When the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks face on Sunday, it will also showcase new technology as the first Superbowl game played under LED lighting. According to the makers, the new high-performance LED stadium lights built by Cree and Ephesus Lighting will provide better lighting for less energy.
Ephesus says that LEDs have already been used in 1,000 sporting events and the new system for the Superbowl is a significant improvement over the 780 metal halide fixtures previously used in the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona stadium. These have been replaced with 44,928 Cree XLamp MK-R LEDs, which use only 310,000 watts as opposed to the 1.24 million watts for the conventional fixtures, reducing overall sports lighting energy consumption by 75 percent.
First introduced in 2012, the stadium-grade LEDs are not only cheaper, but Ephesus and Cree say that the new lighting is more uniform and brighter. This not only eliminates shadows, but is also better suited for HDTV broadcasts because the new lights reproduce colors more accurately, allow for greater depth of field, and closer zooming for more detailed slow motion replays.
Ephesus also says that an additional advantage of the LEDs is that they don't require the 20-minute warm-up period that the metal halides need. This means that in the event of a power blackout, resetting the lights can be done immediately.