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A customer recently contacted Access Fixtures for a solution in lighting their combination basketball and tennis court. The backyard courts had no lighting installed, which limited the number of hours that he and his family could play on the courts. Adhering to the town’s strict dark sky compliance regulations and the additional cost added to his energy bill were the customer’s primary concerns.

Backyard courts for sports are an increasingly popular addition to residential homes. They provide hours of entertainment, exercise, and bonding for families who use them regularly. However, without adequate lighting, most families can only use their courts for a few hours before dark. Traditionally, courts for sports were illuminated with pulse start metal halide (PSMH) luminaires which was less expensive than other options.

Although PSMH was a smaller investment, PSMH had a shorter lifespan than LED luminaires and did not provide much directional control. In order to “throw” the light across the court, PSMH fixtures had to be tilted upward which can cause light to spill out where it isn’t wanted. In a dark sky compliant city, light pollution becomes a major concern. Residential neighborhoods make the challenge of containing the spread of light even harder, as neighbors are likely to be annoyed by any bright light shining through their windows after dark.

An Access Fixtures specialist was able to provide an affordable solution using LED luminaires. The LED sports luminaires have a forward throw option—meaning the light still shines across the court, even if the fixture itself seems aimed straight down. By using 20′ or higher foot poles, the spread of light is maximized without shining upward into the sky or outward, into a neighbor’s bedroom. This solution allowed our client to take full advantage of those fun family nights on the court while being in complete compliance with his community’s legislation.