The Mariners Make MLB History and Lighting Design Lab Was There

Release Date: 
January 20, 2015 - 17:00

Mariners are the first MLB team to use LED technology for playing field

The Seattle Mariners today announced that Safeco Field will be the first Major League Baseball facility to illuminate the playing field with LED lights.

The Mariners partnered with Planled to replace outdated metal halide fixtures at Safeco Field with state-of-the-art GigaTera LED fixtures from KMW Inc. The conversion was completed this month and will be unveiled to the public at the 17th Annual Seattle Mariners FanFest at Safeco Field on January 24 & 25.

LED (light emitting diode) fixtures focus multiple narrow beams of light. They produce brighter, more uniform light, which significantly reduces glare and shadows on the field and creates a better atmosphere for players and fans watching the game at the ballpark.

For fans watching on HDTV, LED lights provide better color rendering by more evenly distributing light across the spectrum. There is also no flicker, which is necessary for the super-slow-motion technology now in use during game telecasts.

Joe Garagiola, Jr., Senior Vice President of Standards & On-Field Operations for Major League Baseball, said: “Thus far, our experience has indicated that the Mariners new LED technology at Safeco Field will be better for our players, fans in the ballpark and viewers watching at home. We applaud the Mariners for an innovative step that promises to improve efficiency and the fan experience in numerous ways, all while serving as a welcome addition to our overall greening efforts.”

In addition to the improved experience for players and fans, LED fixtures are more efficient and have a longer lifespan than metal halide lamps. Safeco Field’s LED conversion will reduce energy consumption for field lighting by 60-70 percent. In addition to energy efficiency, the LED lamps last over 100,000 hours, or more than 30 years. Metal halide lamps must be changed every 3,000 hours or so. And unlike metal halide lights, which need a 20 minute warm-up, LED lights respond instantly when switched on.

“The benefits of converting to LED lighting are across the board from the play on the field to supporting the Mariners long-established sustainability goals,” said Joe Myhra, Seattle Mariners Vice President Ballpark Operations. “The GigaTera fixtures represent the latest in LED technology. This project was the result of the work of many partners, including Planled and KMW, working together on this new approach to sports lighting.”

“It’s a privilege for us to partner with the Seattle Mariners to light the first MLB stadium with the most advanced sports lighting system in sports history,” said John Hwang, Planled CEO. “We are also planning to hold workshops and seminars in partnership with Lighting Design Lab, Green Sports Alliance and Human Centric Lighting Society to share our experiences with other venues.”

Planled is also producing a video that documents the project from the beginning to serve as a resource for others who are interested in learning more about the use of LED lighting. NRG Stadium, the home of the Houston Texans, University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona, which is hosting the 2015 Super Bowl on February 1, and Staples Center in Los Angeles are among the professional sports facilities in the U.S. that have converted to LED lighting.

About the Seattle Mariners and Safeco Field
Safeco Field is the home of the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball’s American League West Division. Opened in July 1999, Safeco Field has drawn over 40,000,000 fans to baseball games and has hosted such diverse non-baseball events as weddings, major charity fundraisers, NCAA football and Gold Cup Soccer. Safeco Field is one of the most sustainably-operated sports facilities in the world. The Mariners have twice been named MLB’s American League Recycling champions.

About Planled
Planled is a corporate lighting solutions company that specializes in human centric product development, research applied lighting consulting and corporate lighting program management. Planled partners with industry leading lighting manufacturers and world renowned researchers to offer innovative corporate solutions that may improve human experiences in all applications.

About KMW
KMW is a world-class technology and manufacturing leader for professional sports lighting systems that have recently been inaugurated across the globe. For many years, KMW has been a market leader in the RF wireless communications industry with an international cliental including Sprint, Verizon and AT&T. In partnership with Planled, KMW also became the first LED manufacturer to retrofit 1000 watt metal halide systems at Boeing plants. Each year for the last 20 years, KMW has invested 15-30 percent of total revenue in research and development. KMW is a publicly traded company with offices in the United States, Korea, Japan and China. KMW has over 100 achieved patents and nearly 200 filed patents. Unlike most sports lighting companies that specialize in fixture designs, KMW has a rich history in electronic manufacturing with outstanding expertise in power driver, heat management and controls technology, which makes KMW the most qualified solutions provider for high power LED applications.

Project Partners
- Seattle Mariners
- Planled
- KMW, Inc.
- Lighting Design Lab, Seattle
- Lumenal Lighting, Seattle

Safeco Field LED Light Facts
- 579 metal halide lights were replaced with 578 GigaTera SUFA LED fixtures.
- The metal halide lights ranged from 1,000-2,000 watts.
- The LED fixtures use only 800 watts.
- The LED lights are 20-30 percent brighter while using 60 percent fewer watts than metal halide lights.
- The more efficient LED lights will reduce power usage by 784,000 kWh each season, saving more than
      $50,000 in energy costs alone.
- Because LED lights last longer, there are also savings in maintenance costs over the life of the fixtures.
- Sun light registers 100 on the Color Rendering Index. Metal halide fixtures register 63, and LED lights are
      at 81, making for dramatic improvements in visibility for players on the field, fans in the stands and those
      watching at home on TV.
- The GigaTera system is the first in MLB to offer ultra-slow motion replay without any flicker.
- The GigaTera SUFA fixtures are manufactured by KMW, Inc., and have met all safety energy efficiency and
      MLB lighting requirements.
- Before the final installation, the Seattle Mariners went through two years of planning for the conversion.
- The Safeco Field LED lighting system has been audited by Major League Baseball and meets or exceeds
      all lighting requirements.
- The Safeco Field LED lighting project is supported by the Green Sports Alliance, Human Centric Lighting
     Society and Lighting Design Lab.

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