The FIFA standard for lighting serves as the benchmark for ensuring world-class playing conditions and spectator experiences in football matches held under artificial illumination. This comprehensive set of guidelines defines the technical and qualitative requirements that lighting systems must meet to host professional, international, and televised matches. By delving into the key aspects of the FIFA lighting standard, this article sheds light on the critical factors that contribute to a well-lit, safe, and visually compelling football environment.

Illuminance RequirementsGrade 1
World Cup Training
Grade 2
Match Practice
Grade 3
Standard Training
Ev 0°
(Vertical illuminance on 0° reference plane)
Min>350 lux
Ave>500 lux
Not applicableNot applicable
Uniformity U1v-0°>0.30Not applicableNot applicable
Uniformity U2v-0°>0.40Not applicableNot applicable
Ev 90°(Vertical
illuminance on 90° reference plane)
Min>350 lux
Ave>500 lux
Min>275 lux
Ave>400 lux
Min>150 lux
Ave>200 lux
Uniformity U1v-90°>0.30>0.30>0.30
Uniformity U2v-90°>0.40>0.40>0.40
Ev 180°
(Vertical illuminance on 180° reference plane)
Min>350 lux
Ave>500 lux
Not applicableNot applicable
Uniformity U1v-180°>0.30Not applicableNot applicable
Uniformity U2v-180°>0.40Not applicableNot applicable
Ev 270°
(Vertical illuminance on 270° reference plane)
Min>350 lux
Ave>500 lux
Min>275 lux
Ave>400 lux
Min>150 lux
Ave>200 lux
Uniformity U1v-270°>0.30>0.30>0.30
Uniformity U2v-270°>0.40>0.40>0.40
Eh ave
(Horizontal illuminance)
Ave>750 luxAve>500 luxAve>300 lux
Uniformity U1h>0.40>0.40>0.40
Uniformity U2h>0.60>0.60>0.60
Flicker factor (FF)<1%Not applicableNot applicable
Reference grid96 points40 points40 points
Colour temperature (Tc)5,000-6,200K5,000-6,200K4,200-6,200K
Colour rendering (Ra)≥ 80Ra≥ 70Ra≥ 70Ra
Glare rating (RG)< 50< 50< 50
Maintenance factor (MF)0.90 LED, 0.80 HID0.90 LED, 0.80 HID0.90 LED, 0.80 HID
Power supplyFPS-DFPS-DFPS-D

Luminance Requirements

At the heart of the FIFA standard lies the specification of luminance levels, which dictate the minimum and recommended illuminance values for both horizontal and vertical surfaces on the pitch. For top-tier competitions, FIFA typically mandates an average horizontal illuminance of 1500 lux across the playing field, with a uniformity ratio not exceeding 0.7. This means that no part of the pitch should be more than 30% darker than the average, ensuring consistent visibility for players, officials, and broadcast cameras.

Vertical illuminance is equally crucial, as it affects the perception of aerial plays and players’ upper bodies. FIFA typically sets a minimum requirement of around .jpg1000 lux for vertical surfaces, maintaining an appropriate balance between horizontal and vertical lighting to facilitate seamless tracking of fast-moving objects and player movements.

Light Distribution & Uniformity

Achieving the desired luminance levels necessitates careful consideration of light distribution and uniformity. Lighting designers must strategically position and aim fixtures to eliminate hotspots, shadows, and dark areas, creating a homogenous lighting pattern across the entire pitch. This involves calculating the appropriate number of fixtures, mounting heights, and tilt angles, as well as utilizing optical systems that optimize beam shaping and minimize spill light.

To further enhance uniformity, the FIFA standard often calls for specific maximum-to-minimum illuminance ratios within defined zones on the pitch. This ensures that critical areas, such as penalty boxes, center circles, and areas around the goals, receive sufficient and evenly distributed light.

Glare Control

Glare is a significant concern in sports lighting, as excessive brightness or poorly controlled light sources can impair players’ vision, disrupt their concentration, and diminish spectator comfort. The FIFA standard incorporates strict guidelines for glare control, including limitations on the maximum allowed Unified Glare Rating (UGR) and the use of glare-reducing measures such as visors, louvers, or antiglare coatings on fixture lenses. Additionally, lighting designers must carefully orient fixtures to minimize direct views of the light source from key vantage points, including the eyes of players, officials, and television cameras.

Sustainability & Environmental Consideration

In line with global efforts towards sustainability, the FIFA standard encourages the adoption of energy-efficient lighting technologies and the implementation of measures to reduce light pollution. This includes promoting the use of LED lighting systems, which offer higher luminous efficacy, longer lifespans, and better controllability compared to traditional sources. Furthermore, the standard may recommend the use of fixtures with optimized cutoff angles and low upward light emissions to minimize skyglow and preserve the natural nocturnal environment.

Television Broadcasting Requirements

Given the prominence of televised football matches, the FIFA standard takes into account the specific needs of broadcast cameras. This encompasses requirements for color temperature, color rendering, and flicker-free operation, as well as recommendations for supplementary lighting, such as perimeter or architectural lighting, to enhance the visual appeal of the stadium during broadcasts.

Compliance & Certification

To verify compliance with the FIFA standard, lighting installations undergo rigorous testing and certification processes. This may involve on-site measurements by accredited photometric engineers, simulations using specialized software, or a combination of both. Lighting systems that meet the standard receive official recognition, providing assurance to stakeholders that the facility is capable of hosting high-level competitions and international events.

In summary, the FIFA standard for lighting establishes a rigorous framework for designing, installing, and maintaining artificial lighting systems in football stadiums. By focusing on luminance levels, light distribution, glare control, sustainability, and broadcast requirements, this standard guarantees optimal playing conditions, spectator satisfaction, and environmental responsibility, ultimately contributing to the global prestige and integrity of the beautiful game.