How to Light up a Basketball Court at Night?

Staying out late at night at basketball courts is an addiction all sports lovers can relate to. Especially when the streets are quiet, the only sound you hear is the echo of a basketball bouncing on and on. A therapy for some and past times for many, right?

It’s all fun and games for as long as there is enough light illuminating the dark.

Once the lights runoff and the pitch darkness takes over the court, you are on your toes to go back home.

But what if you know how to light up a basketball court at night the right way?

Sounds mesmerizing, right? Well, read along!

how to light up a basketball court at night

Why Do You Need Additional Lighting to Play Basketball at Night?

Before you get to light up your court, it is utmost to know why illuminating the dark from the court is paramount to the game.

If too much glare can blind the players and prohibit their performances, inadequate light can increase the risks of injury.

Especially in a game like a basketball, which requires players to dodge opponents and run abruptly, the probabilities of injuries shoot up when there is no clear vision.

Moreover, without a clear sight, you may not be able to give your optimum performance on the court.

When you have to guess every time where the hoop is, you will take extra seconds to ascertain the surroundings and then take your shot. That too, with no guarantee of scoring a basket.

And so, the right amount of luminaries at night on the court can not only enhance your game but will save you from unwanted injuries.

But, here the question arises, what exactly is the right amount of light for a basketball game? Well, let’s find out!

How Much Light Do You Need for a Basketball Court at Night?

The amount of light required for a basketball court varies from court to court and arena to arena.

However, there is a standard level of 200 Lux for a 4700-square-foot court, which is approximately 200 lux x 437 = 87400 lumens.

Though this level works best for a non-televised game and lumen numbers differ for a televised one.

Although the standard level is the same for both outdoor and indoor courts, there is a slight difference in the installations of fixtures in the two courts.

1. How to Light up Indoor Basketball Court at Night?

In an indoor basketball court or stadium, the floor is of glossy characteristic.

A substantial glare from lighting fixtures can reflect on the players, which will shorten their visibility.

Moreover, making it difficult for them to play and come to the optimum of their abilities.

Therefore, indoor basketball courts require a certain amount of glare. But worry not! You can still fix that extra glare by taking some steps.

For instance, install the ceiling light fixtures facing upwards to illuminate the court with reflective light.

However, with this, you need extra power LEDs to make up for the light which gets absorbed by the ceiling.

2. How to Light up Outdoor Basketball Court at Night?

The outdoor basketball court lighting settings differ from the ones in home courts.

Some use a single overly powered fixture with an incorrect installation that only covers a specific area with light and abandons the rest of the court.

In outdoor courts, the light needs to be in a position from where the light can spread evenly throughout the court without disturbing the players and the spectators.

Therefore, placing the fixtures on both sides of the court will light up the court better.

However, if you want to light up half courts, modern LEDs situated above the hoop will give an excellent lighting experience by enhancing your vision.

How Can You Light up a Basketball Court at Night?

Any light can eradicate the darkness – mindset can lead you to make bad choices. It is quite simple to think like that and purchase any light that catches your eye.

However, there are some things to keep in mind before getting the lights for your court.

1. Consider Your Court Dimensions

Firstly, measure the dimensions of your court. Although the standard size of the basketball court is 28 by 15 meters, not all the courts need to be following that standard.

Therefore, measure the dimensions of your courts before anything else.

So you know the required foot candles to place the lights in the right positions.

2. Choose the Right Lux Level

After measuring the dimensions, you can feasibly calculate the total number of lumens required for your court. So this is the next step.

If your basketball court follows the standard size of 4700-square-foot, then you know how many lumens you need to brighten up your court, right?

However, if you are playing on half-court or any sized-court other than the standard one and want to light it up, you may follow the previous step.

And then calculate the total lumens by multiplying 200 lux by the size of the court.

3. Create Glare-free environment

Another factor to keep in mind when getting the lights for the basketball court is to prefer anti-glare lights over the glare ones.

You saw above how the glare can irritate the players and spectators who take equal interest in the game by disorienting them.

Thus, you will need to create a glare-free environment to give them a top-notch experience, especially for an indoor court. 

4. Consider LED Fixtures

The last step of designing the court is to get the lighting fixtures.

For a residential backyard court, LED lights can be the best investment. Although the initial cost is higher, it saves a lot on electricity bills.

LED lights produce more lumens per watt than any other light out there, which makes them suitable for televised games too.

Furthermore, their high color rendering (CRI) capability makes them essential for top-level competitions where everything needs to be perfect.

But for smaller or recreational courts where you can neglect CRI, you can purchase high-pressure sodium fixtures. It is a fair alternative if your initial budget is tight for LED lights.

Once you have decided on the fixtures, the next is to install them. You will need to place the fixtures in a position that assists the players with better visibility.

If light fixtures are for an indoor court, mount them just 3 to 4 feet below the ceiling.

And for the outdoor courts, 10 to 12 meters tall lamp poles will work fine.


1. How to Turn on Basketball Court Lights?

Before turning on the lights, keep in mind that the surge protection is on.

A sudden spike in electricity power can shorten the life of your LEDs or might even damage them completely.

2. How Tall Should Basketball Court Lights Be?

In an outdoor court, the height of the lamps is generally about 10 to 12 meters.

But for the indoor court, the installation is a bit crafty.

You will need fixtures facing the ceilings and installed 21 to 22 feet above the gym.

So there is enough space for the extra glare to diffuse and players and audiences have better visibility.

3. How Many Lumens Are in an Indoor Basketball Court?

A standard 4700-square-foot indoor court requires 200 LUX or 87400 lumens.

Let’s do some basic maths.

The LED light in a basketball court has approximately 150 lumens per watt.

If you want to find the total power required, divide 87400 lumens by 150 lumens per watt, which will leave you with 583 watts in the answer.

Thus, approximately you will need 583 watts of LED to light up your indoor court.