How much does LED tennis court lighting cost?

led floodlights for tennis courts

Tennis is a sport of traditions, and one of the many traditions Wimbledon is almost alone in keeping alive is tennis as a daytime sport. The US Open and Australian Open have made “tennis under the lights” an event for fans and spectators, while millions of players worldwide play under the lights because, well, they work or go to school during the day. 

Without floodlights, tennis would still be a daytime sport. And unless you’re Wimbledon, you almost certainly need lights around your courts to meet the needs of your players and members. 

Tennis court lighting must meet high standards. Tennis players can be a demanding bunch, but at the bare minimum, no player wants to be blinded by the lights nor squinting into shadows. Particularly not when a small ball is coming at them at upwards of 100 mph. At the very least, four light poles 12 meters or higher should surround the court. 

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What influences the price of an LED tennis court lighting system?

Figuring out the costs is a necessary early step of any renovation project. Tennis court lighting costs depend largely on the products, as well as regional differences in labor.  A few top line expenses to consider are:

  • Purchase of the components for an LED system
  • Dismantling and disposing of the old lighting system
  • Specialized personnel who will design, manage and carry out the work of overhauling the facility, including the lights
  • Testing and certification

Many tennis center operators converted their conventional lighting to modern LED systems in recent years. Cost of LED tennis court lighting ranges between $16,400 and $44,600 per court, depending on product quality and the necessary brightness  of the floodlights. That range is just for the lights themselves – there are additional costs for dismantling the old system and installing the new fixtures. Ball-proof LED lighting systems are a requirement to guarantee the safety of the players and extend the service life of the lights. 

LED lighting offers long-term cost savings for sports facilities. However, the upfront costs may seem steep at the time. Facility owners should research grants, donations and crowdfunding efforts that target sports and recreation facilities, or energy efficiency upgrades.

Floodlight vendors know the brightness levels that outdoor and indoor courts need, and have a range of product and design options to deliver those levels. The prices vary across those options, bringing LED tennis court lighting systems within reach of even small tennis clubs or public facilities. All LED systems offer significant advantages over conventional lights, particularly in long-term savings through energy efficiency. While most LED systems are more expensive than conventional (halogen) lamps at point of sale, over the life of the lighting units, LED’s incur lower costs overall.

The LED floodlight cost calculator provides a useful starting point to estimate costs. The more detailed information you can enter about your facility, the more accurate the quote will be.

With that estimate in mind, planners can start doing the long-term cost balancing and exploring financing options. Projects like these have a lot of benefits when it comes to seeking donors, sponsors and grants. An early cost estimate allows for a jumpstart on the fundraising efforts. 

Another option is charging users via a coin-operated lighting system. A dollar or two an hour for each of several courts for several hours a night will add up over time into a worthwhile revenue stream.

led lighting for indoor tennis courts
LED lighting for indoor tennis courts: costs, funding programs and tennis hall lighting selection.

Operating costs for LED tennis court lighting

Whether you are upgrading an existing facility or building a new one from the ground up, purchase price is not the only number to consider. 

The real financial value of LED lights reveals itself in the long-term: lower electricity bills, less frequent bulb replacement, less maintenance and upkeep, fewer repairs and fixture replacement. 

Similarly, the full experiential value also only shows itself in the long-term. A well-designed LED system can enable you to host higher level competitions than you did before, or turn a single-purpose room into a multipurpose room, making a better use of space and potentially increasing revenue streams. And that’s on top of the improved day-to-day experience of everyone who is playing under your lights.

Installation of LED tennis center lighting

Tennis court lighting fixtures are usually installed outside the court, parallel to the sidelines and turned towards the court. These measures increase the lighting efficiency and player experience. In sports complexes with sloping roofs, the LED lights should follow the slope of the roof to ensure balls hit high in the air remain visible to the players..

Additional lights can be installed to provide extra illumination of the run-out of the court behind the baseline. 

Facility managers should switch on the lighting of all neighboring courts in the tennis center during games to ensure a uniform visual backdrop for the players. Their game will suffer if their eyes are constantly adjusting and adapting to different background light levels. . 

For lighting that is customized to the sports facility, the lighting design should be carried out by the company which will do the actual work or by a specialist in sports illumination. This should involve modeling how the court will look under different lighting arrangements, and show what things will look like from the vantage point of people throughout the facility. The more accurate this modeling is, the better the construction can be adapted to produce a high quality outcome.

Ball-proof lighting units are usually mounted outside and parallel to the sidelines and tilted in the direction of the court. This increases the efficiency of the lighting. If the facility has a sloped ceiling, the lighting should be mounted at the same angle to ensure visibility of any balls in the air. 

The run-out area behind the courts also needs to be illuminated. One way to ensure uniform lighting is lighting the adjacent courts while any court is in service. This eliminated awkward light-dark contrasts, making it easier for players to follow the path of the ball.

led tennis center lighting cost
LED indoor tennis hall lighting: calculate costs - compare prices

Converting conventional tennis court lighting to LED

LED tennis court lighting systems can be part of the new construction or renovation of a tennis court or multi-court center. Upgrading the lighting may be a standalone project, or it may be part of a broader project.

Even if the project is “just” the lighting, this entails more than swapping out some bulbs and fixtures. The light poles and their foundations should be examined to ensure they have not been affected by their years of use and exposure to the weather. If the foundation is solid and the pole remains strong, it should be reusable.

Sports center managers have a lot of factors to weigh when deciding if they should replace or retrofit their lighting system. They may find themselves doing this as part of a broader renovation project, or as a standalone upgrade.  In addition to the age of the current lighting, the overarching goal of the renovation is an important factor. If the main goal is to save energy and reduce operating costs in the long term, converting the hall lighting to ball impact-resistant LED fixtures makes perfect sense. 

