Lighting a Dark Sky Compliant Sports Court in Massachusetts

Lighting a Dark Sky Compliant Sports Court in Massachusetts

A customer recently contacted Access Fixtures for a solution in lighting their combination basketball and tennis court. The backyard sports court 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 sports courts 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, sports courts are illuminated with pulse start metal halide (PSMH) luminaires which tend to be cheaper than other options, such as LED.

Although PSMH may be a smaller investment at installation, they tend to have a shorter lifespan than LED luminaires and do not provide much directional control. In order to “throw” the light across the court, PSMH fixtures must 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.

Access Fixtures specialist, Dan Rodriguez, was able to provide an affordable solution with LED luminaires. The 378W High Output LED 23’’ Outdoor Flood Light luminaires have a forward throw option—meaning the light still shines across the court, even if the fixture itself is angled straight down. By using 25 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.