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New Era Field, New Field Lighting

Friday, January 6, 2017

New Era field (previously known as Ralph Wilson Stadium), located in Orchard Park, NY, is home to the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills. The stadium has undergone extensive renovation over the past several years. However, the field lighting at New Era Field has not been upgraded since 1999 and the lights have continuously dimmed since 2003.  The current stadium field lighting consists of six (6) poles each with sixty (60) 2000 watt Metal Halide light fixtures. Because the lighting is so outdated, replacement fixtures are no longer available or manufactured. Constant maintenance and repair of the old fixtures is an ongoing problem. 

The lighting renovation project is being designed by Joe Hallmark, PE, a Senior Electrical Engineer at Watts Architecture & Engineering. Joe is proposing new LED light fixtures that will reduce the overall energy consumption by 425 KW. The new lights will greatly reduce maintenance frequency, thanks to a longer lamp life. The design will provide an average brightness of 215 footcandles (FC) compared to the existing measured footcandle level of 185 FC. The increased FC level will now meet the NFL lighting criteria and will provide good depth of field and increased visibility for the players and spectators. The well-lit field will also allow for increased resolution for TV camera lenses, meaning a better picture for viewers at home.