How Much Tennis Court Lighting Costs in 2018 (updated)

The costs of lighting changes from year to year. As technology gets better and demand increases, prices drop, efficiency increases, and everyone is in a win-win situation. With this ever changing landscape comes misinformation, which is why we have put together this post.

This post is going to lay out the true tennis court lighting costs for 2018. On top of that, we are going to go over some tips and things to be on the look out for in regards to choosing the best light fixture for your tennis court that will save you money and produce the best illumination possible.

This post will be broken into two parts; the average costs that are associated with the actual light fixtures themselves and the costs associated with them. Then, the average costs of powering your lights and how to achieve a higher return on investment by being a smart buyer.

Let's start off with defining what exactly tennis court lighting is, and why it matters.

Defining Tennis Court Lighting

For starters, tennis court lighting is the application term for high bay lights (indoors), flood lights (indoors or outdoors), shoebox lights (outdoor pole mounted) or sport lights (typically found in stadiums). 

Flood Lights are the most common type of light fixture found in sporting applications for the reason that they output such high amounts of light (or lumens) and are made to be installed on top of high up tennis court light poles.
In regards to other technical terms, there are many that go far beyond the scope of this post. But, we think you should know the definition of lumens as we use it quite often. Technically, a lumen is the SI unit of luminous flux. Although that doesn't say much, just know that lumens, in simple terms, is the amount of light being emitted by a given fixture. The more lumens, the more light you will have being output. 

Now that we have a basic understanding of what tennis court lights actually are, we can get into the real costs of tennis court lights. Hopefully, these costs allow you to be aware of all the options and give you a better understanding on how to go about selecting the proper lighting technology for your court.

The Costs of Your Tennis Court Light Fixtures

The costs associated with your tennis court / sport lights can vary greatly.
You will have five main factors that play into the actual costs:
1. The lighting technology being used (LED, metal halide, HPS, etc)
2. The company or place you purchase your lighting system from
3. Retrofitting or full replacement (note: retrofit kits are typically much cheaper - you can re-use your existing fixture)
4. Quantity of fixtures needed
5. Your tennis court foot candles (lux) requirements or desires
As with any industry, what brand you buy from and what technology you buy is going to be the biggest cost variable. The most important thing to keep in mind is not only the initial costs of a fixture, but also the costs of running such fixtures over the span of it's lifetime.

If, for example, you have one light that consumes 1000 watts of light and another that consumes 400 watts but the first one was only $500 and the second one was $1,000, which would you buy all else equal? Well, assuming they both output the same amount of light it actually makes sense to go with the second light, even though it costs twice as much.

Why you ask?

Because the cost to operate the 1000 watt light is more than double that of the 400 watt light, which over the lights lifespan can actually end up costing you much more to run the 1000w light.

These numbers aren't entirely fictional either, in fact; they are very close to real life examples we have seen when other tennis courts convert to LED technology from metal halide or HPS. What we haven't described in the above example though is other cost saving benefits that LED has besides just being more efficient; but we will get to that later.

As for actual costs, they can vary far too greatly for us to list here. It all depends on what lighting technology you choose (think LED, metal halide, etc), which company you buy from, the quantity you need, if you are retrofitting or fully replacing your fixture, and what your lumen output requirements are.

A quick note on retrofitting or replacing in simple terms; retrofitting is typically cheaper for a couple of reasons. Retrofitting in short, is the process of replacing only the luminaire source from your fixture, instead of the entire fixture itself.

In summary, it is far too variable to give a definitive price to all situations, as they are all unique. Keep in mind though, that a comparable LED fixture could cost double but, cut energy consumption by nearly 75% in some cases (along with the other benefits it offers). If you'd like us to give more exact numbers and comparisons, please contact us with your requirements and we will make the calculations for you!

Cost of Running Your Tennis Court Lights

Below we are going to run a simple comparison of the cost to run a typical metal halide high mast with a LED one.
We will keep things simple, and while we are referencing the LED vs metal halide cost to run in our example, the cost analysis can be run between any technologies in the same way. As you will see though after comparing metal halide's  cost to run vs LED, that LED is far more efficient and costs significantly less to run.
Let's get into the example:
Let us assume you have 10 lights. Currently, your high masts are metal halide and use 1,000 watts per fixture. Now, let’s assume you are looking for a more efficient technology and you come across LED Lights designed for a tennis court. You find a comparable light which will output the same amount of light (or lumens), but only consumes 400 watts per fixture.

In total, the metal halide lights are consuming 10,000 watts (assuming you have 10 lights) and the LEDs would be using only 4,000 watts if installed. That is 2.5 times less energy being consumed, which can visibility lead to huge savings.
This reduction from 1,000 watts to 400 watts per fixture in the metal halide to LED conversion in exactly why sports field, including tennis courts, are converting to LED.

Extra Tips for Reducing Costs

  • Choose LED tennis lights for the lowest energy consumption and retain high light output
  • The long lifespans of LED will reduce maintenance costs and replacement bulb purchase costs
  • Retrofit if you can as full fixture replacements can be more costly
  • Rebates can reduce the cost of your investment substantially – make sure you find out if your purchase will qualify for rebates beforehand if you can (rebates can reduce project costs by nearly 20-25%). Here on MyLEDLightingGuide, almost all of our fixtures are rebate eligible; just ask us and see.

MyLEDLightingGuide Stadium Lights


Hopefully the explanations of where the cost of tennis court lights are in 2018 have been thorough. While it's impossible to give exact prices for every scenario, we hope this has been a starting point to your tennis courts lighting system. If you'd like us to run some calculations and estimates on your behalf, get in touch with one of our lighting professionals by contacting us.

Alternatively, call a lighting professional at (888) 423-3191.


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