A complete tennis center lighting upgrade is almost always worthwhile when fixtures throughout the facility are outdated. Between the 30% increase in illumination and the instant turn-on / turn-off nature of the lights, many factors point to ball impact resistant LED.

LED’s make a convincing case for upgrading from conventional lighting systems. On every dimension other than point-of-sale costs, LED’s are superior to their predecessors, such as fluorescent tubes or halogen lamps. 

At the top end of savings, LED lights can reduce lighting electricity costs by 50 – 60%. At that rate, an LED system can pay for itself after just a few years. 

The LED tennis court lighting cost calculator can be used to get a quote on a lighting upgrade.

Why you should consider upgrading to LED

The right LED lighting for indoor tennis courts brings many advantages to tennis center operators. 

For starters, LED lights are energy efficient and, therefore, cost effective. LEDs do not produce any glare and, as part of a well-designed system, do not create shadows. That greatly enhances the playing experience. Legacy, industrial-style spotlights provide high luminance, but at the cost of shadows when you look down and away and blinding glare when you look up. This affects everything from the players trying to find a ball in the air to simply being able to see the lines on the court. Unsurprisingly, players are better and safer when they can see what they are doing! 

LED systems can also be equipped with protective shields to eliminate the risk of damage resulting from ball-impact, which protects both the lights and the players and spectators below.

To ensure that the tennis center can take advantage of all these benefits, they should involve indoor lighting designers into their planning process at an early stage.

The costs involved in installing LED sports lighting for indoor tennis courts are an important factor for facility operators when planning a partial or total renovation. They depend on the size of the space to be lit, product quality and lighting type. Our cost calculator makes it easier to calculate the costs involved:

indoor tennis court lighting

What should be considered for LED lighting for indoor tennis courts?

Inadequate court lighting reduces the enjoyment of the game and may affect the precision of ball striking. To avoid this, glare-free, uniform illumination of the entire court is essential. The lighting class of the new fixtures is part of the quality of the illumination. This, in turn, depends on the requirements you have set for the facility. If you host or wish to host high-level players or events, the lighting will need to be at a comparable level. 

For amateur and normal training use, class 3 luminaires are quite sufficient. But if professional or high-level collegiate players will be using the courts, situations that might be broadcast or streamed, Class 1 lighting becomes a requirement. And, of course, if your players and events are in between those levels, lighting Class 2 is suitable.

With modern LED indoor lighting, all lights can be controlled with a dimmer switch.  This way, you only have to pay for the brightness you need, as you can adjust the lights individually from one room to the next, seamlessly between lighting classes, from one hour to the next.

The structural requirements for sports centers hold that the indoor lighting in the playing area must consist of ball-proof LED fixtures to ensure the safety of the users.  Fast-moving balls can cause damage to lights that are not ball-proof, which, in addition to a loss in the quality of the hall lighting, also poses a risk of injury to the players. With ball-proof LED systems, both risks are greatly reduced.

Lighting classes for tennis court lighting

  • Class I: High performance competitions, 750 lux
  • Class II: Intermediate level competitions, 500 lux
  • Class III: Simple competitions, school and recreational sports, 200 lux

While you want to match your lighting to your usage as much as possible to keep costs down, overall, the brighter the facility, the more attractive it will be for clubs and players. 

Fortunately, LED indoor tennis court lighting does not force you to choose. LED systems can be designed to accommodate all three classes with a switching system that allows you to turn fixtures on and off, and then adjust the brightness of the individual fixtures, at any time. This way your lighting always meets the demands of the players on the court, without costing you more than you need to spend.  

Another option is coin-operated lighting, where the tennis players themselves pay for the lighting as they need it. This makes the lighting a (small) source of revenue, and gives the players an incentive to mind their energy usage while at the center.

Ball-proof lighting units are usually mounted outside and parallel to the sidelines and tilted in the direction of the court. This increases the efficiency of the lighting. If the facility has a sloped ceiling, the lighting should be mounted at the same angle to ensure visibility of any balls in the air. 

The run-out area behind the courts also needs to be illuminated. One way to ensure uniform lighting is lighting the adjacent courts while any court is in service. This eliminated awkward light-dark contrasts, making it easier for players to follow the path of the ball.

led indoor tennis center lighting
LED indoor tennis hall lighting: calculate costs - compare prices

Which LED lights are right for your tennis court?

When choosing the right LED lighting for a tennis court, you have to consider the color of the light, the power consumption of the LED tubes, and the certification of the product. When it comes to the light color, the options range from cool shades of blue to warmer shades of yellow. 

The power consumption of the lighting depends on the number of installed luminaires on the one hand, and on the manufacturer and model on the other. An efficient arrangement of the lights will pay off in savings over the long-term.

When deciding on the manufacturer and model of LED lights, read over independent tests in addition to the manufacturer’s specifications. Look for industry awards and certifications, such as TÜV, when assessing the quality of the light tubes and to maintenance needs.

Costs and financing of LED sports lighting

Everything above is just the first step of what you need to consider and discuss. Professional lighting designers and installers will go into much greater detail in determining your needs before they begin work. They should provide models, renderings and simulations so you can see what the courts will look like under a variety of lighting conditions before approving any designs and commencing work.

Both the size of the playing areas and the number of lights factor into the cost of a new lighting system. Efficiency, therefore, becomes as much a product and design factor as do quality and the rated lifespan of the lights. You can conveniently calculate the costs incurred for lighting as part of the renovation or construction of a new tennis center with our LED tennis court lighting cost calculator.