East-West Arena Construction Blog

Installing Equestrian Arena Lighting

Posted by East-West Arena Construction

Apr 11, 2014 2:00:53 PM

Building an equestrian arena is a dream come true for horse enthusiasts and having the ability to use the arena at night is a bonus. Planning the equestrian arena lighting for night time use is an important component in the overall planning and design of the arena. It is important a lighting and electrical specialist be involved with the design of the arena. The lighting specialist should be well versed with the electrical code and high power voltage.

When it comes to lighting design, different applications require a minimum amount of light. Lighting is expressed in foot candles, and foot candles are the measure of light intensity, or the density of light that falls on a surface. According to light design standards, an equestrian arena requires 15 foot candles of lighting. This provides the necessary level of lighting for horse and pedestrian safety.

Equestrian Arena Lighting

Caption: Before equestrian arena lighting construction, and arena construction in general, can begin, it will be necessary to apply for a building and lighting permit with the local municipality. 


Before equestrian arena lighting construction, and arena construction in general, can begin, it will be necessary to apply for a building and lighting permit with the local municipality. The regulations will identify the maximum height of the light poles that can be installed. Keep in mind taller poles cast smaller shadows as the lights strike the horse and rider more vertically than shorter poles. The permits will also require the lighting installation to be inspected prior to an occupancy permit being issued. That means the electrical work will have to be installed by a licensed electrician.

Installing electrical lines underground will greatly enhance the overall look of the arena, but it is essential to avoid installing conduits and electrical lines under the arena. If repairs or replacements have to be made, it will require excavating the arena area and may damage the integrity of the area. It is important the base of the arena remain level and stable. If one area is out of sync with the stability of the entire arena, that area may be subject to sinking and create a hazardous condition for the horse.

When choosing equestrian arena lighting, metal halide lights are considered the optimum lights for an equestrian area. They are the cleanest and allow more pure light with frequencies closer to daylight than other types of lighting. The metal halide lights are more energy efficient than mercury vapor and halogen lights and have better lumen output.

The most important factor in equestrian arena lighting is the lights must be laid out in such a manner the light is distributed. It is important to eliminate light and dark spots, which a horse may perceive as a hole and bolt.

To discuss how we can help with your equestrian arena lighting, contact us. Thank you.

Topics: Arena Lighting