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Floodlights for Tennis Court

Does what it says on the tin
MyNameIsUrl
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Floodlights for Tennis Court

#518847

Postby MyNameIsUrl » August 1st, 2022, 5:05 pm

We want to upgrade the floodlights on our village tennis court to led units. The court already has an 8m pole at each corner and we plan to have an electrician with a cherry-picker take off the old units and replace with new led units. Our problem is determining what light output led unit we need.

I imagined suppliers would be able to tell us what light output we need based on the configuration of the poles – for example: ‘four corner poles – use our 800W lamp on each pole’ or ‘six poles, corners and net – use our 600W lamps’. But in practice, we’re finding the suppliers are upselling a highly expensive bespoke service where they visit and quote many, many thousands of pounds for essentially the same service as our local firm of commercial electricians who expect to do the job in a day. Maybe they are used to visiting the country estates of the super-rich.

Has anyone any experience of flood lighting a tennis court? If anyone knows of a similar layout and could find out the wattage (or more specifically the lumens) that would be a great starting point for us.

Of course we know the LTA guidelines for the required lighting intensity on the court, but there is no need to start from first principles when these fittings are in use on hundreds of courts across the country.

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Re: Floodlights for Tennis Court

#518863

Postby Hallucigenia » August 1st, 2022, 5:26 pm

MyNameIsUrl wrote:Of course we know the LTA guidelines for the required lighting intensity on the court, but there is no need to start from first principles when these fittings are in use on hundreds of courts across the country.


By the same token - if you're members, why not just ask the LTA as to what their guidelines translate to on the ground? I imagine they will have a "community facilities" person who deals with these kind of questions every day, it's the sort of practical stuff that those kind of bodies are usually very good at.

I can't help directly but having been on the receiving end - it may be worth looking at planning applications for similar installations, my memory is that they usually specify that lights of X watts will be used.

More generally - make sure that you don't need a separate planning permission, may be worth talking to the council about it. A nearby tennis club seem to be forever doing planning applications for fairly minor variations in lighting installations. And do think about your neighbours, not only is it very wasteful to light outside the playing areas, it's really antisocial to anyone living in the vicinity. Think about screening etc.

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Re: Floodlights for Tennis Court

#518864

Postby Dod101 » August 1st, 2022, 5:33 pm

Do you not know what the current output is in Watts? Have you never replaced a lighting bulb/unit? If you do know, it should be straightforward to obtain the equivalent LED unit, I think usually about 10% of the original wattage but an electrician could surely advise.

Dod

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Re: Floodlights for Tennis Court

#518902

Postby 9873210 » August 1st, 2022, 7:53 pm

I would expect the existing lights are some sort of gas discharge rather than incandescent. If they are incandescence the OP should know because somebody is replacing bulbs regularly. :twisted: Estimates of existing lumens from the wattage depends on the type of light, if you assume they are incandescent you may seriously underspec any replacements.

I'd ask why the lights are being replaced. Do you want to save energy*? get better lighting? replace old units before they fail? In the first two cases some expertise is required. At a guess you'll be spending several to many thousand on lights and installation and many hundred a year on electricity. Spending something on design would be justified. OTOH many, many thousand for a bespoke plan** seems a bit much.

* Some gas discharge lamps are almost as efficient as LEDs, so there may be a long payback time.
** As the OP says there are many similar courts so it's not that bespoke.

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Re: Floodlights for Tennis Court

#518970

Postby DrFfybes » August 1st, 2022, 10:44 pm

Find out who maintains your local Council streetlights and contact them, or search for streetlighting contractors nearby. SEC, Highline, McCann's, R&M, loads around, depends where you live.

LEDs tend to use about 1/3 of the energy of gas discharge lights, so not a uge energy saving, except they should last a lot longer if you get a decent make and don't over-drive them. Each pole will need testing again after installation, and get the columns inspected as well.

At least they'll be switched from somewhere, so you avoid the £300 charge for the discon/recon charge to the mains.

