Backyard basketball courts are great areas for outdoor play, whether the court is used just for basketball or other sports too, such as skateboarding. When a warm evening arrives, why go inside solely because the sun went down? Basketball court lighting expands the hours for outdoor activity. Of course, there are challenges to consider when lighting a residential basketball court so read on, plan and then enjoy your lighted court into the evening.
Building codes could potentially pose several challenges, including height limitations, regulations on proximity to the property border, dark sky compliance, and foot-candle limitations. Your local building code may limit the height of poles. Some communities limit pole heights to 20 feet, while other towns and cities do not have any restrictions. Every municipality has restrictions on how close to the property line you can locate a structure such as a light pole. Some areas, like parts of Arizona and most if not all of New Mexico, have dark-sky regulations which limit light pollution. Many communities restrict the amount of light permitted on an outdoor basketball court to 30 foot candles. Don’t worry about that, though; around 15 foot candles should be sufficient for a backyard basketball court. Again, be sure to check regulations in your area or contact a local building inspector.
Light trespass is when light spills into areas where it is not wanted. Sports lighting can cause issues in residential areas when light is distributed in unwanted areas, such as a neighbor’s bedroom or yard. If you turn on your basketball court lighting and it appears as if the Celtics can play in your backyard—and it looks the same in your neighbor’s living room—chances are you have an issue. Light trespass can be controlled by limiting foot-candles to a reasonable level and directing certain luminaires appropriately. Access Fixtures lighting specialists can perform a photometric analysis and determine how many foot-candles will be spilled ten feet off your basketball court.
There are three expenses involved in lighting your basketball court, the initial purchase price with installation, maintenance expenses, and operating expenses. A popular basketball lighting package costs under $5,000 delivered. Installation cost depends on local labor rates. Get quotes from 3 electrical contractors with A+ ratings by your local BBB. If you purchase quality luminaires, maintenance should not be an issue. The luminaires should be high quality, made of cast aluminum, finished in a durable finish and built using major USA brand name components. The lighting technology used should be Pulse start metal halide (PSMH). PSMH lasts longer and uses less energy. Induction or LED may be a viable option too, but the initial cost is much more. Operating cost is fairly low. Based on energy cost of $0.15/kWh and use of 1 hour per day every day the cost would be $19.80 per month or only $.66 per day. Access Fixtures lighting specialists can help on expense by finding the most cost-effective configurations and components, as well as a solution that proves to be low-maintenance and cost-efficient to operate.
Contact an Access Fixtures lighting specialist to discuss the right basketball court lighting package for your court.