Pickleball: A Growing Phenomenon
Pickleball is a sports phenomenon sweeping the nation. Similar to tennis, badminton, and racquetball, pickleball is attracting players of all ages to its courts. The racquet sport originated in the 1960s but has exploded in popularity in recent years due to Baby Boomers embracing the sport. Pickleball courts are being built in country clubs, city parks, apartment/condominium complexes, community centers, YMCAs and more. As more and more people discover pickleball, pickleball clubs are growing in number too. According to the USA Pickleball Association, “the number of places to play has more than doubled since 2010.” Pickleball is especially popular on the East Coast, West Coast, and the Great Lakes areas, and since pickleball court lighting increases court time available, many courts are being built with lighting or having lights added to existing courts.
Pickleball Court Lighting Requirements and Standards
With the advent and growth of any new sport, requirements and standards must be established for court construction. The USA Pickleball Association dictates the official rules of the game and the court dimensions to be officially recognized. Pickleball courts are rectangular and look much like tennis or badminton courts. The standard dimensions of a pickleball court are 20 feet by 44 feet for singles and doubles with a minimum total playing surface of 30 feet by 60 feet (34 feet by 64 feet recommended). A typical outdoor pickleball court will require two or four poles and four LED fixtures.
Pickleball courts standards require illumination be supplied by luminaires mounted on twenty-foot high poles that deliver an average of 30 footcandles (fc), and a max/min ratio of 2.0 or less. Mounting the luminaires on twenty foot poles enables pickleball players to see the ball when it goes up into a high arc. A shorter pole would cause the ball to disappear when it goes above the lights and reappear someplace else as it returns to the court. 30 fc is the light level required for players to see the ball, even as it moves at a high speed. Lower level lighting would make visibility difficult.
A max/min ratio is the highest area of light on the court divided by the lowest area of light on the court. It is a measure of how even the light is. While other sports typically set the maximum max/min ratio at 3.0, most other sports are played on a larger field or court. Pickleball has a max/min ratio of 2.0. A 2.0 max/min ratio is extremely even light which enhances visibility. The ball will not be obscured by a dark area and players eyes will not need to adjust to varying light levels.
Using APTA Sports Luminaires to Light Your Pickleball Court
Access Fixtures exclusively uses its APTA LED sports lighters to meet USA Pickleball Association requirements. APTA luminaires are both long-lasting and energy efficient. Rated L70 @ 200,000 hours, APTA sports lighters will perform for years to come. Glass-free construction provides breakage-free use even in high wind and hurricane prone locations. Rated IP67, which means they are sealed from outside elements and even submersible, APTA sports lighters will remain unaffected by the elements. Bird spikes are available and recommended to avoid birds nesting on the tops of the luminaires.
All Access Fixtures pickleball court lighting packages are available with optional backlight shields. A backlight shield is a slip-on device meant to prevent light trespass and glare by sealing off the back of the fixture. Sometimes light can shine behind a fixture where it is not desired. Light trespass occurs when light from a fixture shines onto a property that is not supposed to be lit by said fixture. It can create problems in dark-sky friendly communities, disrupt local wildlife, and cause trouble with neighbors trying to sleep. Backlight shields cut down on light trespass from your pickleball court lighting.
Standard 70+ color rendering (CRI) and optional >90 CRI ensures superior color rendering and visibility on the court or viewing from the sidelines. Color warmth, Kelvin options include 3000K, 4000K, or 5000K. Modular construction means should onsite repair be required, it can be easily performed on site. Although it is unlikely that it will ever be used, Access Fixtures pickleball lighting packages come with a five-year warranty.
Speak to an Access Fixtures Lighting Specialist about Choosing the Right Fixture
It’s important to know what you’re buying. We’re here to give you all the information you need. Do you have a specific budget or requirement to meet? No problem—we will be glad to help get you answer. We want to make sure you get the exact fixture for your needs, your budget, and your goals. To speak with an Access Fixtures lighting specialist, call 800-468-9925 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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