And get shades fitted to make sure the light only goes where wanted.

Paul

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Re: Floodlights for Tennis Court

#519024

Postby AF62 » August 2nd, 2022, 9:19 am

And as mentioned in the LTA guidance on floodlights (https://www.lta.org.uk/4ad167/siteasset ... idance.pdf) make sure any planning permission covers the change to LED.

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Re: Floodlights for Tennis Court

#519412

Postby dealtn » August 3rd, 2022, 11:02 am

MyNameIsUrl wrote:We want to upgrade the floodlights on our village tennis court to led units.



Why?

I have experience in doing this for a football club so I imagine the experience is similar. Without knowing the answer to my short question you will get an assumed and probably wrong answer and incorrect advice (as you would from a simple electrician or floodlight expert).

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Re: Floodlights for Tennis Court

#519578

Postby csearle » August 3rd, 2022, 6:55 pm

MyNameIsUrl wrote:If anyone knows of a similar layout and could find out the wattage (or more specifically the lumens) that would be a great starting point for us.
Yes my electrician colleague John recently went through this whole process for the floodlight upgrade at these tennis courts in East Grinstead. I am not sure if he got the job (I certainly was not involved if he did). I will have an opportunity to ask him how he worked it out for his quote on Monday. Hope that's not too late. It certainly was quite involved I recall.

Chris

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Re: Floodlights for Tennis Court

#519726

Postby MyNameIsUrl » August 4th, 2022, 10:15 am

dealtn wrote:
MyNameIsUrl wrote:We want to upgrade the floodlights on our village tennis court to led units.



Why?


The existing lights are unreliable and parts are obsolete. We luckily managed to get a second-hand replacement ballast a while ago, but we think the unreliability is not something we want to go into next winter with.

Led fittings will save a lot of money through reduced power consumption.

Modern fittings have less light-spill and this is a benefit we can give to the local residents.

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Re: Floodlights for Tennis Court

#519735

Postby MyNameIsUrl » August 4th, 2022, 10:31 am

csearle wrote:I will have an opportunity to ask him how he worked it out for his quote on Monday. Hope that's not too late. It certainly was quite involved I recall.

Chris


Thanks Chris, that would be very helpful. As I said in my OP, I don't expect to have to perform complex calculations - there must be industry experience which tells us, for example, that 4 corner posts requires 4X 800W of a particular model, and the manufacturers/suppliers must know that. In exactly the same way that if I asked you to fit downlighters in my lounge, your experience would allow you to say 2 in the utility, 4 in the kitchen, 8 in the lounge - you wouldn't get bogged down on every single job with calculations on lux and lumens.

It would be much appreciated if your mate could give us any pointers, such as helpful suppliers. We are already confident we have the non-technicalissues - such as planning - covered. Thanks.

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Re: Floodlights for Tennis Court

#519744

Postby dealtn » August 4th, 2022, 10:53 am

MyNameIsUrl wrote:
dealtn wrote:
MyNameIsUrl wrote:We want to upgrade the floodlights on our village tennis court to led units.



Why?


The existing lights are unreliable and parts are obsolete. We luckily managed to get a second-hand replacement ballast a while ago, but we think the unreliability is not something we want to go into next winter with.

Led fittings will save a lot of money through reduced power consumption.

Modern fittings have less light-spill and this is a benefit we can give to the local residents.


Agreed, and that's your trade off. It will determine the route you take.

The light output is only going to be a variable (although an important one) in your consideration. Light spill is another. As is cost.

More expensive lights reduce light spill (and the total number of lights, thus some cost). They also cost more up front - and you are unlikely to get a finance plan in place. So who benefits and who pays, and when? Your neighbours benefit, and may even see a benefit in higher house prices, but our experience suggests you will be unlikely to capture any of their benefit financially. Future members may also benefit, and you might capture this through additional memberships at increased subscriptions.

