LED Lighting for Pickleball Courts

Pickleball Court Lighting: 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 the court time available, many courts are being built with lighting or having lights added to existing courts.

Key Takeaways

    • Growing Popularity: Pickleball is booming, especially among Baby Boomers, leading to more courts being built nationwide with an increasing need for proper lighting.
    • Lighting Standards: Courts require 20-foot high poles with 30 footcandles of light, and a max/min ratio of 2.0 or less to ensure visibility, and must comply with local ordinances on light pollution and pole height.
    • Advanced LED Solutions: Modern LED lights, like APTA sports lights, meet official standards and local regulations, offering durability, easy maintenance, and compliance with dark sky and light trespass requirements.

Pickleball Court 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). This link has information on building a pickleball court. A typical outdoor pickleball court will require two or four poles and four LED fixtures.

Pickleball Court Lighting Requirements

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.

Pickleball Court Lighting, Lighting Ordinance, and Building Requirements

Meeting pickleball court lighting requirements is one objective. Meeting local lighting ordinances is another thing. Many communities require that pickleball court lighting meets standards such as being full cutoff, dark sky compliant, partially shielded, fully shielded, limit light trespass, having a limited pole height, or having poles that meet wind standards of as much as 190+ MPH. The following is a breakout of each and what it means. 

Full Cutoff Pickleball Court Lighting 

Many pickleball court lighting designs project the light by aiming/tilting the light fixtures. With full cutoff pickleball court lighting, the light fixtures are mounted horizontally to the court surface. This limits or eliminates up-light thus protecting the dark sky and environment. The optics in the advanced LED light fixtures direct the light output so tilting and aiming are not required. The result is effective pickleball court lighting without disrupting views of the heavens and without disrupting nature. 

Dark Sky Compliant Pickleball Court Lighting

Dark Sky lighting requirements are becoming much more common. Dark sky compliant pickleball court lighting starts with full cutoff light fixtures. While most sports lighting is 4000 Kelvin or 5000 Kelvin, to be dark sky compliant the LEDs have to be 3000 Kelvin or lower. While 3000 Kelvin is a warmer color of light, the lighting can still be effective for pickleball and it will meet most dark sky compliant ordinances. Please note that dark sky ordinances can vary, such as requiring 2200 Kelvin LEDs, so always check the lighting ordinance for your community. 

Partial Shielding, Full Shielding, Back Light Shielding, and Individual LED Shielding for Pickleball Courts

One form of light pollution is seeing the light source from off of the property or location that is being illuminated. This can be reduced or eliminated by using a specific type of shielding or a combination of shielding. Partial shielding, also known as a 3/4 baffle is typically a baffle that covers 3 sides of the light fixture. Full shielding is similar, but the shielding goes all the way around the light source. It is like a box under the light fixture. Backlight shielding is a very small shield that goes behind each LED, limiting light behind the light fixture and obscuring the light source from behind. Individual LED shielding is the newest form of shielding. Individual LED shielding is little boxes that go around the LEDs. A view of the LEDs is obscured while the size of the shielding minimizes the effect on light distribution. 

Pickleball Court Lighting and Light Trespass 

Light trespass is typically measured by how many footcandles are emitted outside of the area scheduled to be illuminated or the footcandles emitted over the property line. Depending on the community, the lighting ordinances can restrict the latter to levels as low as 0.05fc. Appropriate LED optics and different forms of shielding reduce or eliminate light trespass in most instances. A photometric study can model the light emitted and test for light trespass.

Pickleball Court Lighting and Pole Height

The USA Pickleball Association states that lights should be mounted on 20′ tall poles, but if your local lighting ordinance requires a mounting height of lower than 15 feet, which standard do you think will be the determining factor? Obviously, you have to meet the local lighting ordinance or go without lighting. Today, using the advanced optics in Access Fixtures sports lights like the APTA, Access Fixtures can meet all USA Pickleball Association standards with a mounting height of 14 feet. This enables homeowners, HOAs, etc. to have pickleball lighting without 20′ poles. The only drawback is if a pickleball ball pops up over 14′ high. Since that doesn’t happen a lot in pickleball, the tradeoff is worthwhile. 

Pickleball Court Light Poles and Windspeed

Building ordinances require that pickleball court poles meet the windspeed required to survive hurricanes, typhoons, and other assorted meteorological events.  This requires that the sports lighting have a low EPA to minimize the walls and gauge of a pole, while the pole is able to withstand the weather event. Access Fixtures has designed and engineered poles that can withstand the 180+ mph requirements of part of Florida and even the 190+ mph requirements of Guam. Materials also matter. Metal poles located near or by the ocean can rust. To increase the life of the poles, the poles should either have a extra protective coating, be galvanized, or the pole should be manufactured with a fiberglass composite. 

