Player shadows - Stadiums & Arenas

UEFA Stadium Lighting Guide 2023

Content Type
UEFA Guidelines
Stadium & Arena
Stadium Lighting
Enforcement Date

Artificial shadows on the pitch caused by floodlighting systems detract from visual clarity for both spectators and television broadcasters. The shadows impinge upon the viewing experience and should be eliminated where possible or reduced to soft shadows.

During the pitch illuminance design, it is important to evaluate the production of player shadows and eliminate any hard shadows. This is generally done by using multiple light sources from various locations for each area of the pitch. Shadows are reduced and players benefit from good illuminance modelling around their entire bodies. This is essential for adequate vertical illuminance and uniformity on all planes.

The image above demonstrates the impact of player shadows on a football pitch.

In some stadiums, the existing infrastructure will mean that a four-corner tower/column floodlighting system is the only viable option in pitch lighting design. Corner tower illuminance systems will generally produce hard shadows, which will vary in different areas of the pitch. With this type of installation, it is not possible to produce consistently soft shadows.

The image above is an example of the soft shadows created by an effective solution involving multiple light sources from different locations.

The image above is an example of hard shadows in the goal area. Shadows should be reduced where possible, while ensuring that players are not hindered by discomfort glare.