New Light-Emitting Diode (LED) floodlights have been installed on the artificial hockey pitch at the Old Cranleighan Club. These replace the halogen lights which had been in place since the pitch was laid in 1993.
In recent years floodlight technology has come on in leaps and bounds, and LED lights have a number of advantages over their halogen predecessors. They are much brighter but because they can be focussed on the pitch with far greater accuracy they produce far less light pollution. They are also considerably cheaper to run than the old lights and so much more eco friendly.
The requirements for the OCHC to play floodlit top-flight hockey made this a necessity and the first evening National League game under lights took place the week after the installation when around 300 people watched the 1st XI beat Teddington. It was also apparent that training under the old lights had become increasingly difficult, especially for the junior sections.
The new lights, which were co-funded by the OC Society and the OCHC, can also be turned up or down, so for major games they can be at a level where we could play an international, but for lower-level training they can be reduced, which means the running costs are reduced.
The Old Cranleighan RFC already had LED lights on their two pitches at Thames Ditton and this has enabled them to schedule a few floodlit games as well as hold training sessions in the evening which had not previously been possible.
“While the improved lighting was a necessity, the economic and ecological benefits were a major factor in us agreeing to this,” Martin Williamson, the OC Society chairman, said. “The new lights produce far less ‘spillage’ so are friendlier to our neighbours. And as we are bordered by woods, this also means there is far less disturbance to the wildlife that live in them.
“In addition, the operating cost is around 35% of the old halogen lights and the LED bulbs last significantly longer, which means they are far more eco-friendly.”