Saint Mary's in Southampton is set to be the first stadium in Europe to have LED floodlighting.
Southampton FC made history 64 years ago when their football ground, The Dell, was the first in England to have permanent floodlights installed. The lights were used for the first time on 31st of October 1950 for an exhibition match against Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic. This move to LED ensures Southampton stay ahead when it comes to lighting technology.
The new lighting will be in place for the 2014/15 campaign in August and meets the Premier League requirements for a higher level of light output. Premier League regulations require that a club's floodlight have a flicker rate of no more than 6% but testing on the new system has recorded a rate of just 0.2%.
The lights, by Vision Accando, will provide a higher quality light for broadcasting and will reduce energy usage. It can also be switched on and off instantly meaning no warm up period.
Stadium Facilities Manager at Southampton Football Club, Mark Humby, said: "Since being introduced to Ian Williams and Calvin Caunter of Vision Accendo back in February, we have worked very closely to make sure we reach all the technical criteria stipulated by the Premier League. It has been a frantic but extremely interesting four months. Our first issue was to make sure the stadium roof structure could take the added weight of the new floodlight system required to produce the correct lighting levels. During this process I have been introduced to the technical term 'flicker' which only causes an issue during slow motion and super-slow motion footage. By using a top quality LED product we have all but removed this issue which can be sen on the majority of sporting footage that's produced under flooded conditions. We can now look forward to installing a superior innovative lighting solution that will enhance the viewing experience of both tge fan in the stadium and the armchair supporter."
Chief Technical Officer at Vision Accendo, Ian Williams, added: "This is the start of a ground breaking partnership between Vision Accendo and Southampton Football Club. We too are delighted to be the first to meet the Premier League's new lighting specifications using our latest generation of LED lighting. LED lighting has many benefits but for us it sets the new benchmark in the lighting industry. The supporter of Southampton Football Club will see the new installed floodlighting positioned 360 degrees around the stadium, while television broadcasters and viewers will also see the benefits of our installation at St Mary's in the coming season."