An architect contacted Access Fixtures looking to illuminate the outdoor racquetball courts located at a sports complex in Fort Worth, Texas. The racquetball courts will consist of two banks of courts sharing a common back wall with either six, eight, or ten total courts. Because this involved a custom sports lighting solution, Access Fixtures lighting specialists considered a few options before settling on an optimal lighting system.

Racquetball courts present an interesting challenge. Since the entire structure of the racquetball court is playable, the luminaires cannot be placed on the structure. For that reason, the solution was difficult to achieve. Lighting specialists explored facing the fixtures on the structure raised on poles, but the angle of the glare would have made it so the light shined into the players’ eyes. Finally, the ideal solution involved placing the poles between the courts, shining the light from behind the players. The poles would be raised to the height of 25’ to reduce shadows. If using LED, the luminaires would use a narrow beam spread. For PSMH, they would use narrow beam reflectors.

Racquetball involves harder, faster-moving balls, so it requires more footcandles than other sports, like tennis or volleyball. With LED sports lighting, Access Fixtures recommends pulse-start metal halide (PSMH) or LED sports lighting. The PSMH system includes 400w Pulse-Start Metal Halide Sports Lighters. The LED system includes 158w LED Sports lights, which consume 60% less energy.

While PSMH is the current industry standard for customers looking for a cost-effective way to effectively light their courts, LED offers many benefits that PSMH is lacking. Unlike PSMH, LED provides instant-on/instant-off capabilities. Rated LM70 at 100,000 hours, LED has the added benefit of a longer life and virtually no maintenance. The CRI of 70+ brings a slightly higher quality light compared to PSMH’s CRI of 60+. LED, however, has a high upfront cost compared to PSMH, so, logically, the customer may opt for the inexpensive option.

Do you need a custom sports lighting solution? Contact an Access Fixtures lighting specialist.