Its Time For March Madness! Basketball Lighting Blog

It’s that time again lighting fans, March Madness! 64 teams enter the bracket and only one comes out on top. I cannot wait to see my favorite school performing under the lights. President Obama may have chosen Indiana as his champion, but I, Dr. Bulb, have put my money on Louisville taking home the title. While watching these incredibly talented young men compete, you have to remember that they were not always playing on the big stage. Most basketball players learn the game at a young age on an outdoor court, hopefully one with quality lighting that allowed them to continue playing even after the sun went down.

There are a few options when it comes to basketball court lighting; induction lighting, LED lighting and probe start and pulse start metal halide lighting.

  • Induction lighting: Incredible lamp life, up to 100,000 hours, also the most expensive.

  • LED Lighting: Lamp life of 50,000 hours, good color rendering index, very energy efficient.

  • Probe start metal halide: Lamp life of 20,000 hours, 5-10 minute start up.

  • Pulse start metal halide: Extended lamp life, reduced maintenance costs, consistent color and less energy use for more lumens.

I, Dr. Bulb have done extensive research on value and light quality and have come to the conclusion that pulse start metal halide basketball court lighting is the best overall option. Pulse start metal halide lighting uses an electrical ballast that controls fluctuations in the lamp. Other types of lamps experience these fluctuations, which over time will change the color of the lamps. Having one of my basketball court lights be yellow and the other be blue would really throw off my jumpshot. Pulse start lamps are able to maintain a constant color throughout their life because the advanced ballasts.

Pulse start metal halide lamps last 5,000-10,000 hours longer than probe start metal halides and allow for 14% less lumen depreciation. In addition to the low price of pulse start lamps is the large energy savings. Pulse start lamps create more lumens while using equal electricity, which is good for the environment and your bank account. A quick startup time of about two minutes means that no time is wasted when you want to get outside and practice your free throws.

So good luck to all the schools fortunate enough to be involved in March Madness. You can bet that I, Dr. Bulb, will have my eyes glued to the TV as the top teams in the nation battle it out to hoist the champion trophy over their heads. I will also be cheering for the lights to function properly, unlike at this years Super Bowl.


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General Lighting Sports Metal-Halide

2013 Super Bowl MVP Pick Disillusionist

I, Dr Bulb am a positive guy, but some things just are not right, like the selection of the 2013 Super Bowl MVP. Joe Flacco was the winning quarterback and was selected as MVP, but was that the right choice? No. Jacoby Jones would have been an excellent choice as he made a record tying 108-yard kickoff return and touchdown.

Why the light bulbs? When the lights went out, the game stopped. 34 minutes later when the lights went back on the game was able to continue. There was nothing as important to the game as the MVP light bulbs!

Light bulb aficionados know New Orleans Superdome arena is lit by sports lighters that use metal halide lamps. While most are looking at the game, I sit looking up wondering if the lighting is metal halide or pulse start metal halide. In this case the timing made it obvious, metal halide.

When the lights went out, a 15-minute cool down period was required. The cool down might have taken place while power was being restored. Once power was restored there is a restrike time. This is the 7 to 8 minutes it takes for the metal halide lamps to come back up to full power. Once the sports lighters were all on and the lamps came up to full power the game could resume.

No light. No game. Lights on. Let the games begin. The light bulbs should be MVP. I rest my case.

General Lighting Sports LED

Could This LED Lighting Innovation Change The Way Sports Are Played?

Hey there sports lighting fans! Dr. Bulb here, providing some exciting news about a new development in LED sports lighting. A recent article explains that a high school in Germany has installed a gym floor that uses LED lights for changeable boundary lines. What this means, is that a gymnasium can turn from a basketball court to a volleyball court to a tennis court without having messy overlapping lines. The possibilities of LED lights in the floor are endless! The lights could show the score of a basketball game right through the floor, or flash to the beat of a song in a dance club. I can just see myself, Dr. Bulb, doing the electric slide across a dance floor lit by LED lights. Check out this amazing YouTube video about the new lighting technology here.

Aside from the endless possibilities of a gym that can change its lines at the flick of a switch, an LED floor offers important environmental benefits. Unlike fluorescent lighting, LED does not contain toxins like mercury, making them safe and environmentally friendly to dispose. LED lights last longer than standard bulbs because they don’t have the fragile parts like filaments and igniters that cause bulbs to break down. Without these extra parts, there is nothing to stop LED bulbs from lasting for years.

LED lighting is Dr. Bulb-approved for a gymnasium floor because of the durability of LEDs. LED lights are built sturdy and resistant to vibrations and shocks, perfect for bouncing a basketball or spiking a volleyball. The LED lights are covered by glass flooring that mimics the wood floor of a basketball court. The company that designed the floor conducted “bounce tests” to make sure that a basketball bounces equally high on the glass surface as it does on a regular basketball court. One illuminating option is the possibility to combine the floor with sensor technologies. The LED lights could display exactly where a ball landed or where a player stepped out of bounds. It could ensure that the referee would never miss a game-changing call again.

I have told you before about the importance of sports lighting such as tennis court lighting, but LEDs under the court could change the game. I foresee some awesome glow in the dark basketball games and maybe even some new sports that have never been possible before.

Have more sports lighting questions? For more information on LED lighting and lighting innovation call or live-chat a lighting specialist at Access Fixtures.


Tennis Court Lighting on the Big Stage: The Australian Open

I, Dr. Bulb, am a tennis fanatic. It is hard to believe that it is already time for the Australian Open again. I am very excited to watch my favorite players like Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic compete under the lights at the Rod Laver Arena!

The Aussie Open is a two week event that often goes late into the night. Something most tennis fans take for granted, but would never go unnoticed by Dr. Bulb, is the high quality tennis court lighting used on all the courts.

Here’s an informational lesson on competition level tennis court lighting vs. recreational tennis court lighting, from me, Dr. Bulb! There are a few issues you might not have thought about – not every tennis court is lit the same way. In large venues, the lighting is likely to be stadium lighting. Lighting poles would be approximately 40-45 ft tall, with a greater number of lights than for any recreational tennis court. A typical venue of that stature might use 1000 or 1500 watt pulse start metal halide sports lighters.

Recreational tennis court lighting is done slightly differently, however. There are usually fewer lights in the immediate area. Although higher poles permit more even lighting, to save on costs recreational tennis courts tend to limit pole height. A lighting specialist can help determine appropriate pole height limit to save on cost while distributing light evenly. To see examples of recreational tennis lighting, click here.

Looking into lighting your own recreational or commercial tennis court? Access Fixtures has a complete line of tennis court lighting options including recreational tennis court lighting, club tennis court lighting, and competition level tennis court lighting.