by Jim Harrison
A faulty protection relay now has the blame for the 34-minute failure of part of the New Orleans Superdome’s lighting during the Super Bowl. Every single engineer watching was wondering over and over – how long is this going to take?
Most stadiums, including the Superdome, use 1,000-watt metal halide Sportslighters to light their field. The fixtures, which require 5 to 6 minutes to strike, also have a cool down time of 15 minutes that must be allotted between shutting off the lights and re-strike. So this was certainly part of the equation.
I tried to find out how many of these lamps are in the Superdome – to no avail. If you live near there, could you take a run over there and count them for us?
LED lighting manufacturers are currently testing fixtures that will lower the wattage to around 250-watts per fixture. And, they turn on immediately.