A lighting first for NZ
Future energy savings trumped more expensive capital outlay when it came to choosing lighting for Rolleston’s Foster Park sports fields. Selwyn District Council, which governs the Canterbury settlement, took a punt installing LED lighting when other councils throughout the country were still using the more conventional metal halide system.
“There were a couple of single field venues done up in the North Island,” says the council’s land development project manager, Phil Millar. “But I think ours is the first multi-field system done in the country. It’s pretty good technology for a little town like Rolleston.”
Rolleston - population 14,650 according to the Department of Statistics - sits 22km south-west of Christchurch. It’s home to the Selwyn United Football Club which boasts a membership of around 1200, making it one of the biggest football clubs in the South Island, according to Phil Millar. The club’s home ground is Foster Park and it makes good use of the LED lights for practices.
“To get the LEDs we paid higher capital costs - about 30 percent,” Millar says. “But our whole life electricity savings are around 40 percent. And the other positive is the lights are really nice to play under. They send out a white light rather than the yellow of the conventional system.”
Another bonus is LEDs have a very small amount of light spill he says; they’re very directional so 10 metres off the field it’s pitch black, much better for the neighbours. And they last longer than metal halides, with luminaires expected to have a life exceeding 20 years.
Six fields and a half hockey turf at Foster Park are currently lit and installation’s just beginning on another four pitches on the western side of the park. These will be used for rugby and should be open next year. Core technology for LEDS has continued to improve and the cost to purchase them will be substantially less than the 2016 costs.