Field Lighting Dilemma: Wood Poles

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A common story:  Your youth baseball organization faces a tight budget that must cover the operation of the league, field maintenance and minor renovations and repairs each year.  You would love to have lights on your fields to extend field use time and to host tournaments;  however, a field lighting system seems out of reach.  Your local utility company offered to donate wood poles for lighting.  What should you do?

Many organizations are in this situation.  However, it’s important to make an educated decision when accepting a donation of wood poles or purchasing a new system.  Before assuming wood poles are the only feasible option, it’s important to learn about the long-term costs and dangers associated with wood poles as well as the benefits and long-term cost savings of other types of poles.   Remember, if your organization decides to install field lighting, it becomes your responsibility to the players to provide quality, consistent lighting for their safety and confidence on the field.

The Baseball  Tomorrow Fund is proud to partner with Musco Lighting, Inc.  Musco Lighting specializes in the design and manufacture of systems for lighting recreation and athletic fields.  Iowa-based with a worldwide reach, Musco is recognized as a world-class leader in sports lighting.  Musco’s Light–Structure Green technology reduces by half or more the cost of operating and maintaining ballfield lighting systems, and reduces spill and glare by half or more.  More information about Musco Lighting can be found at

Musco’s publication, Sports Lighting-Answers to 7 Common Questions, includes the following chapter discussing wood poles and other types:  Musco – Wooden Poles vs. Steel Poles.  No matter what manufacturer or type of poles you decide to install, please read this information before making a decision.

Our friends at Musco are happy to provide free consultation to discuss your particular situation and budget to help you make this important decision.  Feel free to call 1-800-825-6030 to talk with a Musco representative.


Actually, the ideal sports lighting pole, for installations under 125′ above grade is concrete. Musco uses a variation of concrete poles by using a cut concrete pole for its steel poles foundation. However, because the steel pole is used, it is subject to many of the problems which effect steel poles for sports lighting on a national basis.
Unlike steel, single piece concrete poles do not continually move. Even in the lightest of air movement steel poles cause a constant vibration which causes undo stress on lamps and ballasts. Additionally, this constant movement of the poles, called harmonics, stresses weld points and causes the wiring harness within the pole to be subject to wear. The wiring harness wear can electrify the pole causing a hazard if the pole is touched.
Concrete also favors the end-user with a lifetime warranty and an expeditious installation which saves money and time.

wow, major plug for muusco! we are in a rural economically depressed area. coming up with $60k for a low end lighting system from mussco would be seemingly impossible! last time i checked wood is not conductive material

We checked with musco on lighting our high school field and it would cost $155,000 plus. We too are a rural high school with very, very little funding, and we already have concrete pole, so there is no telling how much it would be with poles. Most people had told us the poles and erecting them was the major cost, but we have them already. With bat requirements changing annually, it takes about all our funds we can raise to replace bats.

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