4 Things to Consider When Installing Backyard Outdoor Basketball Lights

Sport court lit up

Installing outdoor basketball lights can significantly uplift the backyard basketball experience. Proper lighting transforms a home court, enabling you to enjoy games long after the sun has set. Court lighting adds a touch of professional flair to your personal space.

This initial step is all about understanding the basics and envisioning how a well-lit court can enhance evening play. Our guide covers everything from design considerations to lighting standards, ensuring your court is well-lit and a safe and inviting place to play.

Before Getting Started: Understanding Important Lighting Terms

Before diving into the intricacies of installing outdoor basketball lights, you must become familiar with key lighting terms. These terms appear throughout this guide and may show up in lighting products you intend to purchase:  

  • Footcandles: Footcandles are all about how much light there is on a court. Imagine how bright a single light bulb is one foot away from where you’re standing—that’s essentially a footcandle.
  • Lumens: Lumens measure the total light from a bulb or fixture. More lumens mean more light, so knowing this helps you choose bulbs bright enough for the whole court.

4 Considerations When Installing a Basketball Court with Lights

When you’re ready to light up your basketball court, remember these four key tips to help make an informed decision about the lighting design, features, and more. 

1. HID Lights vs. LED Lights for Outdoor Basketball Lighting 

HID lights, once the standard for outdoor basketball lighting, are known for their omnidirectional light distribution. However, they have significant drawbacks, such as quicker deterioration and harmful UV emissions. On the other hand, LED lights offer several benefits, making them a preferred choice for outdoor basketball courts with lights:

  • Longer Lifespan: LEDs last much longer than HID lights.
  • Energy Efficiency: They use less power, saving on electricity costs.
  • High-Quality Light: LEDs provide bright, clear lighting.
  • Low Maintenance: Requires less upkeep and fewer replacements.
  • Health and Safety: No UV emissions and a less harsh light to protect the eyes.
  • Glare Control: Features like anti-glare coatings and diffusers promote comfort while playing.
  • Impact Resistance: Light fixtures with impact resistance are designed to withstand accidental hits from basketballs.

2. Outdoor Basketball Light Design Considerations 

Designing your outdoor basketball court lighting involves a few key considerations to ensure optimal performance, including:

  • Your Court Size: Full-size or half-size courts have different lighting needs.
  • Surrounding Area: Consider the environment when choosing where to install a basketball court and whether to install a half or full court.  
  • Beam Angle: Once you know the size and placement of the basketball court, you should choose fixtures with an appropriate beam angle for the court’s layout.
  • Brightness Needs: The number of lumens required depends on court size and layout.

3.  Lighting Standards for Outdoor Basketball Lights 

Aiming for standard outdoor basketball lighting levels, lumens, and wattages is best. Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Lighting Level: Aim for about 10 footcandles. This level of brightness is generally sufficient for casual play and training sessions.
  • Lumens Requirement: You’ll need around 87,000 lumens to properly illuminate an outdoor full basketball court to ensure even court lighting and enhanced safety and visibility. If you’re wondering how many light lumens are needed for outdoor half-basketball courts, we recommend aiming for about 43,500 lumens.
  • Wattage Consideration: Typically, achieving optimal brightness levels requires approximately 700 watts. However, with advanced LED technology, you might discover more energy-efficient options.

4. Optional Outdoor Basketball Light Features

Enhancing your basketball court with the proper lighting features makes a big difference. Here are some optional features to consider for outdoor basketball lights:

  • Adjustable Levels: Change light intensity and color temperature as needed.
  • Dimming and Scheduling: Control light brightness and set timers for automatic operation.
  • Instant On: Most LED lights turn on immediately, with no warm-up time.
  • Flicker-Free: High-frequency drivers ensure a steady light without flickering, ensuring fewer distractions during a game.

Find an Outdoor Basketball Light Installer Today

Setting up the proper lighting for an outdoor basketball court enhances playability and safety. Each step is crucial for a well-lit court, from selecting the ideal fixtures to understanding the necessary footcandles, lumens, and wattage. 

Ready to illuminate your court? Find an installer today and take the first step toward your dream basketball setup.