Safeco Field is getting geeky.
The Seattle Mariners today announced that they have installed a new LED lighting fixture at their ballpark, becoming the first MLB team to do so.
With the help of Federal Way, Wash.-based Planled, the Mariners this month replaced 579 old metal halide fixtures with 578 new LED lights from a Korean company called KMW that will help reduce glare and shadows at Safeco Field.
The LED technology will also improve the HD viewing experience at home, as the lights provide better color rendering and no flicker.
“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,” Joe Garagiola, Jr., Senior Vice President of Standards & On-Field Operations for Major League Baseball, said in a statement. “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.”
The team also noted that the LED fixtures reduce energy consumption by 60-to-70 percent compared to the metal halide lamps, which had to be replaced once every 3,000 hours — the LED lamps last 100,000 hours. The LED lights, which will save the Mariners $50,000 each season in energy costs, also turn on instantly, while the old halide lamps took 20 minutes to warm up.
Planled, which has installed LED lighting at Boeing and other companies, helped the Mariners replace fluorescent lights with LEDs two years ago in the clubhouse, training room, dining room, and weight room. The New York Times noted that this allowed the Mariners to change lighting levels before and after games, so to improve energy levels of players.
While the Mariners are the first MLB team to install LED stadium lights, other professional sports organizations like the Houston Texans and Los Angeles Lakers have done the same. The NFL’s Arizona Cardinals have the high-tech lights at their University of Phoenix Stadium, where Super Bowl 49 is being played next month.
Fans can check out the new lights this weekend at the Mariners Fanfest. Safeco Field is also home to the MLB’s biggest scoreboard, which was installed in 2013 and takes up 11,425 square-feet of space.