Lighting a Tennis Court When Town Ordinance Makes it Impossible

Lighting a Tennis Court When Town Ordinance Makes it Impossible

A client called Access Fixtures for a lighting solution for his tennis court located in a New York coastal community that has an ordinance banning most types of outdoor lighting. A summary of the regulation is bulleted below.

  • No Mercury Vapor, Metal Halide, High Pressure Sodium, or Halogen light sources may be used.
  • Maximum wattage of any luminaire must be under 150w.
  • Luminaires cannot be mounted above the roof line or on poles over 10-feet high.
  • All luminaires must face straight down and the lighting must be dark-sky compliant.
  • Light trespass must be under 0.2fc and the light source cannot be visible.

The customer was looking for a solution that would allow him to light his court despite these onerous regulations.

Access Fixtures lighting specialists discussed the project and the town ordinance, determining that it would be difficult if not impossible for the client to light his court within the ordinance. The ordinance was designed to restrict virtually all outdoor lighting. Any lighting solution would require a variance, meaning it would need to be approved by the town. It was a hurdle, making it difficult for the client.

A photometric analysis was done for the customer using LED light fixtures. LED technology reduces light trespass, is energy efficient, and can usually be designed to meet dark-sky compliance regulations. The lighting layout was presented to the customer with an explanation that the law has been written to make it almost impossible to light tennis courts and that our solution would have to be approved by the town.

Access Fixtures provided the client with a layout of the court lighting, a photometric analysis of the court, and the level of light trespass on surrounding property. The option provided by Access Fixtures is a seemingly acceptable solution that meets the requirements of the ordinance.  It uses LED luminaires, is dark-sky compliant, and has virtually no light trespass on surrounding property.  The court requires poles higher than 4 feet and the light source may be visible if the property is located on a hill.

Will the property owner be able to light his tennis court? The answer to this depends on the attitude the town has on sports lighting. It there is some tolerance it may be approved.

Do you have a lighting question? Contact an Access Fixtures lighting specialist to find a solution for your lighting application.