Athletics Track LED Floodlights: how much do they cost?

How much does an LED Lighting system for an Athletics Track cost?

From hundred meter sprints through to hurdles, high jumps, and hammer throws, a good lighting system provides the clarity and visibility that today’s athletes need to perform at their best. The unfortunate reality, however, is that many athletics clubs continue to operate using legacy lighting equipment that delivers subpar performance and carries high running and maintenance costs.


As seen in our work at Watford’s Woodside Stadium and Berry Hill in Mansfield, a switch to a modern LED system can deliver tangible improvements and savings alike. With many clubs running on decades-old systems though, they typically have little visibility into the potential costs of an upgrade. That’s why, in this post, we’re going to answer that vital question: “how much does an athletics lighting system cost?”.

Key considerations

Before beginning the design of an athletics lighting system, three important questions need to be answered. These are:

  1. Whether the club has an existing lighting system in place, or is installing a brand new one;
  2. What standard of competition takes place there (i.e. local, regional, or national);
  3. Which elements of the ground are to be lit – the track and infield together, or solely the track.

When a club has an existing system in place, this usually creates an opportunity to install what is known as a retrofit lighting solution. Here, many of the existing assets like masts, wiring, and controls can be retained and included in the new design. This usually results in a significant saving, particularly when the existing mast infrastructure is reused. 

Where this isn’t possible, due to the age or degradation of those assets, for instance, a newbuild lighting system would be installed instead. Newbuild systems are relatively uncommon, and are typically reserved for brand new sports and athletics facilities. Regardless, costs for both retrofit and newbuild systems are included below.

The second question – the standard of competition – is important because it affects the amount of light that must be delivered across the track and field. This has an onward impact on the number of masts that must be used and, as a result, can have major implications on the cost of a project too. An explanation of costs by competition level is included at the end of this post.

What is the cost of a retrofit athletics floodlighting solution?

The average cost of a retrofit athletics floodlighting solution ranges from between £20,000 to £160,000 plus VAT


 Track & Infield Lighting 
Class 3 - 100 Lux Class 2 - 200 Lux Class 1 - 500 Lux
£28k - £36k + VAT £47k - £70k + VAT £124k - £160k + VAT
Track only 
Class 3 - 100 Lux Class 2 - 200 Lux Class 1 - 500 Lux
£20k - £30k + VAT £28k-44k + VAT £68k-96k + VAT


 As explained above, one of the major advantages of a retrofit is that certain parts of the existing lighting system can normally be reused. This includes the masts, which account for a large part of the cost of a newbuild project. As a result, a retrofit solution is significantly cheaper, with the majority of the expense attributed to the manufacturing and supply of luminaires – the individual lighting units.

The average cost of luminaires in a retrofit athletics project is typically expected to range from between £14,000 - £120,000.


The remaining cost of a retrofit project is allocated against installation. Installation costs include a range of activities, including:

  • Removing old luminaires from the masts and arranging for their disposal.
  • Fitting the new luminaires to the top of each mast.
  • Upgrading or replacing the gear as needed.
  • Connecting the new luminaires to the existing control system.
  • Hiring an independent third-party organisation to conduct testing and commissioning (to either governing body or NICEIC standards as required).

In our experience, installation costs typically range between £6,000 - £40,000, again depending on the standard of play and the area being lit. 

What is the cost of a newbuild athletics floodlighting solution?

The average cost of a new build athletics floodlighting solution ranges between £44,000 - £300,000 plus VAT .

These costs are split out as follows.

The cost of luminaires is identical between a newbuild and retrofit project, with all of the lighting units needing to be replaced regardless of the condition of the supporting infrastructure.

Therefore, just as in the example above, the average cost of luminaires in a newbuild athletics project is typically expected to be around £14,000 - £120,000. Again, competition standard and the difference between a track-only or track and infield solution create that wide range.

