Can I use my existing poles to replace metal halide fittings with LED lighting on a sports field?

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We often get asked whether I can replace metal halide lights with LED lighting while still using my existing poles. The perfect idea for this question is that the poles usually command 20% costs out of the entire project value. Therefore actual savings can be made by reusing them for other projects. Moreover, with the help of LED sports lighting system, the job can be completed quickly without any hassle and chaos. Preserving funds to your overall budget will also prove very helpful in the longer run.

The essential elements that impact the decisions are:

• You must know who manufactured these poles
• If yes, then in what conditions were the actual poles designed
• What is the physical position of the posts now? Means check out the rust, leaning over, etc.
• Has any engineer checked these poles properly?
• What is the status of ground conditions, and has something changed during the period?

If your poles have been equipped with metal halide fittings for many years and have sustained no issues, many LED sport light fittings are around 50% heavier than metal halide fittings. This can lead to issues when upgrading to LEDs. Also, most metal halides are mounted flat, but LEDs are scaled up at an arc. This expanded mounting area is a chief element to be considered in engineering calculations and is a common cause of incompatibility.

Significant deficiencies in metal halide lights:

1. Prolonged warm-up period

Metal halide lights that are used in the sports facilities can take up to 20 minutes to get up to average functioning temperature. This causes problems for many reasons:

• These metal halide lights must be working longer than LED because you cannot switch these lights on and off on your demand.
• When you need light, you must plan in advance.
• Lights might be working when they don’t need to be.

2. Less efficient by running less than its functioning power:

You have to purchase around 20 metal halide bulbs to equal the lifespan of a single LED light. That means high maintenance costs are much higher. Also, metal halide lights require a much larger wattage output to put off the same amount of light as LED lamps. Therefore the cost of energy utilities will be higher.


3. Omnidirectional lights:

Metal halide lights are omnidirectional, distributing light at 360 degrees. This leads to enormous inefficiency because at least half of the lights are reflected and redirected to the particular area that you need to be illuminated.

Indirect illumination

On the contrary, such lights are fixed upward, and the court is illuminated by reflected light from the ceiling. In such scenarios, more energy is consumed, and only the glare is controlled.

Main advantages of using LED lighting system:

1. LED sports lights are extremely long-lasting as compared to the other lighting system. Our lights are rated to last 50,000 hours as opposed to 4,000-10,000 hours for metal halide.
2. LED lights are energy-efficient and save energy, have heatproof and waterproof properties, and spread the brightness of lights directionally. This allowed you to direct the light where you need it and reduce light pollution and light loss. This also reduces the problems that arise when installing LED lights on your sports field.
3. LED lights are made up of very high-quality materials. They are built to last and save electricity.
4. Fewer maintenance costs and hassle-free lights.
5. Designed in such a way to generate the whole spectrum of visible light colors.
6. LED outdoor lighting is much smaller in size and lightweight relative to other lighting systems.
7. LED lights need no warm-up time and instantly reach max light output when switched on.

Comparison between metal halide and LED lighting system:

Metal halide and LED lights are two different technologies that produce lights. Metal halide lights have long warm-up periods and a shorter lifetime and are inefficient in creating light on a particular area. Relatively LED’s are long-lasting lights and are energy-efficient. They require little to no maintenance costs. All this adds up to save you money in the long run. For additional and elaborate comparison, check out the following points:

Color temperature:

LED lights provide a broad range of coloring temperatures ranging from warm yellow to cool blue in color.
Metal halide bulbs produce white light and few color temperatures are available.

Control options of turning on and off:

Led lights are perfect for turning on and off on your demand and instantly on and off without taking any warm-up period and generate stable light that is flicker and glare-free.
Metal halide needs extended warm-up time. The output is less efficient by running at less than its operational power.

Dimming options:

LED lights have dimming functions. You can brighten and dim the light as per your requirements.
Metal halide lights dimming can cause the lights to burn out early.

Heatproof properties:

LED lights have heatproof properties that protect against damage from the sun. You can use these for your outdoor sports lighting areas, even in the winter season, as these lights are waterproof.
A metal halide bulb produces a significant amount of heat, representing inefficient energy.

Lifetime cost:

Sports lighting LED systems require a higher upfront investment but over their lifetime, maintenance costs and energy savings lead to a better return on your investment.
No doubt, Metal halide lights are cheap to purchase but expensive to maintain and operate.

Warranty and guarantee:

LED lights offer a warranty of around 5 years.
Metal halide lights provide a warranty of 1 to 2 years.


So if you are looking for LED sports lights that save money, reduce maintenance costs, are controllable with dimming options, and are energy-efficient. LED lights are the only option, especially for outdoor areas. They are hassle-free, come with a great warranty, distribute the light evenly, and great long-term investment. We strongly recommend installing LED lights instead of metal halide bulbs.

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