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Modern flood system in Borussia-Park , Mönchengladbach
Floodlight masts in the Willy Sachs Stadium , Schweinfurt
Floodlights in operation. Here: Ostseestadion Rostock, at the time when the venue was called "DKB-Arena".

One calls floodlight


Classic floodlights ( Rosenaustadion , Augsburg)

Floodlight systems consist of several lights with reflectors for directed light emission. The lights are attached in groups to masts or roof structures in order to illuminate the area to be illuminated as evenly as possible.

Depending on the type of lighting (game light at sporting events, lighting for television broadcasts, lighting of container terminals, etc.), different illuminance levels in lux are specified on the ground. In the case of television broadcasts, high requirements are also placed on the light color and color stability of the illuminants (lamps) used in the lights . In contrast, when it comes to cargo handling or motorway lighting, the focus is more on energy efficiency and large maintenance cycles. Accordingly, metal halide lamps or mercury vapor lamps are used in stadiums or at TV events , whereas the more efficient and long-lasting high-pressure sodium vapor lamps are usually used in traffic areas and in storage and transhipment areas . Because of their low cost- effectiveness , incandescent lamps are rarely used for floodlighting. The usual electrical power of the lamps used is 400 to 3500 watts.

Floodlights for sports facilities


Allianz Arena with new LED floodlight system

The German Institute for Standardization e. V. sorted in DIN EN 12193 for sports facility lighting, floodlight systems in three lighting classes, which range from sporting activities in the leisure sector to international competition. The classes specified in the standard take into account the average horizontal lighting in lux, the uniformity calculated by the average uniformity divided by the lowest uniformity. The maximum glare GR is also taken into account. For professional sporting events, there are usually special requirements that go beyond the DIN specifications. The decisive factor here is the adaptation to the requirements arising from TV transmissions. While a municipal football and training field generally only needs to have floodlights of lighting class III with at least 75 lux and a uniformity of 0.5 for football , more or less - depending on the specifications of the respective national association - in the local to regional league Game operation 200 lux with a uniformity of 0.6 required (lighting class II). National to international game operations already require a lighting class I system with 500 lux and a uniformity of 0.7. The values ​​of these categories for football still largely coincide with those for hockey , tennis or other frequently practiced sports - but only to a limited extent, because the definition of lighting class I in football already overlaps with the game operation within the requirements of the DFB from the 4th League. In professional soccer in the 1st or 2nd league, the DFL's catalog of requirements must be taken into account. For TV-compatible lighting in accordance with UEFA and FIFA standards, the higher classes IV and V apply with a differentiated list of guide values. Since 2014, LED floodlight systems have also been increasingly used on municipal sports facilities. The floodlight system in the Allianz Arena in Munich consisted of metal halide lamps until the summer of 2017 , when they were replaced by LED floodlights . The higher investment costs (compared to high-pressure sodium vapor lamps ) when purchasing are offset by lower operating and maintenance costs. The investment costs of a floodlight system with metal halide lamps for a soccer field with floodlights of lighting class III are around 57,000 euros, an installation with LED floodlights is around 30,000 euros more expensive in comparison and is 87,000 euros. In a floodlight system in German stadiums, LED floodlight systems are currently still rarely found - unlike, for example, in the English Premier League.


At the European and worldwide level of football, i.e. within the sphere of influence of UEFA and FIFA, efforts are being made to gradually standardize the requirements. UEFA still has different requirements depending on the competition, but the 2,000 lux has now established itself as the level with which a stadium is adequately equipped. FIFA has had a new guideline since 2007 that stipulates at least 2,400 lux for games directed by the world association - such a system can be constructed asymmetrically, so that 2,400 lux radiate in the direction of the main camera and only 2,000 in the opposite direction. There is even a value of 2,500 lux in the room.

A calculation and measuring grid is used to achieve the necessary uniformity of lighting on a playing field. A calculation point is set every 5 × 5 m. To confirm the illuminance (symbol E), however, measurements are only taken every 10 × 10 m. There are 8 measuring points at a width of 68 m and 11 points at a length of 105 m (8 × 11 = 88 measuring points). The mean value is the mean illuminance; if a lighting value of, for example, 800 lux is achieved, this is an average value of all measuring points.


The amount of light that shines on neighboring areas (e.g. residential buildings) is referred to as light immission or light pollution . If limit values ​​are exceeded, the building supervision threatens to refuse the building or operating permit. The evaluation criteria here are the brightness of the room (illuminance on a window front) and the glare (contrast between the density of the luminaire and the ambient light). Light immissions can dazzle people directly, strike facades as scattered light or, and this area is examined particularly critically, pose a risk to air and road traffic. The tolerance values ​​for the room brightening at the immission location are particularly low in areas such as hospitals, care facilities or purely residential areas. Immissions become relevant for testing as soon as light sources are switched on several times a week for more than an hour each time (with the exception of public street lighting). This means that large stadiums, which are only open every two weeks and not always with floodlights, are generally less affected than municipal facilities with high levels of year-round use, including in the evening hours. In the case of the new large stadiums without floodlight masts, most of the light remains in the interior.