Masts are the major distinguishing factor between the cost of a newbuild and retrofit athletics lighting project. With the exception of certain specific cases, masts can be retained in the majority of retrofit projects, something that can equate to a significant cost saving.

While mast-related costs are the dominant factor in any newbuild sports lighting project, they are particularly pronounced in athletics due to the size of the area that needs to be lit. While deployments of four, six, and eight masts are typical in most other sports, 10, 12 and 14-strong mast installations are more common in the world of athletics. 

With this in mind, mast costs in a newbuild project typically amount to between £10,000 - £80,000 – approximately 20 - 25% of the average total cost. This figure includes the associated electrical components within each mast.

In a retrofit solution, installation focuses mainly on the fitting and wiring of new luminaires. A new build project is substantially more complex, involving groundworks and the creation of concrete foundations. A range of wiring and switching work is also required. 

These costs typically break down as shown in the list below. 

  • Groundwork civils 
    Masts require strong concrete foundations to be sited safely. Groundwork costs include the creation of those foundation blocks, in addition to the digging of wiring trenches. These trenches enable the masts to be connected to the mains power supply. A track side cabinet and distribution board are included in this cost.

  • Installation 
    Installation costs relate to the placement of the masts in the foundations, and the fixing of the luminaires to the top. This cost also includes the wiring in of the floodlights, and the addition of protective gear to the mast bases.

  • Controls and wiring 
    In addition to the standard functionality, some athletics clubs also want their floodlights to meet other requirements. These can include elements like cross-play and remote switching capabilities, time clocks, kWh meters, and a meter that shows how many hours the system has been used for. Costs in this category are largely variable as a result.

The total installation cost of a newbuild athletics lighting project is expected to be between £20,000 - £100,000.

Costs by level of competition and type of installation

While we’ve tried to present a comprehensive breakdown of the possible costs of a new athletics lighting system, it goes without saying that every club’s circumstances are different. Different requirements, unique environmental considerations, and other factors can all lead to higher (and lower) costs, so it is always important to seek expert guidance about your own project.

Retrofit: Track and Infield

  100 Lux 200 Lux 500 Lux
Costs From To From  To From  To
Install £8k £16k £12k £20k £24k £40k
Luminaries £20k £30k £35k £50k £100k £120k
Total £28k £36k £47k £70k £124k £160k


Retrofit: Track only

  100 Lux  200 Lux 500 Lux
Costs From To From  To From  To
Install £6k £10k £10k £18k £18k £36k
Luminaries £14k £20k £18k £26k £50k £60k
Total £20k £30k £28k £44k £68k £96k


New install: Track and Infield 

  100 Lux 200 Lux 500 Lux
Costs From To From To From To
Install £30k £45k £40k £60k £60k £100k
Mast £16k £50k £20k £60k £40k £80k
Luminaries £20k £30k £35k £50k £100k £120k
Total £66k £125k £95k £170k £200k £300k


New install: Track Only

  100 Lux 200 Lux 500 Lux
Costs From To From To From To
Install £20k £35k £30k £50k £40k £70k
Mast £10k £20k £14k £24k £30k £40k
Luminaries £14k £20k £18k £26k £50k £60k
Total £44k £75k £66k £101k £120k £170k


How much will my athletics floodlighting project cost?

Naturally, precise lighting requirements can differ from club-to-club. Because of that, it is important to remember that the estimates above are provided as a guideline only, and that professional expertise should be sought before budgeting for the cost of a new lighting system. To discuss your own athletics lighting needs, please get in touch.


 Why have costs gone up?

Prices have increased over the last year driven primarily by macroeconomic events such as the squeezed supply chain post-COVID. The energy cost increase after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022 and the inflationary pressures caused by monetary policy in the EU and USA. The result is that this has increased prices on everything from raw materials and components to shipping, packaging, and assembly rates. The energy forward curve suggests that prices will remain high for the next 24-36 months at least, continuing to drive up the price of finished goods at least until 2025.

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