How to Get the Best Lighting for Volleyball Courts

How to Get the Best Lighting for Volleyball Courts

Volleyball is a fast-paced game that demands excellent lighting for safe and active play. For many facilities, LED lighting is the ideal option when determining how to get the best lighting for volleyball courts, as it offers the following advantages:

  • Unmatched energy efficiency
  • Superior lighting performance and reliability
  • A low maintenance design and extended lifespan
  • No warm-up period required
  • A full range of color temperature options
  • Excellent controllability

Whether your project requires a lighting solution from-scratch or retrofit LED lights, an experienced lighting company can match the right lights to your volleyball court. Further, lighting experts can model your volleyball courts using photometric analysis, so your lights are placed and configured with mathematical precision.

What are the Lighting Standards for Volleyball Courts?

The standard volleyball court is 30 by 60 feet, whether it is for indoor or outdoor play. Since volleyball games are played on a standardized court, volleyball lighting systems are standardized as well.

As with most sports, lighting requirements are more demanding for higher levels of play. The players and the ball move faster as the competition moves up from recreational to professional level. Here are the guidelines that lighting experts observe during volleyball court lighting installation:

  • Recreational play or training courts – Recreational courts are marked by a slower pace of play and require less demanding lighting as a result. In general, aim for 20-30 footcandles and a luminance ratio of at least .5. The luminance ratio refers to the ratio between the brightest part of the court and the darkest part of the court. The better the luminance ratio, the more even the lighting.
  • High school/club level play – High school and club play moves faster, so 50-70 footcandles are recommended, along with a luminance ratio of at least .6.
  • Collegiate/professional level play – At the highest level of play, at least 100 footcandles (but closer to 200 footcandles) are recommended. A luminance ratio of .7 is also needed. At this level, high-CRI fixtures are also recommended, as these provide better color rendering and, by extension, better visibility at high speeds.

The biggest difference to note is the number of footcandles (a measure of lighting intensity) required at each level. From beginner to professional play, even illumination with minimal glare and shadows are important. As the competition becomes more intense, so must the quality of light. As such, it is important to pick a lighting company that has experience installing volleyball lighting systems at all levels.

What Does an Effective Volleyball Court Lighting System Include?

Volleyball lighting systems are available in a couple of designs, but the most common systems include the following:

  • A set of steel or wooden light poles. For volleyball courts, lighting poles should be at least 20 feet high to provide sufficient illumination while minimizing glare. We recommend lighting poles be installed at least 10 feet from the edge of the court for maximum safety. Fortunately, LED lighting is perfect for this purpose.
  • A set of mounting arms for the LED lighting fixtures. These arms allow the installation team to angle the lights for maximum coverage and minimal glare.
  • A set of LED lamps. LED lights are available in several distribution patterns, including lamps that throw illumination forward and away from the pole. This is ideal for sports lighting applications, as it ensures the pole can remain safely out of play while still providing adequate light.

Volleyball lighting solutions either include a four-pole or two-pole layout. The right choice will depend on several factors, including intended use, the available space and the budget.

Expert Photometric Analysis Will Ensure the Best Results for Lighting a Volleyball Court

Prior to installation, lighting experts may use photometric analysis to model potential LED lighting solutions. Photometric analysis allows the design team to try out a variety of LEDs, using technical information from the manufacturer to create accurate models – down to the footcandle levels. There is no longer any need for lighting installers to just go by intuition as photometric analysis ensures uniform light distribution.

Four Reasons Why LED Lighting is Recommended for Volleyball Courts

LED lighting is the lighting option of choice for most sports lighting applications. This includes volleyball courts, where LEDs offer the following:

  • Unsurpassed energy efficiency – No other form of lighting is as energy efficient as LED lighting. LEDs are efficient at the source and at the system level, as their directional nature means LEDs can be aimed with greater precision. More light reaches the intended target, which means less power is needed to achieve sufficient levels of illumination.
  • Excellent lighting performance – LED lighting has come a long way since the first commercial fixtures were introduced decades ago. Now, LED systems are characterized by clear, even illumination that provides superior luminance ratios. LEDs are also available in high-CRI models that support better color rendering and better visibility during high-speed play.
  • An extended lifespan – LED fixtures are the longest-lived on the market, and other lighting options cannot compare. For example, metal halide lamps may burn out before the 10,000-hour mark, and 20,000 hours of lighting are about the max that fluorescent bulbs can give. It is also important to note that both formerly mentioned lighting technologies are quickly being discontinued. However, you can expect at least 50,000 hours of high-quality illumination from LED lighting. With its combination of excellent energy efficiency and extended longevity, LED technology offers extremely low operational costs.
  • Advanced controllability – LED lighting is also compatible with every type of lighting control on the market, including timers, photocells, and occupancy sensors. If paired with your lighting system, these advanced controls will improve your volleyball lighting system’s efficiency even further.

LED Lighting Designed by the Experts is Ideal for Volleyball Courts

Volleyball moves fast – the ball itself and the players on the court. With so much activity, high quality lighting is essential for safe, high-level play. LED solutions can provide that high quality lighting, as LEDs produce even, brilliant illumination in a package that requires minimal maintenance. If your LED lighting system is designed by an industry expert using photometric analysis, your volleyball lighting system will provide optimal cost efficiency and performance.

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