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Chronquiry: Why are the lights at Wallace Wade Stadium left on at night?



Lights, camera, action—although sometimes in the case of Duke Athletics, there’s neither camera nor action to accompany the lights.

Stadium lighting is typically centered around events taking place within the stadium, wrote Art Chase, senior associate director of athletics and external affairs for Duke Athletics, in an email to The Chronicle. But sometimes, it may seem as though lights are left on at Wallace Wade football stadium for no reason. However, lights may also be turned on to provide additional security and safety.

“For example, the lights at Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium will remain on each Friday night prior to a home football game the following day as a security measure,” Chase wrote. “Or, the lights at Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium may be turned on at night to assist foot traffic in navigating the walk from the Grounds Lot to Cameron Indoor Stadium where an event is taking place.”

The stadium might also be illuminated during practices or if a portion of the facility is being tested, he added.

Chase noted that four of Duke’s athletic facilities—Ambler Tennis Stadium, Duke Softball Stadium, Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium and Wallace Wade—are equipped with LED lighting as part of the University’s initiative for efficiency and energy conservation.

Home to Duke women’s field hockey team, Williams Field traded in its metal halide fixtures for LED lights in 2014, when it hosted the ACC field hockey championship. At the time, Duke estimated savings in energy at 70% compared to traditional bulbs.

Wallace Wade soon followed suit by installing LED lights in 2016, which was expected to reduce energy consumption by 40%.

The use of LED lighting at sporting venues has grown more common in recent years since Ephesus Lighting—the same company that oversaw the installations at Williams Field and Wallace Wade—installed lights at an American Hockey League arena in Syracuse, N.Y., in 2012.

Currently, 18 of the 30 Major League Baseball stadiums are illuminated by LED lights, and a handful of NFL stadiums—including the Green Bay Packers’ Lambeau Field—have recently made the switch. 

“Going forward, it is our goal to have all of our facilities equipped with the most efficient lighting systems available,” Chase wrote.

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