Illuminating the process of a stadium lightbulb replacement

Imagine how the light bulbs in the stadium light posts are lighted. It would be a very perilous task for an individual to climb up an approximately 70 feet tall light post and replace the fused bulb.

The stadium light posts are so high that it takes a good amount of manpower to replace the bulbs. A couple of DVHS students guessed about how this process occurs. One student imagined that a very tall ladder is used for a human being to reach the top of the light post. Another student arrived at the conclusion that people train apes to such an extent that they can climb up the pole and replace the bulbs. Finally, one student gave a guess that an extendable crane is used to elevate an electrician up to the top and replace the fused bulb.

According to DV Athletic Director Nechia Miller, the San Ramon Valley Unified School District (SRVUSD) Maintenance Department controls the replacement of the bulbs. However, a process involving multiple people needs to be carried out.

Firstly, DV Assistant Principal Demetrius Ball, who is in charge of all the DVHS external commitments, sends a contract on behalf of DVHS to Musco Sports Lighting LLC, who is a partner with the Maintenance Department.

Musco Sports Lighting LLC is a privately owned store that specializes in sports lighting for most of the high school stadiums across the country. This company manufactures LED (light-emitting diodes) light bulbs that fit into the lanterns located on top of the stadium light posts. According to SRVUSD Maintenance Supervisor Stewart Watson, Musco Lighting is the most popular option for sports lighting throughout the nation. As a result, most high schools and even professional sports organizations such as the National Football League (NFL) purchase energy efficient LED light bulbs from Musco Lighting.

The lights are purchased with a warranty of 25 years or 10,000 hours from Musco, whichever comes first. The light bulbs themselves only have a 5000 hour warranty. The most recent time they were replaced was back in 2014 after reaching 5000 hours. Currently, the bulbs have 3200 hours of usage. These occurrences are monitored by DVHS, the district, and Musco together.

After the Maintenance Department receives the contract from Assistant Principal Ball, Supervisor Watson hires a company to do the actual process of replacing the bulb. They use a hydraulic crane truck which has the feature to extend its boom, the part which holds the basket. This is possible only with the rotating superstructure called the center post. This machinery controls where and to what extent the boom of the crane is raised. Then, the employee assigned to do the job stands in the basket held by the boom. Once the basket reaches the same height as the top of the light post, the employee opens the lantern and replaces the LED bulb. Then, the truck controller brings the basket down, completing the process.

While some might wonder about the identity of the specific employee who dares to stand in the basket and do the replacement, the replacement employee will only be decided nearing the end of 1800 hours of usage because Musco only provides the lamps after the current ones reach 5000 hours of usage.

As a result, the stadium light posts require useful technology and electricians who are not scared of heights. Being at a height of around 70 feet — even with the support of the crane basket held by an extendable boom — can be easily intimidating for many people. Despite this, the electricians continue to do the work that is essential to keep stadiums alight for games and events.