Illumination on padel courts: technical criteria and current regulations
The artificial illumination on sports facilities such as padel courts is governed by the technical criteria and requirements of the sport’s regulations. For example, the lighting requirements applicable to different competition categories and how light fixtures should be positioned in order to avoid glare. In comparison with traditional spotlights, floodlights with state-of-the-art LED technology are becoming increasingly popular because they are more efficient and durable.
This article addresses...
- FACTORS THAT SHOULD BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT AND CURRENT REGULATIONS
- TYPES OF LIGHTING ON PADEL COURTS FOR DIFFERENT ILLUMINATION NEEDS
- RECOMMENDED LIGHT FIXTURES AND THEIR HIGH-TECHNOLOGY FEATURES
Factors that should be taken into account and current regulations
Padel matches on regulation courts require an optimum source of light in order to guarantee correct visibility (of the ball, in particular) for players and spectators. Therefore, illumination must be uniform, avoid generation of glare and be positioned in such a way that players’, officials’ and spectators’ vision is not hindered. In short, the aim is to ensure comfort and convenience in terms of vision, and that matches can be played under the best possible conditions.
In Spain, the size of courts, their design and their lighting conditions are governed by the Sports Council in its regulations covering sports and recreation facilities (NIDE). Amongst other factors, padel courts need a minimum degree of horizontal illumination which is measured at ground level and in Lux (or the amount of light per square metre).
Types of lighting for padel courts depending on illumination needs
Not all regulation padel courts have the same illumination needs. Light fixture choice depends on the competition categories and sports for which a court is used and corresponding regulating standards must be adhered to. Spanish regulations UNE-EN 12193 ‘Lighting of sports facilities’ splits illumination of this kind into categories based on three different competition categories and distinguishes between indoor and outdoor courts.
Amongst other parameters such as colour rendering and brightness, the regulations establish minimum lighting levels in terms of average light (measured in Lux) and uniformity across the entire court.
- Category 1 lighting. Applicable to courts on which top national and international competition matches are played. The lighting requirements on these courts are very demanding and need to take into account a considerable number of spectators viewing matches from a distance. The minimum illumination level for outdoor courts is 500 Lx with 70% uniformity. The average illumination for indoor courts, meanwhile, is 750 Lx with 70% uniformity.
- Category 2 lighting. This category covers regional or local level competitions. For outdoor courts, this legislation recommends a minimum illumination level of 300 Lux with 70% uniformity. The required illumination for indoor facilities, meanwhile, is 500 Lx with 70% uniformity.
- Category 3 lighting. This category refers to courts used for training purposes, recreational use and school use. The minimum illumination level for outdoor courts is 200 Lx with 50% uniformity. The minimum required horizontal illumination for indoor facilities, meanwhile, is 300 Lx with 50% uniformity.
When padel matches are broadcast on television or when videos or other audiovisual means are being used, the regulations recommend a minimum vertical illumination of 1,000 Lx. Depending on the circumstances, this can be even greater.
In addition, lighting projects need to take into account the quantity, type and orientation of light fixtures as recommended in the corresponding legislation. Specifically, light installations consisting of four posts that are at least 6 metres tall and fitted with two spotlights or floodlights each are recommended.
Recommended light fixtures and their high-technology features
Aside from the lighting levels that padel courts need to meet depending on their category, light fixtures should meet a number of important technical requirements in order to provide optimum conditions for play. For example, orientation in order to avoid glare. Padel is a high-speed sport and this is why illumination levels and the trajectory of the light on the balls and players needs to be very precise indeed.
As such, spotlights and floodlights with the capacity to reduce glare through asymmetrical optics are recommended. They minimise glare as much as possible, making it easier for players to follow the trajectory of the ball without any loss of visibility. These light fixtures should not be fitted to the ceiling above courts in order to avoid glare of this kind.
Light fixtures with LED technology are now more popular than halogen spotlights for padel court lighting projects because of their many and significant advantages and because they have low maintenance costs.
Specifically, they decrease energy consumption quite considerably. LED floodlights guarantee savings of between 50 and 70% in comparison with halogen spotlights.
In addition, since these light fixtures turn on with immediate effect, time on the court can be maximised. The heat they emit is also limited which makes them particularly suitable for indoor courts where available space is limited. They are a very cost-effective investment which is quickly offset and they have a guaranteed long operating life.
Esdium Sport HE light fixtures are a first-rate option. They have leading technical features and optimise light distribution thanks to sophisticated LED technology and they are suitable for televised events. Their different lenses mean that they can address lighting needs of all kinds and, with their innovative design, they can be positioned in exactly the right place using individual, pivotable modules. They each have 18 LEDs. Their 100°, 41°, 32°, 21° and asymmetrical optics guarantee perfect performance levels and they have an estimated operating life of 60,000 hours.
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