The Top Reasons To Upgrade To LED Lights For Tennis Courts

No matter whether you holding afterschool clinics for local kids or hosting a professional tennis tournament, nobody likes to play tennis on a poorly lit court. When it's harder to see the ball, you tend to play worse, and most tennis players don't like to play on tennis courts that make it harder for them to win a match.

If you're tired of hearing complaints about the lighting at night from players or are looking for a way to bring down your monthly costs, upgrading to LED lights for tennis courts might be the perfect way to kill two birds with one stone.

Tennis Court at Night

Tennis Court Lighting Requirements

While no two tennis facilities are exactly alike, one thing they all have in common is a need for good tennis court lighting. Most older tennis courts around the United States are still lit with metal halide lightbulbs. Not only are these bulbs considerably less energy efficient than LED lights, but they also produce a harsher light

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) and Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) are two organizations dedicated to setting tennis court regulations. Many expert engineers work together to determine lighting requirements for each court, depending on their use. They pay careful attention to light levels, and visibility for players, among other general regulations.

The two organizations drafted Class I, Class II, and Class III to categorize the levels of play the court accommodates. Each class has specific lux lighting requirements, where lux refers to the illumination intensity of an area. The lux light levels for each tennis court class are as followed:

Class I – National and International

Locations hosting national or international competitions must have illumination levels around 750 lux. For example, the lighting for Wimbledon Centre Court is categorized as a Class I location.

Class II – Club Competition and Commercial

Commercial and club competitions require around 500 lux. Light levels closer to this amount increase playability and safety for patron enjoyment.

Class III – Residential and Recreational

Locations without serious competition, like a backyard, park, or apartment complex, only need about 300 lux. This illumination level suits casual enjoyment while still providing substantial light.

Types of Tennis Court Lighting

Metal Halide Lamps

Tennis court lighting has evolved and become more efficient with technological advances. Some courts still use traditional metal halide lighting; however, they come with a hefty price tag and maintenance requirements. These bulbs can take up to 15 minutes to turn on, use a substantial amount of electricity, and require more light fixtures to meet the class light requirements.

LED Lighting

LEDs are considered the best lighting option. These bulbs don’t require a warm-up period, producing pleasant, bright light as soon as you flip a switch. They provide better light, use less energy,  and often include special features that help you manage when they turn on and off, brightness, temperature, and glare. Because LED lights are so efficient, most tennis courts have already begun making the switch.

High Bay LED Lights

High bay LED lights are like standard LED tennis court lights, they’re just much more powerful. Typically used to brighten large indoor tennis courts, these lights are ideal for ceilings over 20 feet high, making them a standard in many indoor tennis clubs.

What to Consider When Upgrading Your Tennis Court Lights

Illuminating a tennis court requires more than new equipment. It’s important to remember that your light fixtures should fulfill the requirements for a safe and well-maintained tennis court. To do this, we recommend considering several factors when determining your tennis court lighting options.

Dimensions of the Court

The length and width of the court are the first and main factors when shopping around for new lights. The dimensions will determine where lighting fixtures need to be placed. Poles or mounted lights not placed at the appropriate distance from each other will create dark patches on the court and won’t provide the necessary illumination required to play safely.

High Light Uniformity

High light uniformity shows the ratio between the minimum and maximum lux. This ratio should be at most 0.6 to 0.7 to provide optimal court lighting.


We suggest researching products and choosing one that offers a warranty before buying any lighting fixtures. If any ever need replacing or maintenance in the future, you’ll want a manufacturer that may give it to you at little to no cost.

Government Regulations

In addition to the USTA and IES, state government authorities may have lighting regulations for sports fields. We recommend checking your state to ensure that you stay within legal parameters.

Illumination Levels

It is important to stay within Class I, Class II, and Class II illumination parameters for the safety and enjoyment of all players. Poorly lit courts could result in sustained injuries, ones you may be responsible for. Upgrading your light fixtures to ones with proper illumination could save you money in the long run.

