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Baseball Design Philosophy

 

Baseball field lighting is best described as a compromise. Pole placement, no matter how well thought out, will produce unwanted glare to some point on the field no matter where they are placed. The idea for baseball is to reduce the glare effect on as much of the field as possible while providing adequate light levels for safe play. Baseball is designed using six poles, ideally. Some manufacturers promote eight, siting better uniformity in the outfield. In reality, a six pole design using two poles down each baseline and two pole on the outfield fence, reduces glare and is more cost effective. Most eight pole designs place two of the outfield fence poles inside the power alleys directly in the line of sight of the batter watching a pitch. The glare produced by these two poles reduces the batters ability to see the pitch. Believe it or not, some of the largest sports lighting companies promote this design. It is wrong and there is a better way.

 

When using two poles on the outfield fence, they are required to cover more ground each, then the four pole outfield alternative. So naturally, the poles are placed evenly across the outfield, spaced from foul pole to foul pole. This results in the poles being located outside the power alleys and batters view producing a black backdrop for a white baseball. Contrast is what enables us to judge distance and speed. White on black is as good as it gets. An example of this design concept is illustrated below.

 

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