Let There Be Light

Originally published 4/11/15

Glyndon Park is the first Little League baseball field in the United States illuminated with LEDs. The new system enhances playability, reduces spill light and glare to neighboring homes, and reduces the field’s electricity bill by 46 percent.

The LED lighting is a significant move to more sustainable and energy efficient products. It is a result of a joint partnership with the Town and the Vienna Little League.

The system, designed by Musco uses six 45 feet-tall black poles. “Residents around Glyndon Park have come to appreciate the mature trees and the natural park setting, so the last thing we wanted to do is put typical 70-foot galvanized-metal poles in the park” said Vienna Parks and Recreation Director Cathy Salgado.

The black poles blend nicely with the tree canopy, and are significantly shorter than the trees.

The new lighting system is amazing, and hard to do justice by words alone. You need to see it to believe it.

Those who are into sports and familiar with night games will be the most impressed. From left field, the action area is well illuminated, but the light from the poles in background are hardly noticeable.

Each of the dozens of lighting modules are narrowly focused on small parts of the field. When you walk around the fence line, you are illuminated at any point by at most, two banks of light. If you step away from the fence ten paces you’re in the dark. No light falls on houses.

The batter, catcher, and umpire have no glaring lights to contend with. The only lights directed here are largely outside the players’ peripheral vision.

This athletic field is really a showcase both for the here-and-now in LED technology, and for a forward-looking Town management ready and willing to embrace the advantages of energy state-of-art.