View Full Version : Advice on arena lighting please

slh (Guest)
16-01-03, 04:13 AM
I know this topic has been up before but I can't find it in the archives of either forum so sorry for asking again....

I am having an arena built shortly, and if I remember correctly there was particular type of lighting which quite a few people recommended that is comparatively low cost to run (from memory it took a few minutes for the lights to get up to full strength?)

I would really appreciate advice on this so that I can ensure hubby requests the right ones.

Electky (Guest)
16-01-03, 06:09 AM
Talk to Emma. She has an arena with new lights

slh (Guest)
16-01-03, 07:19 AM
Thanks for that Electky. Hopefully Emma (or someone else) will hear me pleading for advice!

Debbie (Guest)
16-01-03, 09:21 AM
You are talking about metal halide fittings. You can run 3 x 400w metal halide flood on 4m (I think) poles along the long side to get good light even enough to work under. 2 would probably do the job too.

This is the expensive way but in lighting terms the best. My hubby is a lighting engineer.

The cheaper way is to use 1500w QI floods. They are more expensive to run (use more electricity) but very, very much cheaper to buy the fittings and the replacement lamps. You would have to run these lights for enormous number of hours to get anywhere near catching up to the cost of the dearer fittings.

For the home arena the cheaper way is hubbys reccomendation.

Get some pricing and do the comparisons.

Lucy+Tally+Monty (Guest)
17-01-03, 02:53 AM
I went through this earlier this year as I put lights on my arena.

Metal Hallide are the ones that take longer to warm up, are cheaper to run but are very expensive to buy. I decided NOT to buy them as I really only use my lights for 1-2 hours 4 times a week, and of course for half of the year don't use them at all (I LOVE daylight savings).

I bought 1000W halogen lights, two on each pole with two poles ... and they are fantastic! Light up the arena really well. I have mine set up so I can light up only half the arena, so I am not paying to light the full arena if I am not going to use it. So generally when I ride on my own I only light half the arena (the other end isn't pitch black, just not very bright), but when two people ride on it, I turn all the lights on.

Don't forget to budget in the light poles ... they turned out much more expensive than I thought ... in the end a friend took my design and made them up for me, rather than buying proper light poles. Mine are designed to be able to be lowered as I remember a couple of places I agisted where they had light poles, that everytime a globe went they would have to get a cherry picker in!! (another extra cost!)

Ellen (Guest)
17-01-03, 03:03 AM
If you have to get electricity to where you want the lights then metal hallide might work out much cheaper as you can use lesser cables. It has cost me about $7,500 to get electricity to the tackroom, shed and arena (about 200m), it was going to be much more expensive if I was going to use hallogen lights.

slh (Guest)
17-01-03, 03:49 AM
Thanks everyone, all this help is much appreciated. I do have to get the electricity run to the arena so it sounds like it might be best to get quotes for both types, plus an estimate of running costs and make a decision from there. I am already being beseiged with requests from other people to allow them to use it, esp. during winter so I am going to need to know how much they will cost to run by the hour. And then my next question is going to be on people's experience with public liability insurance.....!!

Debbie (Guest)
17-01-03, 04:18 AM
Sorry Ellen that is not correct I don't think.

Unless your cable is unable to carry the number of watts you would have wanted to run. The only extra charge would be for heavier cable if required. There should always be some allowance for future extra useage made in the cable size used.

Ellen (Guest)
17-01-03, 04:40 AM
That's correct Debbie. I would have needed heavier cable to run the 4000 Watt for lights and all the other things that are on that cable. Heavier cable would have been a fair bit more expensive. By needing about 2500 watt less I could use a lighter cable. The $7,500 was not just for the cable though, we got an electrician to do lights and fuses in several sheds and hired someone to dig the trenches.

