Lighting a tennis court is a great way of ensuring that you have enough lighting to play at night and during the winter hours when playing time is restricted. Lighting for tennis courts also means that for hot countries you can play in the cool evening breeze as apposed to the beating sun.
For small scale residential applications Tennis court lighting is very different to lighting a large televised event. How ever the same things to consider still apply;
Minimum illuminance values – what are the age range of the people playing and what illuminance levels are suitable for the level of play being required? These guidelines are given by the lighting guide BSEN12646 and from sports England as well as the LTA and tennis federation. The illuminance values need to be calculated to ensure that you have the optimum number of flood lights for the Tennis Court Lighting. Due to the size of the ball and the speed of play, it is generally recommended that reasonably high levels of illuminance are maintained. As well as the amount of light, lighting needs to be as uniform as possible so that there aren’t peaks and troughs of lighting on the court which could make the ball appear to zoom in and out of the air as it goes from light to dark.
Planning – will a planning application be required for the addition of columns to the area?
Sky glow – how can the sky glow be avoided to ensure that there is minimum light pollution to the area? Generally flat optics are prefered as reduce the upward distribution of light from the reflector however the calculations dont take in to account the refelction from the playing surface and the atmospheric conditions which can enhance the appearance of skyglow.
Glare – How will you reduce the risk of glare to the players? This is important as there is not much point in having a court if the lights are so bright that you cannot see the ball when you make a serve. Glare occurs as either discomfort glare or disability glare. Glare can be defined as when the intensity of the source is much greater than the surround and your eyes are unable to adapt in time causing some form of discomfort. The best way of avoiding this is locating the light source to the sides and at a high level to reduce the lights being in the line site.
Switching – Although halogen lamps switch on instantly they consume a high amount of energy. So typically metal halide sources are used for flood lighting. These have a warm up period of around 5-15 minutes before they get to full brightness, and when switched off, they will need even longer to cool down before you can switch them back on again, however they consume much less energy and there are specialist flood light manufacturers who have optimized the lamp to ensure high quality optical performance. In recent years we have also seen LED flood lights take over. LED’s not only offer great energy efficiency, they do not have the issues with warm up/ cool down periods. They also have a massive lamp life, some fittings over 50,000 hours, which massive reduces maintenance.
As with any lighting query, if you have any questions on this subject please do get in touch.