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How Much Do Stadium Lights Cost?

When constructing a football stadium, it’s beneficial to understand all the costs involved. Next, to actually building the grandstands, installing and maintaining the lights are some of the most important factors. Stadium lights and the electric bill to light your field during games are consistently the most expensive ongoing costs for a stadium. At GT Grandstands, we don’t manage the light installation, but we wanted to do some of the financial math, to help you make the best decisions when building a sports facility.

The factors that go into the total cost of lighting a facility are the quality and type of flood lamp, the daily energy needed, and the average cost of that energy. For example, the typical high school football stadium needs 300 to 400 lux to efficiently light the area. If you use metal halide lamps, you’ll need 70,000 watts to produce 300 to 400 lux, or if you use LED flood lamps you’ll only need 35,000 watts.

Electrical costs

On average in the United States, the cost of a kilowatt per hour is 12 cents. If we want to run the stadium lights for 4 hours an evening for 15 evenings a month, the equation would be 70,000 * 0.12 / 1000 for metal halide lamps and 35,000 * 0.12 / 1000 for LED lamps. The respective electricity costs would be $8.4 an hour for Metal halide lamps and $4.2 an hour for LED lamps. If you’re running your lights for 6 hours an evening for 15 evenings a month, it will cost you $756 a month for metal halide lamps and $378 for LED lamps.

Maintenance Costs & Installation Costs

When comparing metal halide lamps to LED lamps and their lifelong maintenance costs, LED lamps easily take the lead. LED lamps can last 8 times longer than their metal halide counterparts. When it is expensive to replace your lights, this lifespan can save you a ton of money. 

For a typical high school stadium, the lighting installation costs will range from 100,000 to 300,000 depending on the quality of the lights. If you’re having to replace your stadium lights every few years, the overall cost will start to add up. 

This is one reason why we encourage all of our clients to invest in LED lamps, which cost a little more initially but will save you hundreds of thousands of dollars in the long term. When comparing lifespan, the LED lamps will last 20 years compared to 2-3 years of metal halide. They also cost half as much in electricity per hour they’re being used.  Purchasing and installing LED lights will cost more (upwards of $200,000 to $300,000 for a high school football stadium) but you’ll save more money in the long run on electricity and maintenance costs. Head to (insert LED supplier here) if you’re interested in getting a custom quote for your LED light install. If you’re curious about building a custom set of grandstands for your facility, we’d love to give you a personal quote as well. Reach out to our sales team through here.