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Do you need planning permission for sports flood lights?

If you are responsible for a sports club or venue, you will need to take the necessary steps to maintain it and keep it in good condition – not least so that it is a pleasant and safe facility for people to use. 

You might be reading this as someone with responsibility for an amateur sports ground or club for tennis, football, rugby, athletics, or a similar sport. If you are looking to install flood lights at a facility for the very first time, it may be unclear to you whether you will need to seek planning permission from the local authority, before proceeding to install flood lights. 

Here, we at Inui take a further look into whether you need planning permission for sports flood lights. 


Image of sports flood lights

So, is planning permission required to install LED sports flood lights at an outdoor sports ground? 

The short answer to this question is yes, you will need planning permission from your local authority in order to install LED flood lights at your outdoor sports ground.

Local councils usually acknowledge that a floodlit sports pitch brings many potential benefits to sports participants, club members, and the broader community – such as helping to ensure the given sports facility can be used even in the depths of the winter when it’s dark outside, and helping to boost the safety of such recreational spaces. 

However, the local authority will still have to consider a range of criteria when attempting to decide on an application for planning permission. In the case of the LED flood lights you are looking to install at your sports ground, such criteria will include considering the potential impact on surrounding areas, such as on the local ecology.

If, for instance, your sports facility is in a built-up area, the local authority planning department is likely to want to ensure your intended flood lights cause minimal overspill and light pollution, given the risk of nearby houses and other developments being inconvenienced by your venue’s lighting. 

Your outdoor floodlit facility could be a good thing in the sense of helping to increase playing hours, but there could also be some less desirable changes as a result of this, such as higher traffic levels and a greater need for parking around your venue. This is something the local authority will likely need to think carefully about when assessing the impact of outdoor LED sports flood lights on the local area. 

Even if the local authority grants planning permission for your LED flood lights, it might do so on the condition of a curfew time, whereby the lights are switched off by a certain time of night. 

Heightened lighting at times when it is otherwise dark outside could be disruptive to the natural rhythms of local flora and wildlife, such as bats. However, choosing the right LED flood lights and positioning them appropriately can help you minimise any such adverse impact at your own sports ground. 

When you are looking to secure planning permission for LED flood lights at your sports ground, you should also be mindful of the likely time frame. It tends to take around 12 weeks for planning permission to be granted for flood lights, assuming there are no particular challenges or difficulties. It's also a good idea to seek out professional advice and support, to help maximise your chances of a successful planning permission application at the first attempt.


Image of athletics stadium.


Do LED flood lights use a lot of electricity? 

There are many potential benefits of having LED flood lights installed at an amateur sports ground, especially compared to older and less energy-efficient alternatives. 

The initial purchase cost of LED floodlights may be higher for you than if you had opted for halogen lighting. But as we have previously written about here at INUI, LED flood lights are much more energy-efficient than both halogen and metal halide alternatives. This is because the Light Emitting Diodes that give ‘LEDs’ their name don’t use as much energy. 

So, if you insist on using metal halide or halogen flood lights, you can expect to need to replace them more often than would be the case with LED flood lights. Bearing in mind that such older-style lights only last between 6,000 and 15,000 hours, while LED flood lights are capable of lasting for up to 50,000 hours, the costs of having to regularly replace older flood lights over time can rapidly add up. 

What kind of LED flood lights do I need?

One of the great benefits of investing in LED flood lights for an outdoor sports ground facility is the impressive brightness - in lumens - that they provide. This, in turn, allows participants to easily play sport while enjoying a high level of visibility of the pitch and fellow players, even when it’s otherwise dark outside. 

Here at INUI, we stock a variety of LED flood lights that work excellently well for different settings. Popular options in our range for sports grounds include our Stadium Pack 240 and Stadium Pack 300, which allow for a lumen output as high as 122,400 and 144,900 lumens respectively. 

Optimal lumens output for sports grounds typically ranges from 65,000 lumens to as high as 162,000 lumens. In the case of tennis courts, for instance, an output range from around 36,000 to 85,000 lumens is typical. At Inui, we have a solid track record of leaving customers highly satisfied with our LED flood light installations at tennis clubs, like the one we carried out recently at Widnes Tennis Club.

Are you ready to learn more about how to install outdoor LED sports flood lights, and how INUI could help provide the ideal LED flood lights for your own sports ground? If so,  don’t hesitate to browse our range today, or contact us for an initial consultation on 01509 226355 or send an email to sales@inui.co.uk