Using APTA Sports Lights to Illuminate Your Pickleball Court

Access Fixtures’ most popular LED sports light is APTAAPTAs meet USA Pickleball Association requirements, and with multiple optics and options can meet dark sky requirements and most if not all light trespass requirements.

APTA LED sports lights are designed and manufactured to provide powerful and reliable lighting that meets USA Pickleball Association standards as well as your community’s lighting requirements. With superior optics, spill light control design, lumen-per-watt output (LPW) of up to 160, and low weight/low effective projection area (EPA), APTAs are designed to provide long-lasting, superior quality, anti-glare light for your pickleball court lighting.

  • EXTREME-LIFE: Exceptional heat sink design produces an EXTREME-LIFE rating of L70 @ 200,000 hours for years of virtually maintenance-free performance
  • Lasting Durability: APTAs feature an anti-corrosive, marine-grade finish, 10ka surge protection, and IP66 and IK10 impact resistance to withstand extreme weather conditions
  • Field Repairable: APTAs have a fully modular construction and are field repairable. All parts can be easily replaced in the field. APTAs come with a 5-year warranty and a 10-year warranty is optional.

Click to Download the APTA Sports Light Catalog 

Click to View Pickleball Court Lighting Packages

Pickleball court dimensions
APTA Sports Light Catalog
Access Fixtures entry-level pickleball lighting package uses 700 watts to deliver 31 footcandles with a low 1.9 max/min ratio exceeding USAPA lighting standards
Access Fixtures Pickleball court lighting exceeds all USA Pickleball Association lighting standards. Poles and lights are located at the end of the pickleball court, so they do not interrupt the view from your house, deck, or patio.
8 Court pickleball court lighting photometric study
Shop pickleball court lighting packages


The surge in pickleball’s popularity has led to a significant increase in the construction of pickleball courts across various venues, from country clubs to community centers. As a result, proper pickleball court lighting has become essential to accommodate the growing number of players and extend playtime into the evening hours. Meeting the lighting standards set by the USA Pickleball Association, and adhering to local lighting ordinances ensures that players have a consistent and enjoyable experience. Advanced lighting solutions like the APTA LED sports lights provide the necessary illumination while minimizing light pollution and ensuring durability. As the sport grows in popularity, high-quality, compliant lighting will only become more critical.

Pickleball Court LED Lighting Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

You have Pickleball Court Lighting questions. We have answers. If you have a question that isn’t answered below, contact an Access Fixtures lighting specialist at (800) 468-9925 or click here to visit our customer service page.

What are the standard dimensions of a pickleball court?

A pickleball court measures 20 feet by 44 feet for both singles and doubles, with a minimum total playing surface of 30 feet by 60 feet.

Why is proper lighting important for pickleball courts?

Proper lighting ensures players can see the ball clearly, especially during evening games, enhancing the overall playing experience and safety.

What are the lighting requirements for pickleball courts?

Lighting should be supplied by luminaires mounted on 20-foot high poles, delivering an average of 30 footcandles (fc) with a max/min ratio of 2.0 or less.

What does a max/min ratio of 2.0 mean in pickleball court lighting?

It indicates extremely even lighting across the court, preventing dark spots and reducing the need for players’ eyes to adjust to varying light levels.

What are dark sky compliant light fixtures?

Dark sky compliant fixtures limit or eliminate up-light, protecting the night sky and reducing light pollution. These fixtures typically use LEDs with 3000 Kelvin or lower.

How can light trespass be minimized on pickleball courts?

Using appropriate LED optics and various shielding options, such as full shielding or individual LED shielding, can significantly reduce or eliminate light trespass.

What should be considered regarding pole height for pickleball court lighting?

While the standard height is 20 feet, local ordinances may require shorter poles. Advanced optics can compensate for shorter poles, but visibility for high arcs may be slightly compromised.

How can pickleball court poles be protected against high winds?

Poles should be designed to withstand high wind speeds, up to 190+ mph in some regions, and made from durable materials like galvanized steel or fiberglass composites to prevent rust.

What is the benefit of using APTA LED sports lights for pickleball courts?

APTA lights meet all USA Pickleball Association standards, offer superior optics, control spill light, and are durable with a marine-grade finish and extreme weather resistance.

Are APTA LED sports lights easy to maintain?

Yes, APTA lights feature modular construction, making them field repairable with easily replaceable parts, and they come with a 5-year warranty, extendable to 10 years.