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Budget-Friendly Sports Lighting Options for Youth Soccer Fields

Installing sports lighting is an investment. Most often schools, colleges, sports clubs, and recreational facilities are working with a tight budget. So finding an affordable and budget-friendly solution is critical to a successful sports lighting project.

With a bit of planning and due diligence, you can save money and provide a safe and memorable experience to your team and spectators. That is why in this post we will be breaking down what factors can affect the pricing of your sports lighting project and four budget-friendly tips that can save you money on your sports lighting project.  

Youth soccer field with energy-efficient LED lighting fixtures illuminating the playing surface.


What Factors Can Determine the Price of Sports Lighting?  

Before you can save money, you need to understand the key concepts that go into pricing a sports lighting project. These include:


The Size of the Field and the Level of Competition

Both the field area and the type of athletics play a part in the final cost. An NCAA college regulation-size soccer field is typically 225 feet wide and 360 feet long, with a total area of 81,000 square feet. Any high school or recreational soccer field on the other hand will be significantly smaller and differ based on the youth's age. Below is a table representation of the Youth Soccer Field minimum and maximum field width and lengths for each Youth age.


Field Width

Min.-Max. (ft.)

Field Length

Min.-Max. (ft.)


150-300 ft. 300-390 ft.


135-165 ft. 210-240 ft.


105-135 ft. 165-195 ft.


45-75 ft. 75-105 ft.


45-75 ft. 75-105 ft.


Lighting a Youth Soccer Field will be a bit easier than lighting a collegiate size stadium due to the different standards and regulations required. See below the different lighting levels defined by the IES (Illuminating Engineering Society).


Baseball Class of Play

Spectator Capacity

Average Foot-Candles


(College Level, Semi-Professional, Sports Clubs)

Over 5,000 Spectators

75 avg. fc


(Amateaur Leagues, High Schools)

Up to 5,000 Spectators

50 avg. fc


(High Schools, Training Facilities)

Up to 2,000 Spectators

30 avg. fc


(Elementary Schools, Recreational Events, Social Events)

Limited or no Provision for Spectators

20 avg. fc

You can find more information in our previous post about Lighting Requirements For A Soccer Field.


A New Installation v.s. Retrofitting of Old Fixtures

If your facility already has existing lighting poles, it is possible for you to keep your present fixtures by retrofitting your existing fixture with a modern LED lighting fixture. But if you are starting your sports lighting project with no previous installations you will be choosing new lighting fixtures and poles which can differ in price. 

Consult with a Sports Lighting Professional such as Stouch Lighting


The Type of Light

When it comes to selecting which type of bulb goes into your lighting fixture there are a multitude of options which can all vary in pricing. But the most common types forsports lighting fixtures are:


Four Budget-Friendly Tips for Youth Soccer Fields

1. Choosing LED Lighting Options 

The upfront cost of installing new LEDs or LED retrofits can be higher than the other types of lighting for sports lighting fixtures. However, the long-term cost benefits of LEDs will provide you with a tremendous return on investment. You can find more information in our previous post with Three Reasons to Upgrade Your Field with LED Sports Lighting

It is also important to refer to the size of the field and level of competition when choosing the right LED lighting option. The foot-candle level of the LED light must be high enough to provide adequate illumination. If the foot-candle level is too low, the playing field will be poorly lit and the games will not be enjoyable. However, if the foot-candle level is too high, the LED lights may be overwhelming and cause glare. As a result, it is important to consult a professional to strike a balance when choosing the foot-candle level for your sports field lighting.


2. Working With A Professional Light Designer 

The design for smart stadium lighting is to ensure that the lights can effectively act on the eyes of the athletes, referees, and spectators at the same time, to see everything. When it comes down to the precise details from the number of fixtures to the exact angle of the lighting fixture, things can get complicated fast. By working with a professional versed in the intricacies of sports field lighting, you will receive a thorough photometric study of your facility so you can be rest assured you will not be wasting money on lights you do not need.


3. Placing Poles At The Correct Height

Oftentimes people will skimp out on the height of their sports lighting fixtures’ poles, as it is cheaper and less costly to purchase, install, and maintain. However, these facilities end up paying the price with poor quality lighting for their games. Using poles that are too low can reduce the general visual appeal of the field along with creating shadows, hotspots, and glares which can interfere with the game.

It is also crucial to know the number of poles required for your specific sports lighting project. The number of lighting poles required for each level in soccer can vary depending on several factors, but for most youth soccer fields usually have a moderate number of lighting poles to ensure adequate illumination. A range of 3 to 4 poles is commonly seen for such fields as depicted in the diagram below.

Pole layout for lighting fixtures Stouch Lighting

So, before ordering the poles for your youth soccer field, it is important to know the number of poles and the height of each pole, because the last thing you want is to have to re-order after finding out the poles were too short.


4. Energy Grants and Rebates

When you purchase or upgrade your sports venue lighting to LEDs, you choose a more sustainable solution. That is why there are several grants and rebate opportunities listed below that are available in most states and across the country to help offset the cost of installation.

  1. Rural Energy for America Program (California): This program is for energy-efficiency upgrades (LED sports lighting) for small businesses operating in rural areas of less than 50.000 inhabitants.
  2. California Clean Energy Jobs Act K-12 Program – Energy efficiency upgrades (for ex. LED sports lighting) for non-profit organizations such as schools and colleges.
  3. Alternative and Clean Energy Program (Pennsylvania) – Energy-efficiency upgrades (sports lighting) for businesses, municipalities, counties, and school districts
  4. Lower Colorado River Authority (Texas) – Energy-efficient lighting for community sports fields
  5. USDA Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program – This program from the US department of agriculture provides affordable funding (grants and loans) to develop essential community facilities – including sports and recreational facilities – in rural areas (no more than 20,000 residents). 


Illuminate Your Youth Soccer Field with Affordable and Effective Sports Lighting Solutions?

Investing in sports lighting for youth soccer fields requires careful consideration, especially when working with a limited budget. By implementing the right strategies and taking advantage of cost-effective options, you can provide a safe and enjoyable playing experience. Consider the benefits of LED lighting, collaborate with a professional light designer for optimal results, ensure proper pole height, and explore energy grants and rebates. At Stouch Lighting, we specialize in budget-friendly sports lighting solutions. Contact us today to discuss how we can illuminate your youth soccer field efficiently and affordably.