Spill Light

Spill light is any light that illuminates areas outside of the tennis court parameters. Outdoor lighting installations can affect the local environment through this spill light, such as beaming light into passing traffic, affecting drivers’ vision. Through a professional court lighting design, you can significantly reduce the amount of spill light that pours outside the court.

Modularization Design

Modularization allows technicians to replace parts of the lighting fixture without needing to replace the entire pole or mount. This will save you money when replacing a single part instead of the entire fixture.


Consider purchasing long-lasting and low-maintenance lighting for your tennis court to reduce repair and energy costs. The initial installation or upgrade charges may be slightly high, but removing the constant need for repairs or maintenance will save you money.


Weather happens, but preparing for extreme weather conditions can protect your fixtures. By upgrading to waterproof lights, they’re less likely to malfunction during water leaks or torrential outdoor storms.

Waterproof lights need to be at least IP64, though we generally recommend using at least IP65 LED lights to ensure optimal protection.

Anti-Glare Features

Glare is a powerful light ray that can cause eye irritation, discomfort, or game interference. Your tennis court lighting needs to have anti-glare features to prevent this problem.

When upgrading your tennis court lights, finding one with an anti-glare lens will help reduce the flashiness by at least 40%, making the environment easier on the eyes.

Why You Should Upgrade Your Tennis Court Lights

In any sport, players require top-quality lighting to prevent injuries and focus on the game. Placing the lighting fixtures at the correct angles provides the most light possible while using the least amount of energy.

Upgrading to LED bulbs and systems does wonders for a tennis player’s enjoyment. This single change can drastically alter how the court looks and how comfortable the players feel.

We recommend upgrading your court lights from older versions like metal halide bulbs to more sustainable, modern options. Doing so will bring several benefits to you and your players, including:

Improved Energy Efficiency and Utility Savings

LED lights consume less energy than metal halide lights. Their low energy consumption reduces the carbon emissions generated, providing an excellent environmentally friendly option to switch to. After upgrading, many tennis court owners see a decrease in their energy bills of up to 60 percent.

Because LED lights use less energy, they have a smaller carbon footprint than other light options. You save money and do your part for the planet with a simple switch.

Potential Subsidies and Grants

Because LEDs are more sustainable and environmentally friendly than other bulb options, the government has set aside funds to upgrade athletic field lights. These funds are allocated by local, state, and federal programs through subsidies and grants to replace the bulbs. The federal government also offers the 179D tax deduction to motivate athletic court owners to upgrade.

We recommend checking the energy commission for your state and local government to see if you qualify for any of their opportunities.

Increased Security

Players should be able to see their surroundings on indoor and outdoor courts. A clear line of sight helps keep them safe while potentially preventing injuries from stumbling or misstepping. Cameras monitoring the court will also be able to record more clearly than in areas without adequate lighting.

Improved Lighting & Professional Appearance

Players and fans enjoy tennis most when they can watch the game clearly. LED lights provide a more user-friendly view of the court without unwanted yellowing from gas discharge inside the glass. Darker or yellowed lighting makes playing harder, while clear lighting at the proper brightness amplifies players’ views.

Professional-grade tennis courts have moved to LED for this specific purpose.

Longer Life Span and Lower Maintenance Costs

Unlike metal halide lights that last 6,000-15,000 hours, LED tennis court lights can last upwards of 150,000 hours. They are ideal for constant indoor and evening outdoor lighting.

Because of their long life span, LEDs do not require as much maintenance or replacements as metal halides. We recommend choosing durable and quality LED lights with the luminary properties you need for your tennis court.

Contact Us Today To Discuss Your Tennis Court Lighting Upgrade

If you think it may be time to upgrade to LED tennis court lights, chances are your upgrade is actually well overdue. So what are you waiting for? Your players and your budget will both thank you when you replace those old metal halide bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs.

Suncoast Power specializes in LED lighting installations, retrofits, and upgrades for a wide range of commercial and industrial applications like parking lots, warehouses, factories, parking lots, and much more. We are a locally-owned and operated commercial electrical contractor that has provided services across Florida for more than 30 years.

Call us today at (754) 200-5872 or fill out our online quote request form to schedule a call with one of our LED lighting experts.