We underestimate the use of projectors these days, with games starting on Wednesday nights, Friday evenings, and late winter afternoons. We can watch football whenever we want and neither our football clubs nor the Football Association bother to help fans get home after matches, so night kick-offs are common practice.

So where did the projector light come from as an idea? Where were they first used? When was the first projector used? We'll take a look at the surprisingly interesting world of football under Projectors.


What is a projector?

Simply put, floodlights are a device that helps illuminate curtains or large areas. In the modern era, we are now used to seeing high-intensity lampposts erected with wide poles, with several large bulbs lined up side by side to illuminate the field so that we can watch a football game at night.
Of course, the first original projectors were not as powerful as all these. When you go to watch a football or tennis match played at night, you will see that the match is almost no different from the daytime view. You can sit just behind a large post but still see every detail of the players on the pitch in front of you.
But in the days of the first floodlit game, things were a little different. They've been used to light up the dark ever since Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. But for a while they weren't much better than putting together a few large candles. Playing in the dark was something new and exciting, but it lacked the clarity of daylight.
Most projectors today use a metal halide lamp that emits bright, intense light around 75 to 100 lumens/Watt. Sodium Vapor lamps can also be used as they are quite cost effective as they normally have around 80 to 140 lumens/Watt based on a high lumen-Watt ratio. The development of LED technology means it has become a more common technology used in projectors as well. Taunton Vale Sports Club used an LED-based projector for a match on March 24, 2014, and other clubs are starting to do the same in the future.


First Projectors

It was the first sports polo to use a projector. A match was played between Ranelagh Polo Club and Hurlingham Club in Fulham on July 18, 1878, and new technology helped the two clubs see their game into the evening. More than seven decades later, the next sport to use projectors was an Australian Football club in Football. Other sports haven't been too quick to follow suit, either. On 16 June 1952, floodlights were used in a match between Essendon Football Club and Geelong Football Club at the Brisbane Exhibition Grounds.

Later that year, with cricket, England's oldest sport, floodlights were used in the match played on 11 August 1952. Millions of people watched the night game at night with its developing technology. Meanwhile, cricket floodlights are a little different from other sports as they stand on huge poles that rise quite high in the sky. This is because batsmen tend to hit the ball from higher up and lights have been broken in the past, plus higher lights allow the ball to stay in sight for fielders longer.
Federation Football has always been a little different, of course, and although cricket and Australian Football both took time to catch up with detech, English football started using technology at the same time as polo. In 1878 an experimental game was played under floodlights on Bramall Lane in Sheffield. The lights were powered by batteries and dynamos as the famous former club tried to use technology to brighten a dreary winter afternoon in South Yorkshire.


Projectors in Common Use

In the top tier of Association Football, as well as most of the lower tiers of the Football League, projectors are a requirement in stadiums hoping to host professional football. Installation of permanent projectors has therefore become common practice. Mobile temporary projectors can be installed nowadays when needed from time to time.

Permanent projectors took some time to install. In the 1930s Herbert Chapman of the Arsenal decided to install permanent floodlights in Highbury. But the Official Football League absurdly refused to approve of their use. So for a long time only friendly and informal games were played using newly installed lights.
It took until the 1950s for the FA to change its mind. Even then, they still didn't realize how useful the technology would be. But they were so widely used in friendly matches that they realized they had no choice but to accept. Holly Park, home of South Liverpool Football Club in 1949; A friendly match against the Nigerian 11 was the first place in England to host a match under 'permanent' floodlights.
Play Southampton's later games in 1950 The Dell was the first site in the UK to permanently install projector lighting. They played their first game there on 31 October 1950 and invited Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic to pitch for a preparation. The first 'official' game played under floodlights took place in October 1951 when Tottenham Hotspur played a Football Combination XI.
The first international match played under floodlights was played between England and Spain on 30 September 1955, with England winning the match at Wembley with four goals. On February 22, 1956, Portsmouth faced Newcastle in the game played under floodlights at Fratton Park. That match was the first official Football League game of the now popular night football matches, played with the help of permanent projectors to the players.