How to Light up a Basketball Court at Night

How to Light up a Basketball Court at Night

Playing basketball is not just limited to daylight hours; many enthusiasts enjoy playing the sport well into the evening. To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, it is essential to have proper lighting on the basketball court. In this article, we will discuss the key aspects involved in lighting up a basketball court at night, including the types of lighting fixtures, their placement, and other important considerations. Additionally, we will address some frequently asked questions regarding basketball court lighting.

Types of Lighting Fixtures

When it comes to lighting up a basketball court, there are several types of lighting fixtures to consider. The most commonly used ones include metal halide, LED, and fluorescent lights.

1. Metal Halide Lights: Metal halide lights are often used for outdoor basketball courts. They provide bright, white light and are known for their high intensity. However, they have a relatively short lifespan and require frequent replacement.

2. LED Lights: LED lights have gained popularity in recent years due to their energy efficiency and durability. They provide excellent illumination and have a longer lifespan compared to metal halide lights. Although they can be more expensive initially, the cost is offset by their energy-saving benefits.

3. Fluorescent Lights: Fluorescent lights are commonly used for indoor basketball courts. They offer good lighting quality and are cost-effective. However, they may not be as bright as metal halide or LED lights.

Placement of Lighting Fixtures

Proper placement of lighting fixtures is crucial to ensure uniform illumination across the entire basketball court. Here are some guidelines to follow:

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1. Height: The height of the lighting fixtures is essential to avoid glare and shadows. For outdoor courts, the lights should be positioned at a height of 20-30 feet, while for indoor courts, the height can range from 15-25 feet.

2. Angles: The fixtures should be angled in a way that minimizes shadows on the court. This can be achieved by placing the lights at a 30-45 degree angle towards the center of the court.

3. Spacing: The spacing between the lighting fixtures determines the uniformity of lighting. For outdoor courts, the fixtures should be placed about 70-100 feet apart, while for indoor courts, the spacing can be slightly closer, ranging from 50-80 feet.

Other Considerations

Apart from the type of lighting fixtures and their placement, there are a few other factors to consider when lighting up a basketball court at night:

1. Light Pollution: To minimize light pollution, it is important to use fixtures with proper shielding and cut-off angles. This will prevent unnecessary light spillage beyond the court area.

2. Maintenance: Regular maintenance of the lighting system is crucial to ensure consistent performance. This includes cleaning the fixtures, checking for any damaged bulbs or wiring, and replacing them promptly.

3. Energy Efficiency: Opting for energy-efficient lighting fixtures, such as LED lights, not only reduces energy consumption but also saves on electricity costs in the long run.


1. Can I use regular floodlights for lighting up a basketball court?
Regular floodlights may not provide sufficient illumination for a basketball court. It is recommended to use specific lighting fixtures designed for sports facilities to ensure proper lighting levels and uniformity.

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2. How many lighting fixtures do I need for my basketball court?
The number of lighting fixtures required depends on the size of the court and the desired lighting levels. A professional lighting designer can help determine the optimal number of fixtures based on these factors.

3. Are LED lights more expensive than other options?
LED lights may have a higher upfront cost compared to other lighting options. However, their energy-saving benefits and longer lifespan offset the initial investment in the long term.

4. Can I install the lighting fixtures myself?
It is recommended to hire a professional electrician or lighting specialist to install the lighting fixtures. They have the expertise and knowledge to ensure a safe and proper installation.

In conclusion, lighting up a basketball court at night requires careful consideration of the type of lighting fixtures, their placement, and other important factors. By following the guidelines mentioned in this article, you can create a well-illuminated basketball court that allows for safe and enjoyable gameplay, extending the hours of fun well into the evening.