4 Minute Read

How many Lumens and Watts does it take to light a Soccer Field?

Lighting a soccer field involves more than merely casting light upon the soccer field; it's a nuanced task contingent upon a multitude of considerations. Hence, the answer to the question, "How many lumens and watts does it take to light a soccer field?" relies heavily on these key elements:

  • Soccer Lighting Criteria
  • Classes of Play
  • Spectator Capacity
  • Number of Poles and Placement
  • New or Retrofitted Lighting

Unraveling the Nuances of Soccer Field Illumination

Lighting a soccer field is not solely about the total lumens and watts. Other critical parameters, including the average foot-candles required, the nature of the game being played, the seating capacity for spectators, and the intricacies of the lighting setup, such as the number of poles and their height, play significant roles.

Guidelines provided by the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) offer a benchmark, but an effective lighting solution will also take these additional aspects into account.

Stouch Lighting Soccer Field Lighting for youth soccer league


Soccer Lighting Criteria: From High School Soccer Fields to Professional Stadiums

Soccer fields, depending on their size and the level of competition, have vastly different lighting requirements. For instance, a high school soccer field, averaging around 110,000 square feet with a capacity for around 2,000 spectators, needs precise adjustments of various factors. According to IESNA, such a field requires an average foot-candle of 50 for optimal lighting.

Transposing these requirements to lumens and watts, you would need around 24,000W to 60,000W from an LED solution that provides 130 lumens per watt to light up a high school soccer field. As we move up to professional-grade soccer fields that cater to HD television broadcasts, larger spectator crowds, and larger dimensions, these requirements can scale up to between 50,000W and 100,000W.

These lighting needs are shaped by several considerations, such as the class and level of play, spectator capacity, and the number and placement of lighting poles.


How Class of Play and Level Dictate Lighting Requirements

The level of competition plays a significant role in determining the lighting requirements. A local community soccer field won't have the same lighting needs as a professional-grade stadium. For example, local fields may have lower foot-candle requirements due to smaller field sizes and fewer spectators, while professional soccer fields demand more intense lighting to facilitate televised broadcasts and larger audience capacities.

Level of Play

Average Constant Light Levels

Uniformity Ratio: Max to Min

Uniformity Ratio: CV

Elementary Schools, Recreational Events, Social Events

20 fc


0.3 or less

College Level, Semi-Professional, Sports Clubs

75 fc


0.13 or less


The Role of Spectator Capacity in Soccer Field Lighting

The capacity of a field to house spectators impacts its lighting needs. Larger seating capacities usually necessitate more lighting, as larger crowd areas require enhanced illumination for safety and visibility. According to guidelines from FIFA, bigger fields with larger spectator counts require superior illumination levels to ensure audience safety and improve their viewing experience.

Soccer Class of Play

Spectator Capacity

Horizontal (fc)


(College Level, Semi-Professional, Sports Clubs)

Over 5,000 Spectators

75 fc


(Amateur Leagues, High Schools)

Up to 5,000 Spectators

50 fc


(High Schools, Training Facilities)

Up to 2,000 Spectators

30 fc


(Elementary Schools, Recreational Events, Social Events)

Limited or no Provision for Spectators

20 fc

Importance of the Number of Poles and Their Placement

The structure of the lighting setup, particularly the number and height of poles, is essential in the overall lighting scheme. They determine the dispersal of light across the soccer field, and with careful positioning, they can help circumvent shadow casting or overly bright spots on the soccer arena.

Lighting design guidelines from organizations like the IES and FIFA underscore the importance of achieving uniformity of lighting across the soccer field to avoid shadows that could affect gameplay.

Consider a typical youth soccer field with dimensions varying from 300 to 390 feet in length and 150 to 300 feet in width. Four poles could potentially provide an adequate spread of light. However, for higher-level youth competitions or televised matches, it might be more appropriate to utilize six poles for more comprehensive light coverage, and particularly expansive youth fields could even require an eight-pole setup.

Stouch Lighting Pole Layout Guide for Soccer Field Lighting

Taller poles confer benefits for larger soccer fields, as they facilitate a more uniform spread of light and help to mitigate the formation of shadowed areas. The height at which fixtures are mounted requires careful attention, typically falling within the range of 40 to 60 feet. However, certain situations might necessitate alterations to this range. For example, in order to effectively manage and reduce glare, higher fixture mounting heights might be needed.


New or Retrofitted Soccer Field Lighting

Choosing between installing new poles or using existing ones significantly influences a soccer field's lighting strategy. This decision greatly impacts our control over the poles' positioning and height, both essential factors in achieving optimal illumination.

If we're orchestrating a new installation, we have the ability to strategically position the poles and select their height based on the specific lighting needs of the field. This allows us to precisely control light distribution, reduce shadow formation, and ensure consistent coverage across the pitch.

Conversely, when reusing existing poles, we might face limitations due to their pre-established positions and heights. Even under these constraints, our expertise in LED lighting solutions enables us to adapt the lighting design to these pre-existing conditions, thus ensuring optimal lighting conditions for youth soccer fields.


Calculate ROI for Sports Field Lighting | Stouch Lighting


Crafting Custom Lighting Solutions for Soccer Fields

Each soccer field is unique, necessitating a customized approach for its sports lighting. Interactions between factors like foot-candle requirements, level of play, spectator capacity, and pole number and placement can dramatically impact the final soccer field lighting result.

Hence, it's crucial to collaborate closely with a seasoned sports lighting company that specializes in sports lighting. Professionals from such companies can factor in all these elements, provide expert advice based on industry norms and best practices, and partner with you to construct a soccer field lighting solution that caters to your specific needs.


Our Final Thoughts

To sum it up, there are guidelines to follow when illuminating a soccer field, but identifying the perfect solution involves a meticulous examination, expert guidance, and cooperation. Check out our other material on soccer field lighting such as Lighting Requirements for a Soccer Field and Key Tips for Selecting the Best Sports Lighting. By understanding these variables and consulting with soccer field lighting professionals such as Stouch Lighting, you can ensure that your soccer field is not only brightly lit but also optimally designed to offer the best soccer experience.