Tennis is a popular sport worldwide, gathering millions of viewers and spectators during the tournament season — live and at home. So it’s no wonder that people would want to try their hand at sending that ball over the net. Although rackets came into play in 16th-century England, tennis actually appeared sometime in the 12th century in France. Back then, the mechanics were hitting the ball with a hand or a glove so it will fly over the net, to another player’s space.
Today, tennis is played professionally and for pleasure. Besides going to matches in stadiums and watching masters play, you can try it for yourself at country clubs, resorts, sports centers, and even at home. Based on estimations, you can spend 30,000 to 100,000 USD to build a tennis court at home, if you have enough space for it there, that is.
But whether you build it for personal or commercial use, you need to keep in mind that lighting plays a vital part in the success of your project. So, let’s discuss all the lights you will need for your tennis court and their importance for safe and convenient play.
Respect the brightness
When designing a tennis court, you need to know that there are certain rules and regulations for tennis court lighting that you need to respect. The reason for this is that players need to be able to efficiently and clearly see at any point, low and high, what is happening on the field. An average is 200–300 lux for comfortable and relaxing play, based on standards for residential and commercial play.
The unit ‘lux’ serves to measure the intensity of the light level called lumen per square meter of surface. To put this into perspective, tournament courts use 750–1500 lux, because not only players have to see the ball, but judges, commentators, the audience at the court, and people watching the broadcast. As you can see, a lot depends on the brightness, so make sure you can accommodate this requirement before building a court.
Understand the types of lights
The most commonly used types of lights are metal halides which throw a bright white light with great coverage but they have a short lifespan and long warm-up period. High-pressure sodium lights produce a yellow light that is not right for the court but can be used in the surrounding areas.
However, LED lights are becoming more popular, providing high-quality lighting that is more energy-efficient and long-lasting than the widely favored fluorescent bulbs. Homeowners will particularly like these because they will keep the electricity bill at its lowest level for regular play. Furthermore, you can use them in different sizes, strengths, and colors, giving you various options for tennis court design.
Decide on the court and surrounding lighting
So, we mentioned that you have an option of using different types of lights on your overall tennis court surface. It’s important to distinguish two separate areas when planning this: court and surrounding light schemes.
Court lighting is one of the most important aspects of your tennis space because that is where you need high and clear visibility. It will allow players to both see the ball and their opponents without causing discomfort or impairing their game. These lights should be placed around the court, providing even coverage without any glare or uncomfortable flash.
Surrounding lighting is also important since it will make the area around the court visible, allowing players to see the boundaries they need to respect and their surroundings. Additionally, it adds to the aesthetic of the court and creates a special area for the spectators. When being installed, these lights should be placed in a way that does not cast shadows on the court, making it difficult for players to see.
The debate over LED vs. traditional lights
Things to consider when deciding on the court lights include covering both practical and functional sides. Traditional lights have proven efficient over the decades, offering the right brightness for perfect visibility, and are cheaper to install. On the other hand, their need for more power and maintenance has encouraged the use of light-emitting diode bulbs or LEDs.
LED lights are becoming increasingly popular for residential and commercial tennis courts because they are more energy-efficient than their traditional counterparts. They also last longer, require less maintenance, and do not produce as much heat. Today’s models are so diverse that you can choose from a wide range of sizes, models, types, strengths, and colors. For example, you can install solar string lights above the seating area for spectators to make the ambiance cozier.
In the end
Lighting is essential for any tennis court, making it fitting, safe, and convenient to play at night. When thinking of all the lights you will need for your tennis court, consider more than just the ones you need for the game area. The type of light, its energy efficiency, and maintenance requirements should have a say in that choice. Besides, with the right lighting, your tennis court will look great and provide hours of fun for everyone.