance. The lower glare achieved with flat glass luminaires are important, but this sometimes doesn’t provide the best spill light control, and these factors must be balanced with each project’s requirements. The extra ability of ewo R System luminaires to provide left and right photometric packages provide a level of flexibility that we can exploit.

Lighting Design: Trent Dutton, Rubidum Light
Photography: Adrian Harrison Photography
Products Featured: ewo R System