Getting access to lit tennis courts can be a real pain. Even when the tennis courts actually have lights, that doesn't necessarily mean that they've been implemented according to any standard. This means that the light quality could be very poor.
Getting access to lit tennis courts can be a real pain. Even when the tennis courts actually have lights, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ve been implemented according to any standard. This means that the light quality could be very poor.
It’s true that many companies installing lights for tennis courts simply don’t understand what is needed to create a high quality system. The standards for playing under tennis court lighting are dictated by the ATP tour. These requirements are quite high, but can adapted to more reasonable levels for recreational play.
It is important to remember that courts designed for use by professionals need to have a minimum of lighting that is 70 foot-candles. This measurement refers to the intensity of the light in any given sphere with a 1 foot radius. In order to achieve the best tennis court lighting system possible, this intensity should be evenly distributed throughout the entirety of the court.
This series of measurements should be about three feet off the ground, or in the general playing area. Take fifteen of these measurements and compare the ratio of the highest to the lowest. The goal is to keep this ratio within a factor of two. This test insures that the dispersion of the light is even enough and does not produce any dark spots on the court.
To achieve the best results in uniformity and save on power consumption, a smart design needs to be in place. The most common design for tennis court lighting is to have four poles around 20-60 high on each side of the court. These poles will have floodlights mounted on the top of them and should be spaced evenly off to the sides of the court.
When hitting a ball it is important that the side of the ball the player sees is fully and consistently lit. The only way to achieve this is to have one of the lighting structures extend behind the player on the court. This can be done by increasing the spacing between the poles, but they must be kept evenly spaced. Increasing the distance between poles will diminish the intensity, but it is a trade-off that will often be worthwhile.
The best designs require lots of planning and thought. You should always have a design like this in mind before you actually start building the system. If you consult the proper professionals and pay careful attention to design specifications, you’ll be on your way to a high quality tennis court lighting system.
Once you’re familiar with everything about tennis court lightingspend some time making your design. Before you do anything though, make sure you understand all the tennis court lighting requirements.. This article, How To Design A High Quality Tennis Court Lighting System is available for free reprint.