Tonight, Tuesday August 12, the first football game in the UK to be played under LED floodlights will take place at Stamford Bridge when Chelsea Football Club take on Real Sociedad in a pre-season friendly. Over the summer, Chelsea became the first club to introduce LED pitch lighting at a major ground when it installed Philips
ArenaVision LED floodlighting at Stamford Bridge. Philips LED lighting is also being installed at the club’s training ground.
The new system will reduce maintenance requirements as Philips LED lamps are expected to last for more than 10 seasons compared to just three seasons for metal halide floodlighting lamps. However, the main reason for upgrading the lighting is to meet the latest Premier League lighting standards for high definition super slow-motion replays.
Eric Rondolat, CEO of Philips Lighting, said: “Our LED pitch lighting meets the new stringent broadcast criteria of the English Premier League in helping to deliver high definition, flicker-free super-slow motion images and ensures that Chelsea delivers the best possible viewing experience to the 40,000 plus fans in the stadium, as well as those at home.”
Other advantages over Chelsea’s previous metal halide system include instant on-off with no warm-up period; the ability to switch and dim each floodlight individually; and the ability to create pre- and post-match light shows that would normally require dedicated stage-lighting.
The world’s first football match to be played under floodlights was on October 14, 1878 at Bramall Lane, Sheffield between two teams made up of players from the Sheffield Football Association.