Lighting a tennis court is an important decision. Lights can add hours of playtime, enable you to play when it is cooler in the evening or when you are home from work. Lights give you a freedom of time to meet your schedule to essentially play whenever you want.
There are a number of very important considerations when deciding on lighting. The first would be the amount of illumination (foot candles) the lights will produce. Thirty or forty years ago an average foot candle rating for lights would be 30fc’s. Today that number is closer to 50-60 fc’s. Another and equally as important consideration is the balance of the lighting. You can achieve a 50 fc rating but that won’t do you much good if you have hot spots at 80 fc’s and low light areas of 20 fc’s. The imbalance of the lighting will give a stroboscopic effect on the ball causing it to fly into and out of light and darkness. This would make it very difficult to pick up the flight of the ball. Another consideration is the surrounding area. Field lights, like what you see around football and baseball fields broadcast a very large spread. Not a problem and maybe even and asset in a wooded or underpopulated area. However, if there are homes, condominiums or commercial buildings near the court this may not be acceptable to your neighbors. For those tight situation an environmental light would be a much better solution. Environmental lights illuminate down and have a very small footprint outside of the actual fenced area.
You can expect to pay anywhere from $6,000 – $12,000 per court to light your tennis courts. You may also need to upgrade to your power box and/or power supply. You can figure at about 3 amps per light with either a 240v or 120v line. The fixtures themselves are 1,000 watt.