A customer recently contacted Access Fixtures for a lighting solution to a tricky situation. He was looking for light fixtures to replace the two 120w halogen flood lights he was using to illuminate a backyard sports court that measured approximately 40 x 18 feet. Although the court was not very large, he and his family used the space regularly to practice and play hockey and basketball; they were also using the court as a makeshift batting cage. They lived in a tightly packed community with neighbors close by, so the court was equipped with an adjustable net all the way around to catch any errant balls, discs, or pucks that might escape.
Multipurpose Sports Court Presents Unique Challenges
The existing light fixtures provided an insufficient amount of light to illuminate the court. For instance, a batting cage should have a minimum of 50 footcandles. Whether thrown by a pitching machine or a human, we can assume the baseballs will be sent anywhere from 50 to 90 miles per hour. Batters have to be able to see the ball at that speed(which is hard enough during the daytime) without being blinded by the light. Hockey requires the same 50 footcandles for recreational use and practice with minimal glare. Basketball, on the other hand, uses a larger ball that travels much slower than a baseball or hockey puck, so 10 footcandles would be sufficient.
The customer was having difficulty finding a solution that met the preferred light levels for the three different sports. A huge amount of light was required for two of the sports, yet that same high-powered light would be too much for the third. Also, there was risk of aggravating the neighbors with the bright lights. Was a flexible, reasonable lighting solution available?
The “Goldilocks” Solution—Dimmable Sports Court Lighting
As we know, residential backyard sports courts have challenges that public and professional sports courts do not. Our experienced lighting specialists suggested a set of 378w high output 23” LED flood lights to light this customer’s multipurpose sports court. Beside superior energy-efficiency and a long lifespan of 100,000 operating hours, these LEDs have the advantage of being dimmable. With these fixtures, the customer would have the option of turning the lights up to full power or dimming them down to be more appropriate for sports like basketball.
The customer sent in a layout of the court; we also used Google Earth to get an aerial image of the sport court and to get an idea of the surrounding properties. Access Fixtures was able to determine a location for the new LED fixtures that would maximize light distribution without affecting the customer’s ability to play any of the sports.
The poles and luminaires will be located on one side of the court. The luminaires will utilize Type 3 optics, which will help focus the light on the rectangular court (and not into the neighbor’s yard). The customer will have ample light, and LEDs’ long lifetime means there will be little to no maintenance required. Best of all, a new hardwired dimmer on the house will make it easy to control the level of light emitted.
Do you have a challenging space that needs a custom lighting solution? Call the specialists at Access Fixtures today and let us help you find the right fixtures for you!