I’m looking for portable lights to light up an ultimate frisbee field (90 yards long x 40 yards wide) at night. My friends and I play at local public fields. And I’m looking for a way for us to play later into the night. At the moment, this is just a fun little project.
I figure I will probably need 4-6 light stands. Each light stand will probably need to be 10-12 feet high to avoid looking directly into it when running around on the field. I’d like to keep the cost to less than $100 per stand, although I’m flexible. I’d like the run time to be 1-2 hours. Here are a couple of approaches that I think might work.
1. Buy a bright, floody flashlight, like a BLF Q8. And then buy a tall tripod to hold it. For tripod options, there are the following: Ravelli ALS - 10 foot tall light stand for $30 Ravelli ABSL - Two 13 foot tall stands for $100
Make a homemade stand out of PVC pipe or tent poles MegaMast - 28 foot tall tripod for $700 (not really an option, but interesting anyway)
There is no AC power at the field. And I don’t own a generator. So any suggestions that include AC powered lights would need to include a suggestion on a small, inexpensive generator.
I think I’d highly prefer the flashlight route. That way it can be dual purpose: awesome flashlight and light stand. I also like that the batteries are standard and can be replaced. So they can be dual purpose as well. It also gives us the option to bring tons of spares if we want to extend our playing time.
My first question would be, do you really want to do flashlights, or do you want the best way to light the field? The flashlight route is nice because you wind up owning a bunch of cool flashlights, but if you want to light the field for the least amount of $ possible, there may be better options.
If you like DIY, I might do something like this:
Goodwill or other thrift stores are good sources for 12V SLA batteries from uninteruptable power supplies. Combine those with a few large COBs (make sure to get 12V varieties) and you will have lots of Lumens/$, and they will run all night. (although you will need to throw in a heatsink or current limiting resistor so you don’t fry the COBs).
These are less than $10 each, the ratings say 12V 4A (48W) and >100lm/W, so that would be a claimed ~5000lumens each. I have some of the smaller COBs from this store that I bought for a different project and they were fairly accurate with their lumen claims.
Thanks for the suggestions. I ordered the Ravelli ABSL 13’ stands. They are really tall. I attached a CPF Italia Cometa to each to test it out. They were pretty good and lit up nearly a 30 yard space between the two lights. I just ordered a couple of different COB flood lights from Amazon to try (e.g. Link) . I’ll try to get pictures when I try them out.
I am not an expert of tower lighting, I just toke part in a few portable field lighting projects. The using time is heavily depends on type of lighting you use and the capacity of generator. I think we can have LED lighting because it is more energy efficient. Under the same power input, LED can always emit brighter illumination than halogen lights!
As for the generator part, we need to see the weight tolerance of the pole and the luminaires. The smell and the refuel problems are the common issue when using the generator for mobile light towers.
But I will go for LED because it has high CRI for sports players and spectators.
I apologize for resurrecting this thread again. Has anyone found a decent solution? My daughters play soccer and we start running out of light for practices this time of year, and lit fields are hard to come by. We probably only need to light up forty yards square. I’d be willing to spend a few hundred for some LED tower lights, but I can’t find anything that will work. Thoughts? I’m a decently handy DIY guy if I need to roll my own.
If you need to be on batteries I don’t know if there’s any inexpensive solution but it doesn’t seem like it. The stand you linked to looks pretty great featurewise and I suppose it’s strong enough for most fixtures if it’ll hold cameras with big lenses. If you have any way to run a cord or use a generator there are lots of inexpensive light monsters now that would do the job wonderfully.
One of the best area lights I’ve seen is the Metabo one…4000 lumens and it actually can reach out a little bit. Good price on amazon right now. Of course the devil is the battery and charger, but Metabo batteries are very reasonably priced and for running a light it doesn’t matter much what type of cells they’re built with. These are very rugged and also waterproof. If I had more use for these I’d get some myself.
Most of these tool brand work lights are basically mules with no hotspot or appreciable throw, so while they may be truthful with their stated lumens, you just don’t see it the same as we do with similar output on flashlights, but this one was rather impressive and I think a couple of them would do ok for a smaller field area like that. I’ve seen several of the Milwaukee, Bosch, and Dewalt lights and frankly they’re just best for task lights or enclosed areas where you can get some bounce. I like the Milwaukee rocket tower lights I have but they’re not cut out for this (plus they cost way more than they should…that goes double on their batteries and chargers…).