LED Sports Court Lighting: Design, Costs & Applications

LED Sports Court Lighting: Design, Costs & Applications

led sports court lighting

Are you looking to add or upgrade the lighting on your outdoor sports court? If you’ve already started your search, you’ve probably noticed a couple of types of lighting that could work: traditional metal halide or LED sports court lighting. 

While both can provide decent illumination, a few key differences should be considered when deciding which one is right for your facility. 

Traditional metal halide lighting is a high-intensity outdoor light that typically emits a yellowish light. Metal Halide fixtures can create lots of glare and illumination unevenness, distracting players on the court. The light also has slow warm-up times and is expensive to maintain.  

On the other hand, LED sports court lighting provides even and glare-free lighting that helps athletes perform at their best. LEDs feature instant-on capabilities and are much more energy efficient than metal halide fixtures. 

Sports are an integral part of any community, and they help bring people together. That’s why ensuring that your outdoor sports courts are well-lit and safe for play is important. With LED sports court lighting, you can bring the clarity and safety of modern lighting to your sports courts without compromising quality.

Let’s look at the benefits and features of LED sports court lighting.

Try our LED sports court lighting cost calculator if you want to get a customized cost estimate for your lighting project.

Kick Off Your LED Sports Lighting Project

We’ve created a comprehensive set of tools designed to assist facility managers and project planners in initiating their projects and connect them with the professionals in the industry.

Benefits of LED Sports Court Lighting

Energy efficiency

First, LED lighting is much more energy efficient than metal halide lighting. LEDs use up to 80 percent less energy, resulting in lower energy bills and a smaller carbon footprint.

LED lighting is a great choice for facilities looking to reduce their environmental impact.

Brightness and quality of light

LED sports court lighting also offers high levels of brightness and even illumination. This helps athletes to perform better, as they don’t have to worry about glare or uneven lighting on the court. 

LEDs can also provide a slightly cooler light than metal halide fixtures, which helps players stay focused during long practice sessions. Lighting your court is only the first step in providing an excellent experience for your patrons. Choosing the right fixtures for the right quality of light is just as important.
Working with a sports court lighting professional ensures you are making the right decisions for your facility — and getting the most for your investment. 

Longevity and durability

Compared to metal halide fixtures, LED sports court lighting lasts longer and is more durable. LEDs are designed to last up to 50,000 – 100,000 hours of operation, while metal halide lights typically last only 6,000-15,000 hours. 

LEDs are also better suited for outdoor environments due to their sealed construction. This means they can withstand dust and moisture with ease.

This leads us to our next point…

Low maintenance requirements

LEDs are easy to maintain and won’t strain your long-term budget. LEDs require far less frequent bulb replacements than metal halide lighting, saving you time and headaches over the long run.

With other solutions, maintenance, and upkeep are a significant investment of time and resources. Before making your decision, weigh the cost of regular maintenance or replacements against the initial investment.

led sports court lighting design

Applications of LED Sports Court Lighting

Indoor and outdoor

You must understand your specific use case to choose the right lighting solution. LEDs are well-suited for both indoor and outdoor sports courts, as they can be designed to handle a variety of weather conditions. 

Outdoor courts need more durable and water-resistant fixtures than indoor lighting solutions. LED sports court lighting is designed to withstand the elements without giving in to corrosion or rust. When you install lights indoors, you can usually attach or mount your fixtures to the roof or ceiling. But outdoors, you’ll need to consider a different option — such as poles (more on that below). 

Tennis, pickleball, padel courts

LEDs are also great for multi-purpose courts that accommodate different sports or activities. You can easily adjust the lighting based on need with adjustable brightness levels. This ensures players have the right level of illumination regardless of the activity.

For example, the tennis, pickleball, or padel requirements are all similar enough for a single solution and design. Consult your installation partner to craft the right layout for your facility.

Read more about cost and design considerations for different sports courts:

Volleyball, badminton courts

For volleyball and badminton courts to have the right amount of light so players can see clearly. You’ll want to ensure you have the right angle and space to reduce glare and shadows.

Read more about indoor sports court lighting considerations in our dedicated guides:

LED sports court lighting systems explained

LED sports court lighting fixture types

When shopping for your new sports lighting, you’ll want to consider whether you need floodlights, spotlights, or other fixtures. Floodlights provide a wide coverage area and are great for larger facilities such as outdoor courts. Spotlights offer more focused beams that can be used in smaller areas that need more brightness. 

