How To Light A Pickleball Court

How To Light A Pickleball Court

So you’ve decided to dive into the fast-paced, hard-nosed world of pickleball. Well, maybe not hard-nosed, but definitely fast-paced.

Throw tennis, table tennis and badminton in a blender and what you get is a pickleball smoothie. The court has the same general shape and size of a tennis or badminton court, the paddles are similar to what you would use in ping pong (only larger) and the rules are borrowed from several different racquet sports. You can throw whiffleball in there, too, because a pickleball ball has the same weight and hole-filled design.

This hodge-podge of ingredients make for a game that’s quick and easy to learn, but also a little tough to play at night. Like with most sports, the speed is frequently cranked up with pickleball. And when it is, like during a volley, it’s impossible to keep up unless there’s sufficient lighting.

But just because the sun is down doesn’t mean you have to put the paddle down. With quality pickleball court lighting, optimal visibility can be maintained on your pickleball courts.

What Is The General Approach To Lighting A Pickleball Court?

When lighting any sports arena or field, the goal is to get as much of that light down to the field’s level as possible. That’s the goal, but what’s the process?

Whether it’s a pickleball court or a pickle farm, lighting experts use photometric analysis to model the area and determine how light moves through it. Photometric analysis technology is visually sophisticated stuff, allowing designers to see how a set of lights would work before they’re installed. To do that, the designer builds a 3D model of the space and drops fixtures in various spots. Each light is tagged with fixture-specific information, so it emits exactly the same virtually as it would in reality.

USA Pickleball – The sports leading advocate and maintainer of pickleball standards states that the optimal court lighting solution hews to the following standards:

  • Lighting poles should be between 20 and 26 feet high.
  • Lighting poles can be square, round straight or round tapered.
  • Medium or large zone lighting, depending on whether the court is for recreational or professional purposes.
  • Luminaires are arranged so they result in minimal glare.

LED Spot’s court lighting options take these standards into account.

What Does A Pickleball Court Lighting System Include?

LED Spot has performed photometric analysis for our pickleball court clients, and based on our analysis, this is how we put together our pickleball lighting kits:

  • Four lighting poles, each 20 feet high and designed for 20-foot lighting mounts. Our lighting poles are built with 10-gauge steel and a 4-inch diameter, so they’re beefy and can take a lot of punishment. This is handy for players that get a little animated when the pickleball doesn’t fall their way.
  • Four medium zone LED lights, designed to operate at a 4000K color temperature and capable of emitting a large amount of lumens. More than 26,000, to be exact. The fixtures are mounted at a 20-foot height to take advantage of this expanded lumen output. As for the color temperature, 4000K is a neutral choice that will not affect color perception, which is important for safety reasons. For professional courts, USA Pickleball recommends 5000K fixtures, but 4000K is more appropriate for residential and recreational settings.

During installation, each pole is placed outside the play surface, well beyond the sidelines. They’re organized in a square-like formation, each covering one of the court’s quadrants. It’s exactly what you would think if you were trying to light a rectangle.

The LEDs themselves emit in an offset pattern, so they can sit away from the court while still aiming their illumination at the play area. Extra bonus – our pickleball lights do not emit at viewable angles from the court. In other words, your lights won’t blind the player and leave them exposed to getting pickled by the ball.

LED Lights Are The Best Choice For Pickleball Players Of All Levels

So far, there’s been no mention of any other type of light other than LED lighting. There’s a reason for that. LED fixtures have become the first choice for most sports lighting applications, including lighting solutions installed at the professional level.

But even if you’re just installing lights for a neighborhood court, LEDs are still the best available option. Here’s why:

  • LEDs are energy efficient – LED lighting is the most energy efficient lighting there is. That’s been LED’s calling card since it was introduced decades ago, and it’s still the case. LED lighting needs a lot less energy to generate the same number of lumens as older lighting technologies. That adds up to energy savings – savings that can be pretty significant when considering a large-scale lighting system like court lighting.
  • LEDs require practically zero maintenance – LEDs are tough. Unlike filament or gas chamber-powered lamps, LED lamps don’t run on flimsy engineering. They don’t generate a ton of extra heat, either, which reduces wear on the light.
    Put it all together and you’ve got a fixture that you don’t have to think about once it’s installed. You’ll get years of effective lighting with minimal maintenance, which is about as good as it gets for property owners.
  • LEDs produce crystal clear illumination – LED lighting just looks good, too. One of the most important factors for sports lighting is whether the fixtures generate high-clarity lighting. LEDs do just that because they emit illumination evenly and with precision. Another perk – LEDs typically come with high color rendering index (CRI) ratings. High CRI lighting renders color without altering their tones, so color accuracy if you will. Strong color rendering isn’t just good for the players, it’s helpful for any spectators tracking the action.

Does Pickleball All Day And Night Sound Good? We Have The Lights You’ll Need To Do That

Pickleball is a mass-appeal sport, attracting people of all ages and fitness levels. So it’s no surprise that there is a growing number of pickleball fanatics honing their gaming skills at all times – including in the middle of the night.

If that sounds like you or someone you know, LED Spot can help you unlock your pickleball potential with nighttime court lighting. Our court lighting products have been implemented in a variety of athletic venues, from parks to stadiums, so we know how to bring light to the pickleball arena for effective play day or night.

Leave a Reply