GE's contribution to the largest NFL venue ever built, the Dallas Cowboys' new billion-dollar stadium, is a system of cost-effective and energy-efficient lighting and electrical distribution equipment. For GE Appliances & Lighting, the charge was to go on offense, developing and delivering stadium lighting that provides uniform and maintained light across the field, while eliminating glare and shadows for fans in the stands and at home.
The company's photometric design for the field lighting took into account the complex problem of maintaining uniform lighting and light levels on the field that would eliminate shadows and glare for fans, as well as the multitude of high-definition TV (HDTV) cameras positioned throughout the stadium. The resulting design required 668 1,500W PowrSpot III luminaires with glare control and 96 1,500W UltraSport luminaires with hot re-strike. The combination of these 764 luminaires makes up the main event lighting, or the entire football field's horizontal surface beyond the sidelines and end zones but not into the stands.
GE's customized lighting solution of UltraSport and PowrSpot luminaires provides 300 foot candles of maintained light level on the field, which is above the NFL specification of 250 foot candles. Generally, the higher the foot candle level the better for the viewer, as long as it alleviates glare, hot spots and shadows for fans and cameras. In addition, 60 1,500W PowrSpot IIIs (non-event lighting) were supplied for use as house and security lighting.
The company also worked with lighting design firm Craig Roberts Associates Inc. (CRA) to analyze and design the lighting schematic in some of the suites and club space. The result was a lighting design using LED cove lighting.
GE also supplied electrical distribution equipment for the facility, including 70 substations, 15 switchboards, transformers and a variety of other electrical distribution products to provide emergency power during an outage or surge. Too bad GE couldn't have also supplied a few Pro Bowl-caliber players to help the Cowboys in last month's 34-3 NFL playoff loss!