Super Bowl XLIX is First Ever Played Under LED Lights

February 3, 2015 Written by  Comments Print
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After the lights went down on Sunday night, the New England Patriots were crowned champions of Super Bowl XLIX after a thrilling contest that will certainly go down in NFL history. But you might have missed another piece of NFL history that was made on Sunday. This Super Bowl was the first ever to be completely lit by LED lights.  

The University of Phoenix Stadium previously had used 780 metal halide lights to light up the field and stands. But in anticipation of the game, the stadium replaced the metal halide lights with 44,298 Cree Xlamp MK-R LEDS (for a total of 312 fixtures), which were supplied by Cree and Ephesus Lighting.

Right away, it might seem like these numbers don't add up. 780 metal halides vs. 44,298 LEDs? Despite the fact that the stadium is using nearly 57 times more LEDs than metal halides, it's using far less energy. The new LED lights draw only 310,000 watts of power, vs. the 1.24 million watts used by the metal halide fixtures. That's 75% less energy! So what are some of the other benefits of these new LED lights?


Sunday Night Lights: Super Bowl LEDs


  • The LEDs produce about twice the illumination of the metal halide lights. This is what allowed the number of fixtures to be cut in half from 780 to 312.

  • LED lights run at full intensity as soon as they're turned on. Metal halide lights take about 20 minutes to reach full intensity after being switched on. So what? The lights are turned on well in advance anyway, right? This is true, but don't forget the 2013 Super Bowl, when a power outage killed the lights to half of the stadium. A large portion of the delay of game after the power came back was spent waiting for the metal halide lights to reach their full intensity. With LEDs, this wouldn't have been an issue.

  • LEDs provide more uniform lighting, which reduces shadows on the field, making it easier for players and fans to see.

  • The new LEDs are expected to last 20 years, which is much longer than the metal halide lights. The LEDs will also require much less maintenance.

super bowl led

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