Horizontal / vertical illuminance

In order to optimally present a sporting event, it is not enough to illuminate the action area well horizontally. The term “vertical illuminance” is mainly used in connection with TV broadcasts. In lighting planning, it is the light that the cameras need to make the players visible from top to bottom on the TV. This is not the case if the vertical light in the direction of each camera is too weak. This illuminance is therefore much more important than the horizontal light for TV transmissions.

Glare rating

Glare and high contrasts created by the lighting disturb athletes and spectators. These are caused by light points that are too low or poorly positioned in the field of vision. The GR value (glare rating) is determined in order to describe and control such effects. The scale ranges from 10 (not at all bothersome) to 90 (unbearable). On a playing field, the GR value 50 is the uppermost tolerance limit.

Maintenance factor

The illuminance of every system decreases over time due to soiling of the luminaire as well as aging and failure of the lamps. Corresponding maintenance measures (e.g. cleaning the luminaires and replacing lamps) or the maintenance factor (WF), which results from the lamp maintenance factor (LaWF) and the luminaire maintenance factor (LWF), are an integral part of lighting planning. A maintenance factor of around 0.7 is assumed for floodlights.

History and Applications

Floodlight mast at the old Tivoli in Aachen (2009)
Floodlight system Weserstadion Bremen (2014)

An early floodlight was the spotlight in the theater, which illuminated the performers from below and demonstrated the latest and brightest lighting technology in the 19th century. The first football game under floodlights was played on Bramall Lane in Sheffield on October 14, 1878, in front of about 20,000 paying spectators and 6,000 who crept in the dark. John Tasker bathed the playing field with four arc lamps from lighthouses and two portable steam-powered generators in bright light with a total of 8,000 candle strengths . As a non-electrical alternative, there was the "Wells Light" introduced by Messrs. AC Wells & Co. in Manchester in 1888 , a kerosene burner similar to a blowtorch with up to 2,000 or 3,000 candle strengths, which was also used in industry and construction. Both methods were considered unsafe, and so the Football League banned these facilities early in their first season in 1888-89 . The next game of the Football League under floodlights did not take place again until February 22, 1956 in Fratton Park . Outside the league, there were floodlit games as early as the early 1950s.

The first stadium floodlight system in Germany was inaugurated on December 31, 1949, on the occasion of the farewell game for the Dresden football idol Richard Hofmann , in the Dresden Heinz Steyer Stadium .

On August 28, 1957, the inauguration game of the new floodlight system, Alemannia Aachen versus Espanyol Barcelona, took place at the old Tivoli in Aachen . At the time, the new floodlight system was one of the brightest floodlight systems in Germany with 240,000 watts and 170 lux.

Older floodlight systems are usually mounted on lattice masts, but newer ones are mounted on tubular steel or concrete masts. The so-called "dragonfly shadows " that football players throw in night games are caused by the illumination of the four corners of the playing field. With the modernization of the stadiums, grandstands were roofed over and the spotlights were often integrated into the roof structure around the playing field, so that these shadows largely disappeared.

Floodlit skiing has also spread since the late 1980s . Parts of a ski lift or the associated ski slope are broadcast with headlights in such a way that the natural obstacles are sufficiently visible.

For the 2006 World Equestrian Games which was the main stadium in Aachen in 2005 modernized. In addition to the new construction of three grandstands and a judges' tower, the stadium was also equipped with a floodlight system, which also enables riding events in the evening and thus at prime time .

The former oversized in relation to the size station floodlighting of the then are further as a special border stations of DDR on the inner German border to mention. Its purpose was not so much the lighting required for the actual railway operation at night , but mainly to monitor the border to prevent people from fleeing the GDR .


  • Hans R. Ris: Lighting technology for practitioners. 2nd edition, VDE-Verlag GmbH, Berlin-Offenbach, 1997, ISBN 3-8007-2163-5
  • Wilhelm Gerster: Modern lighting systems for indoors and outdoors. 1st edition, Compact Verlag, Munich, 1997, ISBN 3-8174-2395-0

Web links

Commons : Floodlights  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. What does a floodlight system cost? | Sports facility calculator. In: sportstaettenrechner.de. Retrieved October 4, 2016 .
  2. Chris Hobbs: The world's first floodlit soccer match - Bramall Lane Sheffield - October 14th, 1878. In: The Chris Hobbs Site. October 29, 2010, accessed March 17, 2013 .
  3. ^ Paul Brown: The First Floodlit Football Match. In: Stuff by Paul Brown. August 29, 2012, accessed March 18, 2013 .
  4. ^ Scientific American Supplement, No. 638, March 24, 1888, Munn and Company, p. 10192 "The Wells Light"
  5. Jon Henderson: End of the dark ages. In: The Observer. March 9, 2008, accessed March 18, 2013 .
  6. ^ History of the Dresdner SC 1898 eV Accessed on March 6, 2020 .
  7. Association history , alemannia-aachen.de
  8. Skiing at night: Trend: skiing after work , tz, January 11, 2017
  9. ↑ The stadium renovation in the Soers is an investment in the future
  10. ^ Ulrich Hassel: Quickly through the GDR. In Eisenbahn Geschichte 76 (June / July 2016), pp. 4–13.