March 29, 2023
Dodgers, Red Sox and Cubs Debut New LED Lighting
Photo credit: @Cubs on Twitter
What took so long? Three iconic ballparks modernize sports lighting and controls.
Tomorrow is opening day for Major League Baseball’s 2023 season – a year when three historic and legendary ballparks – Dodger Stadium, Wrigley Field and our beloved Fenway Park – will be debuting new LED lighting and controls. These stadia now join more than a dozen MLB ballparks that already feature customized LED technology.
LED lighting has been rapidly permeating outdoor and indoor sports venues over the last decade. Some of the world’s most famous stadia and arenas have been replacing legacy lighting sources with LED technology and advanced controls. At the local parks & recreation level, cost effective LED lighting solutions have also been shining bright at high schools and youth sports fields across the globe.
Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles
Dodger Stadium, the third oldest park in Major League Baseball (MLB), having opened in 1962, will feature many exciting additions, most notably the addition of new state-of-the-art lights. Musco Lighting provided LED lighting and Show-Light® Pro Venue special effects for the iconic stadium.
Above: Dodgers staff tests the new LED lighting system in March 2023
This offseason, the Dodgers replaced all Field Lights with LED Lights. Not only are the LED lights more energy efficient, but they also have color-changing abilities, enhancing the fan experience by utilizing the lights more creatively for on-field celebrations, concerts, etc.
The system’s 600 fixtures are part of a unique complete system design, which delivers superior performance and reliability along with a number of key benefits:
Better Visibility for Players and Fans: Light levels in the infield and outfield maintained to create a better visibility experience for players and fans.
Reduced Energy Consumption and Environmental Impact: Energy consumption is reduced by 50 percent compared to the prior HID lighting.
Improved Broadcast Quality: Superior light quality meets MLB standards and enhances HD broadcasts.
Enhanced Stadium Entertainment Experience: Advanced special effects and color-changing technology for custom-designed light shows.
Minimized Glare and Spill Light: Patented fixture visoring minimizes glare and spill from affecting anyone in or around the stadium.
The new lighting was installed over the course of two months, with the previous HID fixtures — which were installed in 2008 — removed and parts recycled.
Dodger Spanish broadcaster and legendary left-handed pitcher, Fernando Valenzuela, will have his number 34 retired in August.
Fenway Park, Boston
Above: Boston Globe video shows Sully Mac's installation of the LED sportslighting in February 2023
The legacy HID field lighting at our beloved Fenway Park was installed in 1982. Goodness.
In unsurprising Boston fashion, the park utilized a contractor named “Sully Mac” (Sullivan & McLaughlin) to install new color changing LED lights.
If you happen to be at the Sox vs. Cardinals game on Friday, May 12, inside.lighting staff will be consuming ice-cold Sammies field-side in Section 5 by the Pesky Pole. We’ll be joined by our longtime friend, Sully (no relation). Come say hello.
Wrigley Field, Chicago
Over in Wrigleyville, the Chicago Cubs will also be sporting a new lighting system by Musco Lighting. The Cubs were the last holdout MLB team to schedule home night games as the franchise resisted stadium lights until they were permanently installed in 1988.
According to the Cubs, the first set of LED lights took approximately 30 minutes to lift from the parking lot and into place on the roof during the November 2022 installation. As the work progressed, each set of lights were installed in under four minutes.
Site assessment: The Cubs shared "Computer data confirmed specific illumination levels at 148 different locations on the playing field between the foul lines. A 'dry run,' or matrix test, was conducted over a two-day period in mid-July 2022."