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How Many Lumens and Watts does it take to Light a Baseball Field?

Illuminating a baseball field is not just about flooding the ground with light; it's a nuanced process that involves careful consideration of several factors. The question, "How many lumens and watts does it take to light a baseball field?" depends on these critical aspects.

Image of a high-quality LED floodlight designed for illuminating little league baseball fields.


Illumination Requirements: Beyond Just Lumens and Watts

When it comes to baseball field lighting design, the focus isn't solely on the number of lumens and watts. Other elements, such as the required average foot-candle, the level of play, spectator capacity, and the specifications of the poles including their number and height, play integral roles.


High School Baseball Fields: The Lighting Criteria

A typical high school baseball diamond measures around 105,000 square feet, given the distance from home plate to the outfield fence, and can house up to 5,000 spectators. Baseball field lighting requires a delicate balance of factors. On average, according to IESNA Recommendation a high school baseball field requires an average of 50 foot-candles in the infield and 30 foot-candles in the outfield.

When we convert these requirements into lumens and watts, an LED solution offering 130 lumens per watt would require a wattage of about 24,000W to 32,000W to adequately light a high school baseball field.

As we move to collegiate or professional level baseball, the sports lighting requirements increase due to factors like televised broadcasts in high definition. A collegiate baseball field, usually requires an average of 70 foot-candles in the infield and 50 foot-candles in the outfield. The field is 120,000 square feet, would need between 46,000W and 92,000W, given the same LED lumens per watt output of 130.

These illumination levels are dependent on factors such as:

  • Classes and Level of Play
  • Spectator Capacity
  • # of Poles and Placement


Classes and Level of Play

The level of play is a significant consideration. A local little league field will have different lighting requirements than a professional or collegiate level field. For instance, little league fields might have lower foot-candle requirements due to smaller fields and fewer spectators, while professional fields require more intensive lighting to accommodate televised broadcasts and larger audience capacities.

Level of Play

Lighted Area

Average Constant Light Levels

Uniformity Ratio: Max to Min

Maximum Rate of Change

Little League Baseball


50 fc


10% per 10 feet


30 fc


10% per 10 feet

Professional/Collegiate Baseball


150 fc


10% per 10 feet


100 fc


10% per 10 feet


Spectator Capacity

The number of spectators that a field can accommodate also plays a role in determining sports lighting needs. Greater spectator capacity usually equates to higher sports lighting requirements. This is because larger audience areas need additional illumination for safety and visibility.

Baseball Class of Play

Spectator Capacity

Infield (fc)

Outfield (fc)


(Professional Televised Game)

Over 5,000 Spectators

150 fc

100 fc


(Collegiate Televised Game)

Up to 5,000 Spectators

100 fc

70 fc


(High School & Little League Game)

Up to 2,000 Spectators

50 fc

30 fc


(Recreational & Tee Ball)

Limited or no Provision for Spectators

30 fc

30 fc


Lighting Infrastructure: Number of Poles and Placement

The number and height of poles are critical in designing a sports lighting solution. They determine the spread of light, and with careful placement, can help avoid creating shadows or overly bright spots on the baseball field. Also, whether we're installing new poles or using existing ones affects the flexibility in controlling their placement and height.

For instance, using four poles might be sufficient for a smaller little league field with radius between 200- 250 feet, but a professional/televised baseball field might need six poles to evenly distribute light for radius larger than 250 feet and even 8 poles for radius reached 320 feet. Similarly, taller poles are beneficial for larger fields as they can spread light more evenly and reduce shadow areas.

Aerial view of a baseball field at night, showcasing various pole designs and powerful stadium lights illuminating the playing surface.

Proper illumination necessitates careful consideration of fixture mounting heights, which typically range between 50 to 80 feet. However, it's important to note that specific circumstances may require adjustments to this range. For instance, to efficiently control and minimize glare, it might be necessary to opt for higher fixture mounting heights.

Additionally, unique baseball field constraints can also influence the choice of pole height. For example, if the baseball field layout includes obstructions or if there's a necessity to employ shared poles for multiple baseball fields, it may demand poles to be installed at a further distance from the baseball field. In such cases, employing taller poles may become a requisite to ensure optimal illumination across the baseball field.

The choice between installing new poles or utilizing existing ones is a crucial aspect of a baseball field's lighting plan. This decision considerably influences the control we have over the placement and height of the poles, which are integral to optimizing illumination. If we are working with a new installation, we have the flexibility to strategically position the poles and decide on their height based on the Key Tips for Sports Lighting. This allows us to fine-tune the distribution of light, minimize shadows, and ensure even coverage. On the other hand, when using existing poles, we may be limited by their predetermined positions and heights. However, with our expertise in LED solutions, we can adapt the sports lighting design to these existing parameters to achieve optimal sports lighting conditions.

Diagram showcasing a lighting fixture emitting light onto a baseball field.


Designing a Tailored Lighting Solution

However, each baseball field lighting application is unique and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The interaction of the aforementioned factors—foot candle requirements, level of play, spectator capacity, number and height of poles—is complex, and minor changes can significantly impact the final lighting outcome.

Therefore, it is crucial to work closely with a lighting company such as Stouch Lighting to design a lighting system that meets your specific needs. Professional lighting consultants can take into account all these factors, provide expert advice, and work with you to create a solution that meets your standards.

In conclusion, while there are guidelines to follow, the path to the perfect lighting solution for a baseball field involves careful consideration, expert guidance, and collaboration. By understanding these variables and consulting with lighting professionals such as Stouch Lighting, you can ensure that your field is not just well-lit, but also optimally designed for the best baseball experience.