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Old March 14th, 2014, 11:42 PM   #1
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Outdoor lighting for sports?

Someone asked me about this and I need to get back to him. He wants to light his backyard for soccer, for video. There is a 14 foot wide goal, he said. For what he is doing with these kids, there may be only one goal area and not two but I am not completely clear on that yet.
My first thought is, assuming one goal area, to light behind, but it will also be throwing shadows..
Anyone have any thoughts on this? Thx
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Old March 15th, 2014, 06:43 AM   #2
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Re: Outdoor lighting for sports?

They need to be sealed against the weather for sure.
They need to be up off the ground at least 10 feet probably more.
They need to be wired safely probably thru some type of conduit and buried underground.

As for they exact light, that will depend on how big an area he wants to light up. This adventure is going to run up his electric bill big time.

This type of thing can be done right and safely or it can be done wrong and someone could get hurt. He needs to confer with someone who specializes in outdoor lighting and I don't mean a designer that lights up small decks but someone that does playing fields. Look at the lighting at a high school football field. There's a reason they are big, tall, and expensive.

Just some early morning random thoughts.
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Old March 15th, 2014, 08:21 AM   #3
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Re: Outdoor lighting for sports?

I think more inofrmation is needed :)

What is he trying to do?

Is this for night time illumination or for daylight fill to improve video shooting?

Is this for a project you are working on with him?
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Old March 15th, 2014, 09:58 AM   #4
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Re: Outdoor lighting for sports?

He did not specify those things, so I'm in the process of getting back with him. I agree that this is outside my area of expertise in terms of the actual lighting. He's probably more interested in the placement of the lighting for best video results.
That was my thought too, high, looking down. Is there one type of lighting in that situation that would be easier on the shadows?
I may be working on it with him, but I may recommend he deal with someone who is more used to shooting sports. He has some videos already and I thought the videographer did a nice job, so I"m wondering why he is not using that person again or what the deal is.
>EDIT< Just emailed him with some questions, so should have more info soon.
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Old March 15th, 2014, 10:53 AM   #5
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Re: Outdoor lighting for sports?

First, the shadows aren't going to be lessened by a certain type of light but rather the number and placement of the lights.

Second, keep in mind that there will be shadows no matter what.

Third, I've shot sports at night. Football and NASCAR. The lighting has IMO nothing to do with the video guy but is more a product of the lighting designer. IOW, the designer say we place X number of lights at Y feet apart and Z feet up. That will cover the playing field. Now if you want more light for video then we need to place them at such and such a distance apart and maybe even at multiple heights.

Lighting it up to product good video is different and honestly, IMO he needs a lighting guy that has done this before.
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Old March 15th, 2014, 12:12 PM   #6
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Re: Outdoor lighting for sports?

Yes, I agree, I'm out of my area of knowledge here. But I am curious. I will probably refer him out for both the job and the lighting design.
Here is what he wrote back regarding the area to be lit:

"Yes, one wall is a goal, it's fourteen feet wide and the length of the room is 34 feet. This 14 x 34 foot patio has three solid block walls and the house wall. It has concrete and artificial turf on the playing surface, it has a 27 foot white aluminum ceiling with some open screening on each end and along the top of the long block wall. I will be removing two ceiling fans and using the power source to install lighting and fans along the house wall.

I need your help setting up this area for video taping, selecting the correct cameras & lenses to mount on the wall."

Hmm. What are y'all's thoughts on this one?
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Old March 15th, 2014, 12:21 PM   #7
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Re: Outdoor lighting for sports?

Sounds like he is needing a consultant (which you could be) that will help him setup his arena. Looks like a permanent lighting/fixed or robotic camera situation.

The lighting is really indoor lighting because there is a ceiling. Going with 5600k lights would probably be best if there is no other 3200k around.

Overall, see if it has legs. It could be one of those projects that ends when the prices are discovered...
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Old March 15th, 2014, 12:39 PM   #8
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Re: Outdoor lighting for sports?

Yes, I didn't know initially there was a ceiling.
He will need an actual shooter though to get any good footage. He may be disappointed in what mounted cameras will give him. Fine for the wide shot, but you can't shoot sports from a side wall with changing motion and focus!
I suppose it wouldn't hurt to have a side mounted camera on a generic medium shot though as well as one up high on a wide shot.

EDIT
What cameras/configurations would you guys recommend for this?

Last edited by Kell Smith; March 15th, 2014 at 06:23 PM.
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Old March 15th, 2014, 08:21 PM   #9
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Re: Outdoor lighting for sports?

hmm... anyone? Camera/configuration recommendations? I'm going to get back with him tonight, would love some perspective on it if anyone has a suggestion for him. thx =)

>EDIT< So it got back with him, and surprisingly had a lot to say once I started writing, about camera placement, about lighting as it relates to exposure, and about what makes lighting work well, and so on. I referred him to a lighting designer for specific recommendations and to B&H for consulting on camera models.
May shoot some things for him, we'll see.....

Thanks all, for your input.

Last edited by Kell Smith; March 16th, 2014 at 10:21 AM.
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