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Delivering return on investment (ROI) on an LED tennis court can often be challenging for several reasons. Currently, pulse-start metal halide (PSMH) is the industry standard and is an excellent source of light for competitive sports. The luminaires are inexpensive and have a reasonably long life. While replacement lamps and ballasts are inexpensive, installation can be costly, but still relatively low when added to the overall cost.

The price of LED lighting is always falling. They have an extremely long life, with the current Access Fixtures LEDs rated LM70 at 100,000 hours. This nearly eliminates maintenance. LEDs have a higher CRI and provide light that is even and balanced. The challenge is the initial price is much higher, which consequently makes the ROI more difficult to achieve.

For LED lighting, ROI is measured on reduced maintenance costs and increased energy efficiency. Because tennis court lighting doesn’t usually operate for many hours a day, it becomes a challenge to achieve ROI. LED wall packs used to safely illuminate parking lots or walkways are typically on all night, which enables a faster ROI.

So, where does LED tennis court lighting make sense?

  1. Due to minimal maintenance required, LED lamps are ideal for tennis courts that are difficult to access with lift vehicles.

  2. In public courts, lamps often burn from dusk to midnight regardless if people are playing. With extended hours, ROI is achieved more quickly.

  3. In locations with a limited supply of electricity, there is often a heavy incentive to limit energy use. In these areas, like Hawaii or the Caribbean, electricity is priced as high as $0.50 kw/hr compared to $0.15 – $0.18 on the east coast of the U.S. With power at this rate, the ROI is achieved quickly since it’s expensive to run a PSMH system.

  4. Due to local code and green initiatives, metal halide systems may be prohibited, leaving LED as the only alternative.

What’s the right choice for your tennis court? With this information, make your own decision or contact an Access Fixtures lighting specialist. They’ll gladly review your options and help you make the right decision.