Maggie (Guest)
17-01-03, 06:02 AM
We're getting quotes at the moment. We're lucky in that we already have electricity to the stables so need only to trench to the arena - not too far away. One of the quotes will include metal halide, the other mercury vapour lights. On the advice of another friend, we're also going to have the facility to have speakers, (with the source in our tackroom) so we can ride to music - hopefully to soothe the savage beast, or is that savage breast? This same friend by the way, swears by the mercury vapour lights, however the lighting engineer we consulted has recommended the metal halide. Will let you know how we go.

Debbie (Guest)
17-01-03, 06:50 AM
Just asked my lighting engineer ( he is a lighting engineer and has been in the lighting industry doing exactly this kind of work for over 25 years) AGAIN and he said definitely the cheaper halogen for the home arena and would use MH over MV (newer technology).

I have to say, that any time any of our horsey friends ask advice about lighting arenas he just growls & sighs. No one ever listens to the advice given. They always just do what they want which is usually NOT what he advises. So why ask?

Debbie (Guest)
17-01-03, 06:51 AM
Ps: he is also an A grade electrician and has been for over 30 years.

Ellen (Guest)
17-01-03, 07:32 AM
Debbie, it depends who you speak to I suppose. Looking at lighting catalogues for outdoor lights (including sportsgrounds) it seems that MH is the go. I've spoken to two electricians and they both advised that 4000 - 6000 watts for hallogen is a lot. I also did some animal observations for an experiment (horses in small yards) and used halogen lights at night. Even though the power came from a machinery shed, 4000 watts was about the maximum that cable could carry. So if people are extending power from an existing shed they better check that that cable can indeed carry that much power. I'm only going on advise that has been given to me though, don't know the slightest thing about electricity or lighting myself.

Debbie (Guest)
17-01-03, 08:09 AM
Yes Ellen, but you would hope that when the Machinery shed was wired there was enough forethought to allow for a bit of extra power to be used in the future. This is usually the case, expecially when cables have to be put underground. If not you are right, this would become an problem requiring less power useage.

Metal halide is newer technology and MV is not used so much these days (although it still has applications). MH is always (these days) the first choice in any floodlighting project. We make our living doing lighting designs for all kinds and size projects from army bases, to major car manufacturing plants, to warehouses, to freeway billboard lighting, to sports ground floodlighting, to retail display lighting etc etc etc.

MH is the better lighting source but the cost makes it ridiculously expensive for the home arena. For example just the replacement lamp alone for a 400w MH flood could be approx $80. You can use an lot of hours of electricity for that. Check your electricity bill and you can work out the hourly rate for lighting. I couldn't suggest the cost of the fitting as we only wholesale and I have no idea of the markup to retail but trust me, they are not cheap.

End of my comments. I have to get back to work and sell some more lights :D

slh (Guest)
17-01-03, 08:20 AM
Debbie, I can well imagine how frustrated your husband must feel, especially when people specifically ask his advice and then ignore it!!

Can I just ask a couple more questions of him please, I promise I won't ignore his advice!! I should qualify that except during daylight saving it is entirely possible that I could be running the arena lights for three or four hours a day (weeknights at least). Would his recommendation still be for the halogen under those circumstances?

Also, I have heard of some indoor arenas having a meter system, where you put your money in the meter box to run the lights. Does he know anything about these? Because to my mind this could be the easiest way of managing the whole thing - if it all gets too difficult my husband might just throw his hands up!

Debbie (Guest)
17-01-03, 08:30 AM
Will check on the coin operated box thing and hopefully have an answer tomorrow - more an electrical thing rather than specifically lighting. I have seen these at places.

He is out at present, I will ask and answer you when I can get to him again.


Ellen (Guest)
17-01-03, 08:41 AM
Another question for you Debbie. I was told that the MH lights would last a lot longer (something like 4xlonger). Also the light quality of MH in terms of even softer lighting and less shadows is supposed to be better. Is this correct? Someone up the road uses hallogen lights and it lights up the whole neighbourhood. Don't know if his lights are overkill or if that is what happens with 4 hallogen lights.