Read more about LED sports lighting fixtures.

Mounting options

You’ll also need to decide whether you want wall-mounted or pole-mounted fixtures and how many lights you will need to illuminate the entire court. Wall-mounted fixtures attach directly to a wall or ceiling and are better suited for indoor courts. 

Pole-mounted fixtures attach to poles, making them ideal for outdoor illumination due to their durability in all weather conditions. Poles come in various sizes and can be customized with accessories to fine-tune your setup. 

LED sports court lighting control system

Lastly, don’t forget to invest in a control system for your new lights. Modern technology allows facility managers to turn their lights on and off from anywhere, making it easier to maintain or adjust your lighting according to need. 

Some control systems even have sensors that detect when people enter the court and automatically adjust brightness levels accordingly. This is an excellent way to save energy and money while still providing players with the best possible experience. 

Examples of LED sports court lighting fixtures
led sports court light fixtures from sportsbeams
LED Sports Court Light Fixture
  • Tunable white lights
  • 350W
  • 46,000+ lumens
  • CRI up to 93
  • CCT 1600K-6300K
led sports court light fixture chromabeams 350
LED Sports Court Light Fixture
  • Full RGB and tunable white
  • 350W
  • CRI 70-90
  • 1800K-10000K
led sports court light fixtures from shinetoo
LED High Mast Sports Court Light Fixture
  • Asymmetric indirect light
  • 100W-200W
  • CRI 70-90
  • CCT 3000K-5000K
led high mast floodlight fixture from shinetoo
LED High Mast Sports Court Light Fixture
  • Asymmetric indirect light
  • 300W-400W
  • CRI
  • CCT 3000K-4000K

LED Sports Lighting Buyer's Guide

If you're planning to install or retrofit an LED sports lighting system, our comprehensive buyer's guide 

Get the Free Guide

Design considerations

What level of play will you be hosting? 

You may not need as much brightness or coverage if your facility is geared toward recreational players. On the other hand, if you plan to host competitive games and tournaments, you’ll want to ensure your court lighting is up to a professional standard. 

Work with your lighting expert to find the right combination for you. Especially if you plan to host televised events, you’ll want to ensure the lights satisfy all requirements. 

Read more about sports court lighting design and requirements in our lighting design guides:

led sports court lighting cost

How much does LED sports court lighting cost?

On average, LED sports court lighting can cost between $17,200 and $233,000. This wide range is directly related to the size of the facility, the level of competition at your facility, and the type of fixtures you choose. 

Your lighting solution should be tailored to your unique needs, but remember that higher-end fixtures will cost more upfront. However, they will likely pay off in the long run with lower energy costs and a longer lifespan than standard indoor lights.

Get a customized cost estimate for your lighting installation project by using our LED sports court lighting cost calculator.

One way you might be able to save some cash is with an LED sports lighting retrofit. This involves swapping out your existing lights with LED fixtures, which can be more cost-effective. Your lighting partner can inspect your current system and let you know if this is viable.

Need funding for your lighting project? We have also written extensively about grant and funding programs for LED sports court lighting installation and retrofitting projects. Check it out! 

Sport court lighting companies

Sport court lighting experts specialize in delivering the ideal illumination for various sports courts, ensuring that players, officials, and spectators benefit from optimal visual clarity. Whether it’s for tennis, basketball, volleyball, or pickleball, it’s essential to have consistent lighting that reduces shadows and glare. Working with professionals who grasp the distinct lighting needs of different sports courts is crucial. They design systems tailored to each court’s specific demands, ensuring that athletes can compete effectively and that spectators can view the game without hindrance.

Pro tip: If you are currently looking for a reliable and knowledgeable sports lighting vendor, try our sports lighting partner finder and get connected with suitable lighting partners. 

Kick Off Your LED Sports Lighting Project

We’ve created a comprehensive set of tools designed to assist facility managers and project planners in initiating their projects and connect them with the professionals in the industry.

Get a cost estimate for your project

As you can see, choosing the right LED sports lighting is much more involved than selecting the right fixture. Make sure you consult with an experienced lighting partner to get a complete cost estimate for your project. 

Getting an estimate early in the process will help you understand what budget you’ll need to make and ensure that your facility is properly illuminated for the highest quality of play.  

Ready to get started? Try our online cost calculator! With just a few pieces of data, we’ll give you a workable number and put you in contact with some of the top lighting pros in your area. 

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