GREEN BAY – Lambeau Field received a fresh set of bulbs on Wednesday morning complements of the new LED lighting system that was installed via helicopter.
The new system features 296 Musco LED light fixtures, 414 kilowatts each, a 60-percent reduction from the current system that was mounted to the stadium during the 2003 renovation, which consists of 648 Musco HID light fixtures, 1,065 kilowatts each.
Crews have been working for the past month to disconnect and remove the old lights, which have become increasingly more difficult to maintain and upgrade due to the age of the system and the scarcity of replacement parts.
"It's an exciting day at Lambeau Field. Some regular upgrades in maintenance but not so regular in how it gets done," Packers director of public affairs Aaron Popkey said.
"Like a lot of us are going through in our homes, when you're replacing light bulbs or looking to upgrade lights, you go to the LED technology. That's going to make a big difference in terms of energy efficiency and reducing the number of lights itself by more than half. Electrical consumption is going to drop significantly."
Lambeau Field installed new lights with a new LED lighting system via helicopter on Wednesday
The Packers have budgeted for the new lights for some time, understanding the pressing need for a new system that's expected to last decades.
While cranes also could have been utilized to install the new lights, they would need to be set up, dissembled, moved and reestablished for each of the eight lighting areas.
For that reason, helicopters were chosen as a more efficient way to hoist the pre-fitted lighting brackets to the stadium standard with iron workers securing the brackets into place. The entire process was expected to take between two and six hours.
"A lot of stadiums and arenas, certainly new ones being built today, go with LEDs," Popkey said. "We had a number of stadiums recently who have upgraded. The company doing this recently did some work in Kansas City at their stadium. They're doing the lights in New England for the Patriots' stadium. It's something that takes place and the systems are standard across the league."
The new LED technology not only will help reduce glare, but also provides a better viewing experience for spectators in the stadium and those watching the TV broadcast.
The new lighting system will eliminate the flicker during slow-motion shots, which produces a better broadcast and improves replay views. It also has the ability to be dimmed for special events inside the stadium.
"I think they'll notice brighter, more vibrant colors on the field," Popkey said. "LEDs are a more natural sunlight effect opposed to the previous system which was a more artificial light. Our fans saw a big upgrade when we went from the old system to the new system in 2003 and this will be an upgrade that'll be very significant, too."