From avid pickleball players to those who enjoy the sport casually, having the ideal court is part of ensuring the experience is as fun and safe as possible. A key aspect of building the perfect pickleball court is having the right lighting. From finding the right pole height to the ideal fixture and bulb options, pickleball court lighting takes thought and consideration.
Here, we’ll discuss the ins and outs of lighting a pickleball court, including what the sport is, the kind of lights that will be needed, and where to find the best products.
What is Pickleball?
Pickleball is a game that’s been around since the 1960s. A type of tennis and ping pong combo, pickleball is played with hard racquets and whiffle balls, making play easier and more fun than traditional tennis. The sport is fun for those who want to play tennis but cannot due to injuries, or perhaps they aren’t interested in the intensity of tennis. Pickleball is popular among a wide range of people, including families, young people, active older people, and more.
Lighting For Pickleball Courts
Pickleball is played on a court sized to that of a badminton court but is played with rules more akin to tennis. The flexibility of pickleball means it can be played indoors or out, and courts for pickleball can be found in public places, parks, recreation centers, and even homes. Pickleball can be played at night, and LED lighting is a great option for doing so. However, it’s important to keep in mind that lighting a pickleball court is different than lighting a tennis, badminton, or basketball court. The cost of installation and setup is usually more affordable. In addition, poles or lighting fixtures for pickleball can be adjusted to make courts playable for other similar sports.
When beginning to design a pickleball court, there are a few important factors to keep in mind. One of the most important things to take into account is the size of the court. Pickleball courts come in either single or double courts. They are rectangular and range from sizes like 20 x 44 feet to 30 x 60 feet. The largest courts can be up to 34 x 64 feet.
Types of Lighting Products Needed for Pickleball
Generally, a standard outdoor pickleball court will need somewhere between 2 to 4 poles fixed with 4 LED lights. LED lights are a great option for sports lighting because they are durable in all types of weather, bright enough to light the whole play area, and they are long lasting. Regardless of whether you choose LED lights or other types of bulbs, lighting should be installed via tall poles at different areas along the edge of the court, similar to how a tennis court is lit. Poles should be from 18 to 20 feet tall. These dimensions allow the lighting to deliver the ideal level of coverage, giving the pickleball players ideal visibility when the ball is high in the air. With shorter poles, players may lose sight of the ball at high arc points, making visibility difficult.
According to the USA Pickleball Association, there are various lighting requirements needed for pickleball courts to be considered within regulations. They state that the amount of light required should be dictated by the skill of the players, noting that the higher the skill level of the players, the more light should be provided. The Association also states that the best color temperature for pickleball is around 5000K (or Kelvin) for commercial or public pickleball courts, and 4000K for residential courts. Lighting fixtures at this level may appear bluish in tone.
LED lights are recommended as they have a long lifespan, with some lasting up to 100,000 hours. Having high-quality lights and light fixtures that are designed to stand up to the elements, including rain, wind, heat, and constant sunlight, is a must. Having a solid product with a long lifespan ensures your investment in a pickleball court is successful. In addition to the main LED sports lights, it is recommended to have lighting for the sidelines. This not only makes the pickleball court more attractive but also helps enhance the enjoyment of the game for those who are not playing. This can be done through a variety of lights, including flood lights, back lights, landscape lighting, and more.
By adhering to the USA Pickleball Association guidelines and keeping lighting design best practices in mind while creating your pickleball court lighting design, you’ll experience the best sporting experience.
Positioning Pickleball Court Lighting
Guidelines also recommend that pole-mounted lights be installed on the sides of the court. That way, the fixtures don’t interfere with play.
LED lighting is an ideal choice for pickleball courts because it offers excellent directionality. Some fixtures, including the type III fixtures we frequently use, emit light well in front of the pole and not just downwards.
This emission pattern allows installers to achieve sufficient footcandle levels across the entire court’s layout and well into the sidelines. Depending on the size of the court, two or four pole-mounted lights are often ideal to provide enough illumination. We’ve confirmed these conclusions through photometric analysis and modeling, so our installers know exactly where to position each fixture.
LED Spot Provides Quality Pickleball Lighting Products & Expertise
At LED Spot, we have the experience, products, and knowledge to create any lighting system, including those for pickleball courts. Our wide variety of lighting products stand up to weather conditions, provide superior illumination, and come with a variety of categories, accessories, and styles to ideally match any design or need. Of course, you’ll need lighting poles for your new LED lights, and we provide those, too. Our lighting poles are manufactured from a variety of materials such as steel, aluminum, and those offering wind appropriate strength, depending on location, so they’re designed to stand up to the elements. We also offer varying pole heights for optimal light positioning, no matter the court size.