How to Plan Lighting for a domestic Tennis Court in 5 easy steps
Lighting a tennis court can be a daunting prospect, especially when considerations such as cost, neighbours, council permits and construction all need to be taken into account. However, we have provided a comprehensive guide aimed to take all the stress out of planning your lighting setup so you can be up and playing at all hours of the day!
Step 1: Choose Your Lighting Level
Because of the small size of tennis balls, and the precision required for line calling, tennis courts generally require a higher level of lighting than say, a football oval or a basketball court. The choice of lighting intensity for your tennis court will ultimately depend on how you plan to use it.
If just enjoy having a casual hit or rally with friends and family and don't envision yourself undertaking any serious training or gameplay, we recommend selecting the 100 lux lighting level. 100 lux is sufficient for viewing the tennis ball in dark conditions.
If you are more serious about your tennis and want to get in some more intense after-hours play and practice, then we recommend choosing the 250 lux lighting level. 250 lux is the Australian standard for recreational tennis and is the lighting level at which many local clubs operate.
However, for those of you hoping to train the next Ash Barty or Roger Federer, then we recommend the 350 lux option. 350 lux is competition standard - meaning that with this lighting level you can simulate and prepare for competitions the same way the pros train for the Australian Open.
Below is a table summarizing what’s on offer at each lighting level:
Step 2: Ensure Lighting Uniformity
Lighting uniformity refers to the evenness or consistency of light throughout the playing area of a tennis court. Ideally, each part of your court should get the same amount of light so that you can play without any light or dark patches interfering with your ability to see the ball or the lines.
When working with a lighting designer, make sure that the horizontal uniformity of the lighting design falls within the following values:
Min. horizontal uniformity
Max. horizontal uniformity
Step 3: Control Spill Lighting
Keep your neighbours happy by ensuring that spill light, or unwanted light is kept to a minimum. To control the level of spill light, we recommend mounting your lights horizontally so that the light only illuminates below the fixture. Additionally, our HAWKeye LED light fittings come with a special adjustable tilt and an 'Enviro' Reflector that allows further control of lighting direction.
Step 4: Plan & Install Poles
When lighting a domestic tennis court, we recommend keeping your light poles as low as possible to prevent glare and unwanted spill lighting. For most domestic courts, we generally recommend installing poles between 6 to 8 metres in height. This might mean installing extra poles in order to ensure your tennis court still gets the brightness and lighting uniformity you desire. We can help you design a lighting setup, complete with the locations of poles, that meets all your lighting requirements.
So hopefully now your lighting and pole setup has been planned, and all you need now is the electricity to light up the court. For a tennis court, the typical current draw ranges from 2.4kW to 6kW, depending on the lighting level you chose in step 1. Many LED fittings are supplied with an LED driver, which is either mounted at the base of the pole or integrated into the design of the lamp. The HAWKeye fittings come with two LED fittings located near the base mount and combine for a maximum 640W power output, surpassing the nominal operating output of 500W.
The qualified electricians at Next Generation can help you wire and install the modules in compliance with local regulations, and once their work is done, your brand-new lights will be ready for play!
As with any big undertaking, it's important to do your research, shop around and ask for help whenever you have questions or requests. Be sure to work with a good contractor who can help you with council permits, planning and design as well as ensuring that all the manual work is up to scratch. Lighting a tennis court is a long term investment, and the hassle now will be worth all the fun you’ll have in the future.