School Football Field Pole and Lighting Standards
The layout and number of on-site lighting poles may vary. The most typical setting for poles is 4 poles, but 6 pole and 8 pole settings are also common. When handling large stadiums, poles can be placed between the bleachers or between stands.
The lighting standards of football fields do vary according to the level of the game. IES, or the Lighting Engineering Society, recommends the following minimum foot candles for different exercise levels:
Recreational (Limited or no spectators): 20fc
High School (Up to 2,000 spectators): 30fc
High School (Up to 5,000 spectators): 50fc
The level of light needed to illuminate a football field depends largely on the amount of spectators the field is built to accommodate. College football is generally a major event and is often televised, which means that there are often over tens of thousands of spectators. A large stadium and an equally large crowd increases the recommended amount of footcandles substantially.
The maximum / minimum ratio to illuminate the football field also varies with the level of the game. The maximum / minimum ratio measures the uniformity of lighting in a given space. It is calculated by dividing the maximum amount of foot candles present in an area by the minimum amount of foot candles present in the same area. It is generally considered that the maximum / minimum ratio below 3.0 is uniform illumination, and there are no hot spots or shadow points on the illuminated surface. For high school and below, a maximum / minimum ratio of 2.5 or less is acceptable. For college degrees and above, the ratio must be 2.0 or lower.