A Comprehensive Guide to Basketball Court Lighting Design

We see basketball courts in schools, communities, and sports fields. What is the lighting design of a basketball court? The tall pole LED floodlights used in our basketball courts are suitable for outdoor basketball courts such as backyards, high schools, universities, and parks.
Basketball court lighting solutions such as halogen and metal halite lamps have long been used. Traditional outdoor basketball light can be expensive in terms both of money and energy. In addition, this traditional lighting does not last very long.
LEDs offer a better alternative to metal halide and halogen lamps, as well as fluorescent lamps. LEDs outdoor basketball light are more efficient. In addition, it lasts longer than those traditional lighting solutions. Let’s explore how to light up basketball courts and baskets at night with LEDs.

Basketball court lighting design requirements

Each type of court has different requirements for installing LED lighting on basketball courts. No matter if you own a professional, residential, recreational, or commercial basketball court, ensure that the lighting design meets all standards.

commercial basketball

1. Lux Rating Requirements for Non-Televised

GamesI: This rating describes high-level, national, or international basketball games like the NBA, NCAA Tournament, and FIBA World Cup. Outdoor basketball light systems should meet broadcast requirements.
Class II: Class II programs are regional tournaments. Lighting standards are less stringent because it usually involves non-television events.
Category III: Recreational or training events.
There are many standards and lighting designs for outdoor basketball courts, including commercial, residential, and professional. According to basketball lighting guidelines, approximately 200 lux is required for backyard and recreational activities. Since a standard basketball court is 4700 square feet (437 square meters), we need about 200 lux x 437 = 87,400 lumens.

Design of outdoor commercial basketball court lighting

LED basketball court lights

1. Surge protection, IP rating

This is the first thing you should look for when looking at basketball court lighting. Surge protection is a critical factor for LED lights because a sudden increase in power can damage the LED light or cause a failure.
Imagine your LED lights being damaged by a surge. Not only would this affect the game in progress, but it would also damage your reputation. Therefore, it is recommended to purchase LED lights with surge protection.
Basketball lighting guidelines also state that any LED basketball court lighting must be IP rated. This is necessary because it will install lighting outdoors. It must be IP65 to ensure it can withstand any weather conditions and lasts for a long time.

2. Illuminance Levels

Illuminates levels One factor you should consider is the level of illumination provided by LED lighting. According to basketball lighting standards, 200 lux is required for non-TV events. The average size of a basketball court in the United States is 4700 sq. feet.
This means that 200 x 437 would equal 87,400 lumens for an outdoor basketball court used for backyard or recreational events. For a free estimate, please contact one of our LED experts. Basketball court lighting design lumens reference article bottom
Basketball court lighting design lumens reference article bottom

3. Anti-glare

The glare-free feature is another important feature of the basketball court lighting system. We all know that intense glare can be annoying to players and spectators. It makes them uncomfortable and adversely affects the players’ vision. A fierce glare makes players feel uncomfortable and blinding. This problem is especially acute for indoor basketball courts because of the reflective flooring. Sometimes, indirect lighting is necessary. This means that the ceiling lights are turned up and the court is lit with reflected light. Outdoor basketball court lighting that is not anti-glare can lead to poor player performance.

4. Outdoor basketball court lighting standards

In the case of TV events, led lights for basketball court design is different than for non-TV events. If you use your basketball court for professional or televised games, you must ensure that it is designed for televised games.
Your stadium should have 2000 lux of brightness. This is the standard. The ratio between the maximum lux and the minimum lux is another thing to consider. Another aspect to consider is the color temperature of the lighting. The color temperature must be between 5500 to 6000K.

5. Flicker Free

Most basketball court lighting has a low quality strobe under the camera. High speed cameras are used today in the world of sports photography. You must ensure that your lighting provides the right illumination for broadcast. LED lighting should be able to capture video at a minimum of 6000 frames per second. A flicker rate of less than 0.3%% is recommended. This is because high-speed cameras cannot detect it.

Indoor Basketball Court Lighting Design

basketball lighting
Indoor basketball court lighting design for indoor basketball courts is slightly different from lighting design for outdoor basketball courts. A glare-free feature is one of the most essential requirements. Indoor stadiums are equipped with reflective floors. This means that both spectators and players can experience intense glare. Indirect lighting is recommended. The court will perform better if the ceiling lights face upwards. To compensate for the light absorbed from the ceiling, you will need additional LED light power.
In addition, you must ensure that lux levels, color temperature, color rendering index, etc. meet lighting standards.

How much energy does it take to light up a basketball court?

basketball lighting
Our LED basketball court lights have 150 lm/w and we need at least 87400 / 150 = 583 watts of LEDs. however, this is only an estimate. We will need to perform dilux simulations to better determine which type of basketball court lights are needed, the number of basketball court fixtures, and the wattage of each. If you have any questions, please feel free to consult with our lighting designers and engineers by filling out the information on our contact form.
If your basketball court is designed to broadcast games such as the NBA and FIBA World Cup, illumination levels of up to 2000 lux are required. In addition, the ratio of minimum to maximum lux in the basketball court should not be less than 0.7. The light source should have a color rendering index of at least Ra 80 and a color temperature between 4000 K and 6000 K.

