Everyone loves a good game of volleyball, but no one wants to lose a point because they couldn’t see the ball. Adequate lighting on the court ensures that players, audiences, referees, and cameras see the ball, making the game enjoyable for everyone. When deciding which type of light best fits your court, follow the regulations set by the local association. We at HomElectrical put together this guide to help you choose the perfect lighting to illuminate every bump, set, and spike!
Before we delve into the specific type of lighting your court needs, let’s go over the terminology associated with lights, specifically LED lights.
Lumens: Lumens measures the total amount of brightness of the fixture. When choosing LED lights, look at the lumens rather than watts, due to LEDs’ high brightness at a low wattage.
Lux: Lux represents 1 lumen per square meter. A 1,000 lumens fixture spread over 1 square meter has an illuminance level of 1,000 lumens. The same fixture spread over 10 square meters has a lower illuminance level of 100 lux.
Foot Candle: A foot candle represents 1 lumen per square foot.
Uniformity: Uniformity refers to the light distribution across the space. You can calculate uniformity by taking several lux samples and dividing the minimum by the maximum reading.
What is the difference between lux and lumens?
Lumens simply measures the total amount of light produced, while lux measures the light intensity. Lux changes based on the size of the area illuminated.
What is the difference between foot candles and lux?
Foot candles and lux both measure light intensity. The United States uses foot candles while Europe uses lux.
1 foot candle=10.764 lux
1 lux=0.09 foot candle
Level of Play
- For training or practice, you will want 200-400 lux (19-37 foot candles). You want a uniformity of 0.4-0.5.
High school, college, local competition:
- For high school, college, or local competitions, the lumens standard rises to 500 lux (46 foot candles). Use a uniformity of 0.5.
- For a regional broadcast, the requirement becomes more precise. Video cameras require at least 800 lux (74 foot candles) along with a uniformity of 0.6.
- For national broadcasts, lighting requires at least 1000 lux (93 foot candles), depending on the association guidelines. Additionally, the uniformity requirement increases to 0.6-0.7.
- A national championship competition, such as the Olympic games, requires at least 1,500 lux and 0.7 uniformity in order to showcase every play.
Indoor vs Sand Volleyball
The dimensions of the court determine exactly how you should light it. Indoor volleyball uses a bigger court (30’x60’) than sand volleyball (27’x53’).
Outdoor courts use pole lights, and you can choose a 2-pole (1 pole at each sideline) or a 4-pole (2 poles on each sideline) option. For competitions, use 4-pole lights. If you use pole lights, make sure to place them well outside the boundaries to give players room to chase far-flying balls. For an indoor court, use high bay lights that will stay out of the way of high-flying balls.
Regulations specify much more than just lux and uniformity requirements:
Glare and Flicker
Make sure glare rating stays under 50. You also need to ensure that your lights stay flicker-free. Broadcasted games require that the lights don’t flicker, even in slow motion.
For recreational play, opt for a warm white or cool white color of 5000K or under. For competitions, use a color temperature over 5000K.
Keep the lux in the surrounding area under 20 to reduce the light pollution outside of the volleyball court.
Weather and Heat
When installing lights in an outdoor court, choose ones that resist the weather conditions that occur in your area. On a sand court by the beach, for example, you want your lights to withstand high winds and heavy rain.
When lighting an indoor court, use lights which resist heat. LED lights use a fin to reduce heat emissions, making them much cooler than other options.
Whether you want to replace your current system build a new volleyball court entirely, LED lights will ensure that you can see every play and follow all the regulations. Shop HomElectrical for a wide range of LED lights at competitive retail prices!