Night golf was once a novelty that a few intrepid golfers attempted with glow-in-the-dark balls on moonlit evening. High powered LED outdoor sports lighting has now taken night golf from novelty to practical reality. A few golf courses outside of the United States have been the pioneers in this transition. Their success in making night golf a practical option will likely encourage golf centers in the United States to open their courses to nighttime play.
High Powered LED Lighting for Night Golf
Unlike many other outdoor sports that are confined to a limited playing area, golf requires a large area, typically encompassing 150 to 200 acres of defined playing space. The challenge of lighting this large amount of space has deterred golf courses from installing outdoor lighting, as the installation and operation costs of that lighting could not be justified by the limited number of golfers who would likely take advantage of it. High powered LED outdoor lighting has changed the equation to make night golf more feasible and economical.
One golf course at a resort in Turkey, for example, installed 120 LED light poles with 370 LED light fixtures over a nine-hole segment of its course. Lighting engineers and course designers used topographical maps of the course to position and design the LED lights to avoid shadows and to prevent glare that would reduce a golfer’s ability to track his shots. Previous- generation metal halide and high-pressure sodium outdoor sports lighting systems would not be able to provide this position and design flexibility.
Next Generation LED for Sports Lighting
High Powered LED systems, like the lighting system installed at the golf course in Turkey, generate ample amounts of illumination for night golf with 50% to 70% less energy consumption than traditional outdoor sports lighting systems. The LED luminaires can also be controlled and adjusted with smart systems that sense nighttime light from the moon and other sources and that adjust LED lighting in response to ambient conditions. LED lights also come to full illumination almost immediately after power is fed to them. This allows golf course managers to turn golf lighting on and off quickly and on an as-needed basis, which further reduces energy consumption.
The prospect of night golf will expand the utility and appeal of golf courses not just to golfers who are unable to play golf during daytime hours, but also to golfers who prefer cooler nighttime temperatures. Many golfers, particularly in the southern parts of the United States that experience high daytime temperatures during the summer months, prefer to begin their golf games early in the day before temperatures climb into an uncomfortable range. Night golf under high powered LED lights will now allow them to practice their game when temperatures are more comfortable. The use of rangefinders and golf gps devices can also be used during the hours where the course is lit with the LED lights, it might even be the case that you don’t usually use rangefinders or a golf gps but your sight is slightly worse at night, if that’s the case then using one of these may allow you to play golf at night and still be able to keep your par or hopefully even beat it. If you’d like to buy a rangefinder or gold gps then Golf Tamers may have just what you’re looking for.
Night golf may still pose a challenge to duffers who are unable to keep their golf shots within the confines of an LED-lit fairway, and professional golf tournaments will likely continue to be played during daytime hours. Night golf will not, in itself, improve a golfer’s game. It will, however, give all golfers greater options for when they can golf. As golf courses look for ways to improve their appeal to sportsmen and women who have multiple other athletic options available to them, night golf can also increase the overall allure of the sport.
SpecGrade LED has pioneered LED lighting options for outdoor sports stadiums and playing fields. Our engineers and designers are expanding their experience and expertise with outdoor sports lighting to the game of night golf. We are a domestic manufacturer with headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, and with sales consultants throughout North America. Please see our website or call us at 888-534-7657 to speak with one of our LED sports lighting specialists.