Light Structure Green Extends Season and Cuts Night Sky Pollution

 

Dunmore Little League officials, in Dunmore, Pa., knew the youth in their borough deserved more opportunity and a place to call home.  That deep sense of responsibility was the driving force behind construction of two ball fields and the purchase of Musco’s Light-Structure GreenTM, which accommodated growing participation and provided advanced reflector technology that cut spill light on adjoining properties and turned neighbors into fans.

 

Previously, more than 400 children, ages 5 to 12, were playing games on a single 60-year-old school district field. Its age and logistics were obviously less than ideal, so the league decided to exhaust its funds, procure a bank loan, and recruit sweat equity to build the new fields in an underutilized municipal park.

 

Completed in time for the 2004 season, the new fields still weren’t a total operational solution, said Dunmore Little League Vice President, Charlie Terrery.  “We had to abbreviate two seasons prior to having lights. We tried to get all four leagues through in the daylight.  We even played games on weekend mornings, and it was hard for everyone,” Terrery said.

 

While the majority of its resources were tied up in the development of playing surfaces and fencing, the loan budgeted for the purchase of one field’s lights. According to Musco Representative, Jerry Magovern, the league purchased a system engineered with previous industry-leading technology from Musco.  “After the order was placed, Musco entered the final stages of introducing Light-Structure Green.  At the same time, the league learned it had successfully secured a grant from the Baseball Tomorrow Fund to light the second field with the new system,” Magovern said.

 

Through Baseball Tomorrow Fund’s partnership with Musco, a $32,000 grant provided Dunmore an opportunity to learn about the energy values and spill/glare advantages of the new Green Generation Lighting®.  According to league President, Jim McHale, the decision to change the original order to Light-Structure Green was quick and easy because the new technology addressed a light control issue with potential to be a liability instead of an asset.  

 

“The park is located in a residential area, and we really worried about spill and glare before the installation, but the lights are so efficient and neighbor friendly with their reflector shades. My friends in that neighborhood tell me they don’t even know the lights are on, and some are 150 feet from the field,” McHale said.

Advancements in reflector design reduce offsite spill light by 50 percent over previous industry leading technology due to the ability to custom direct light onto the field and away from neighbors' windows.  It also reduces trespass light to adjoining fields and decreases upward light, further safeguarding against sky glow.

Since the lighting installation, Dunmore has hosted All Star tournaments, district competition and part of the annual city-county tournament.  McHale said youth participation is on the rise and there’s greater opportunity to play. “We’ve doubled the utilization of the fields,” he said, “and lighting both fields made us whole again by giving those kids a product they deserve.” 

 

Added Terrery, “It was the greatest year ever in Dunmore Little League history.  With two new fields, the lighting project and the completion of our clubhouse/concession stand, our children were excited to play the game of baseball.”