My suspicion is, given the "village" is your trade off is to be less precise and efficient, but leave the option of adding more lights in the future if required, and can be afforded. I would seek the advice of the LTA or alternative clubs. There is likely a forum where Club Secretaries are happy to discuss, much like in professional football.

Our switch led to a six figure cost in Championship level lights we expect to keep for 10+ years (although our poles will either be moved or replaced on a shorter time frame). The electricity consumption cost pay back will be long. Partly because our "brightness" has more than doubled. So a comparison with same brightness with LED would have a much quicker pay back. Our brightness is x2 plus. That of our neighbours is a >10 fold reduction in light spillage. Top quality laser fitted LED "sniper rifle" are far superior to non-LED "shotgun"

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Re: Floodlights for Tennis Court

#520821

Postby csearle » August 8th, 2022, 8:21 pm

MyNameIsUrl wrote:It would be much appreciated if your mate could give us any pointers, such as helpful suppliers.
So I had a word. Actually I got the wrong tennis court earlier. We were were working together on the house next door and I got the wrong end of the stick.

Anyway, the one he quoted for has just one court with six 6m high posts. Each has a 300W LED floodlight on it. They wanted warm white (which apparently is unusual as normally I understand daylight colour is preferred). The people in question were very much concerned with light-spill and insisted on baffles behind the light fittings to prevent light annoying the neighbours. It turns out my mate was not involved in the "calculation" but was aware that is had been an almighty pfaff. He was simply asked to quote for procuring and erecting the replacement floodlights. He is awaiting a decision. I might well end up teetering around in the bucket of a telehandler (again). My mate is not keen on heights.

I didn't ask about the manufacturer. Could ask tomorrow.

Chris

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Re: Floodlights for Tennis Court

#520831

Postby MyNameIsUrl » August 8th, 2022, 8:44 pm

csearle wrote:...the one he quoted for has just one court with six 6m high posts. Each has a 300W LED floodlight on it.

Thanks Chris, that fact alone is really helpful

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Re: Floodlights for Tennis Court

#521148

Postby csearle » August 9th, 2022, 7:51 pm

MyNameIsUrl wrote:Thanks Chris, that fact alone is really helpful
Ok so over a pint I quizzed him further. He has (already) bought from Armadillo Lighting but the lead-time was humungous apparently. He has already paid £100/fitting over the odds to get them air-freighted in. I found out that the requirement for warm white was because they have a bat issue and the warm white was stipulated by the planning authorities(!)

He also pointed out that these LED lights, especially such powerful ones in parallel on the same sub-circuit could have a huge inrush current, unlike the conventional ones they are replacing, which might mean that the circuit breaker trips when switching them on. If this is the case then the normal type B circuit breakers might need to be replaced with type C (or even type D if your consumer unit manufacturer makes them). Failing that there are special DIN rail mounted inrush-current limiters available (if you, or your electrician, get to this stage of desperation then please let me know as I can help).

Chris

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Re: Floodlights for Tennis Court

#521289

Postby MyNameIsUrl » August 10th, 2022, 10:45 am

csearle wrote:
MyNameIsUrl wrote:Thanks Chris, that fact alone is really helpful
Ok so over a pint I quizzed him further. He has (already) bought from Armadillo Lighting but the lead-time was humungous apparently. He has already paid £100/fitting over the odds to get them air-freighted in. I found out that the requirement for warm white was because they have a bat issue and the warm white was stipulated by the planning authorities(!)

He also pointed out that these LED lights, especially such powerful ones in parallel on the same sub-circuit could have a huge inrush current, unlike the conventional ones they are replacing, which might mean that the circuit breaker trips when switching them on. If this is the case then the normal type B circuit breakers might need to be replaced with type C (or even type D if your consumer unit manufacturer makes them). Failing that there are special DIN rail mounted inrush-current limiters available (if you, or your electrician, get to this stage of desperation then please let me know as I can help).

Chris

Thanks Chris, all duly noted. It's difficult to work up enthusiasm for floodlights in this weather, but the dark evenings will be upon us before we know it, so your point about lead times is valuable.


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