Cost of basketball court lighting

How much does it cost to run basketball court lighting?
The unit cost of LED lighting for basketball courts is high. It will save you money in the long term. This is an estimate of the cost of basketball court lighting.
According to the standard, 2000 lux is required for televised or professional events. That means that you’ll need approximately 7,000 watts for LED basketball court lights. The cost of running a basketball court light for one hour is as follows.
7000W x $0.12 / 1000 = $0.84
The daily cost of leaving the lights on 12 hours per day would be
$0.84 x 12= $10.08
The total cost of an LED basketball court light is $200. Compared to halogen bulbs, which are 10 times more energy efficient than LEDs (requiring 70,000W of halogen), the cost of electricity would be 10 times higher ($2,000).

Replace metal halide and halogen with LEDs for basketball courts?

cobra head street light

LED basketball court lights last longer

The right indoor basketball court floodlights can reduce your operating and maintenance costs. That’s because you don’t have to replace your LED basketball court lights as often. If you install your current metal halide, you will find very short life span. In addition, after a few months to a year of use, you will feel a noticeable drop in brightness. Nevertheless, LEDs have a life expectancy of 80,000 hours, or 30 years if used 6 to 7 hours per day. Metal halides last about 5 times shorter than LEDs and 10 times shorter than halogens. Installing LED lights will save you money and time.

LED basketball court light cooling system

The heat build-up inside the lamp can damage the LED lights in the basketball court. Therefore, good thermal management can improve the performance of indoor and outdoor basketball court lighting (such as higher brightness and longevity). This shows that our LED basketball courts lights are made with thick aluminum fins with ventilation holes. They provide a large area for heat transfer. The effective heat sink primarily gives the LED basketball court light a longer life and higher brightness for indoor basketball court lighting. This is because the accumulated high temperatures accelerate lumen fade. We rarely find such sophisticated designs in HID and halogen lamps.

Our basketball court lights are energy-saving LEDs

In addition to a long life span and an effective heat sink, they also have super bright chips. LEDs have a 150 lm/W energy efficiency, which is 2.5x that of traditional metal halite lamps. So by replacing the 1000 watt metal halite LEDs, you can save 70% on energy costs while maintaining the same brightness.

LEDs are excellent at rendering color (CRI)

CRI can be described as a measurement of how well light can show an object’s actual color compared to a natural light source. It ranges from 0 through 100. High CRI is a desirable characteristic. However, this depends on the intended application. LEDs typically have very high (good) ratings in terms of CRI (70+, 80+, 90+).
Perhaps the best way to understand CRI is to directly compare LED lighting (which has a high CRI) with traditional lighting solutions such as sodium vapor lamps (which typically have poor CRI ratings and, in some cases, are almost monochromatic).

LED Dimming Capability

LEDs operate at almost all percentages of their rated power (from 0 to 100). They require hardware that is specific to LED technology. This means you can’t use dimming devices with incandescent bulbs or traditional lighting technologies. LEDs that run at less than their full power can be more efficient. This increases the lamp’s life. These advantages are not possible with technologies like metal halide which uses lower power and can often be dimmed in some cases.

1:1 Replacement

Another reason to choose LED lights is that it is easy to replace your existing bulbs without hassle. LED lights provide greater brightness and illumination. In addition, LED lights will consume less energy than traditional lights.


LED lights provide greater brightness and illumination. If you would like to learn more about the design options for your basketball court lighting, please feel free to contact Kanglight and we will have our professional staff create a free design for your basketball court lighting and provide you with LED related data.

Basketball court lighting design lumens

Calculated in square feet
In addition to calculating lumens in square meters, you may also want to calculate lumens in square feet. The luminous flux in lumens (lm), Φ V, is equal to 0.09290304 multiplied by the illuminance in lux (lx), E v, multiplied by the surface area in square feet (ft 2 ), A. The formula is described below.
Φ V(lm) = 0.09290304 × E v(lx) × A (ft 2 )
A detailed calculation table can be found at the link: rapidtables.com/
How many lumens are needed for sports lighting?
1 Football stadium
Dimensions: 100 meters long, 64 meters wide
Lighting requirementsLumens
75 lux for recreational and training480000 lm
200 lux for semi-professional stadiums1280000 lm
1000 lux for televising the events6400000 lm

2. Tennis Court

Dimensions: 23.77 meters long, 8.23 meters wide for singles matches and 10.97 meters for doubles matches
Lighting requirementsLumens
250 lux for Residential and Recreational48907 lm for singles matches
65189 lm for doubles matches
350 lux for Club Competition and Commercial68469 lm for singles matches
91265 lm for doubles matches
450 lux for National and International88032 lm for singles matches
117341 lm for doubles matches

3. Baseball Court

Dimensions: The infield radius is 29 meters. The outfield radius is about 122 meters.
Lighting requirementsLumens
Recreational GameInfield- 300 lux792624 lm
Outfield- 200 lux8823477 lm
Amateur GameInfield- 500 lux1321040 lm
Outfield- 300 lux13235216 lm
General GameInfield- 1000 lux2642079 lm
Outfield- 700 lux30882170 lm
Professional GameInfield- 1500 lux3963119 lm
Outfield- 1000 lux44117386 lm

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