WARNING: LED Light Shortage? Not in Charlotte Motor Speedway's Giant HDTV!
Environmentally-conscious consumers looking to switch to energy-efficient, light-emitting diode (LED) lights in honor of Earth Day this Friday should be prepared for delays. The bulbs may be out of stock at retail stores due to Charlotte Motor Speedway’s construction of the world’s largest HD video board, which will use more than nine million LED lights.
The lights will be in high demand until the completion of the Panasonic video board that will debut May 21 at the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
LED lights can help reduce carbon emissions as they use up to 75 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. The bulbs also have a longer life, with each lasting about 15 times longer than an incandescent bulb, reducing costs and energy to replace them.
While it might not actually cause a shortage, the HD video board will use nine times more LED bulbs than the Carolina Christmas light display, held at Charlotte Motor Speedway during the holiday season, and nearly 280 times more LED bulbs than the Times Square Ball, used during New Year’s Eve in 2010, which could be seen from 50 blocks away.
The 200-foot-wide by 80-foot-tall Panasonic video board will eventually rise 110 feet above the track on a steel support structure that weighs 500,000 pounds. The video board weighs 165,000 pounds for a total structure weight of more than 332 tons.
The most recent construction phase on the world’s largest HD video board started the first week of April and includes the installation of 158 panels filled with LED lights that make up the 16,000 square foot screen. Thirteen sub-electric panels will also be installed, each of which will power a “panel riser,” or a column of panels.
The screen is centered along the backstretch between Turns 2 and 3, across from the start/finish line. Fans seated throughout the frontstretch from Turn 4 to Turn 1 will have clear viewing angles of instant replays, leaderboard updates and interactive entertainment displayed in 720P high-definition visuals.
In addition to some of the most energy-efficient lights in the world, Charlotte Motor Speedway will implement other green initiatives during May race weeks. The Toyota Camrys used to pace the field for NASCAR events will be hybrid models rated at up to 35 miles per gallon and the speedway also recycles more than 5,000 pounds of material after the 10-day span of events.
Also at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May, all of the race cars and trucks that take to the 1.5-mile superspeedway during May’s NASCAR events will be powered by Sunoco Green E15, a 15 percent ethanol blend fuel made with corn grown in the United States. The renewable fuel is cleaner burning and results in lowered greenhouse gas emissions.
One hundred percent of the cleaning solvents, oil, fluids and lubricants used by NASCAR teams during the events are recaptured and re-used by Safety-Kleen. The company has been at race tracks around the country collecting used oil for recycling since 1987.
Frontstretch tickets with the best views of the new HD video board and pit road start at just $49 for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Fans can also purchase two frontstretch tickets for just $99 to the Coca-Cola 600 by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.