Not all schools can afford to have a volleyball court installed. If the school is lucky enough to have a court, it makes sense to make sure that there is ample lighting so students can use it as much as possible throughout the year.
This article will discuss what types of lighting are available and which ones should be used for the best effect. There will also be some information on planning properly around lights for installation timeframes.
There are three major types of light fixtures that are appropriate for installation above a volleyball court: troffers, high bays, and medium bays.
Each fixture type has its own advantages and disadvantages in regards to energy efficiency, lumens output, cost, maintenance issues, etc., but they should all provide an appropriate level of illumination for a volleyball court.
Types of Lights Fixtures
What are high bays?
High bays are tall fixtures, usually installed around 50 feet in height, that provide general illumination for parking lots and warehouses. They are the least expensive option, but also the most energy-intensive.
What are medium bays?
Medium bays are fixtures commonly used above loading docks or inside warehouses to provide light to specific areas. These can be up to 30 feet high and tend to be more efficient than high bays while still providing plenty of light for a volleyball court.
What are troffers?
Troffer lights (or troffers) are recessed fluorescent fixtures that mount directly into the ceiling or walls. Troffer ceilings give off great lighting for the price, come in many different styles (some even designed with the school colors), are easy to install, and are relatively inexpensive.
Which One Should I Choose?
While all three types of fixtures will provide sufficient illumination for a volleyball court, troffer lights are often recommended because they allow for higher ceilings than medium bay or high bays while still providing great energy efficiency.
They also tend to be among the most cost-effective option as well—especially when you factor in how much it would cost to have lines painted onto an outdoor surface compared to just installing new lights above an existing playing area.
The only real downside with choosing troffer lights is that they need to be installed by a professional with experience and the proper equipment, but with careful planning, this can be scheduled in with other renovations or scheduled around times when games aren’t taking place.
High bays are usually preferred as they offer the most efficient and provide even light distribution across the surface of the court. However, high bays with metal halide bulbs can be very expensive to operate; up to three times that of an equivalent-wattage LED fixture.
High bays generally emit at least 7500 lumens per bulb with some emitting up to 13,000 lumens (compared to 200-300 lumens emitted by fluorescent troffers).
If high bay fixtures are installed with mercury vapor or sodium lamps, the energy costs will be proportionately increased along with maintenance costs due to more frequent lamp changes required (20+ months vs. 32+ months for metal halide).
Medium bays are also commonly used as they provide lots of light with an efficient level of energy usage. They will provide more than enough light for use on a volleyball court and can be powered by fluorescent or LED bulbs which have long lifespans and low energy costs.
However, many schools have been replacing their metal halide high bays with LED fixtures because of lower operating costs – making medium bay fixtures less common overall.
In addition to the lower maintenance effort required, LED lights typically last longer than metal halide even though these two technologies deliver comparable lumen output per bulb.
For example, a typical 200-300 lumen metal halide bulb should last about 20,000 hours while a typical LED light will last well over 100,000 hours.
LED fixtures are often preferred by schools that have parking lots or other areas outside where they need to illuminate for security purposes. They are very energy-efficient but also come in different styles and colors (some are even available in red/yellow/green which is helpful when lighting football fields).
The major downside of LED lights is the cost to purchase them. Most medium bay fixtures run between $500 – $1,200 per fixture depending on lumens output and features.
While this price tag may be prohibitive for many schools with tight budgets, it’s important to remember that LED fixtures can pay for themselves quickly due to low energy costs.
Troffers are short, three-foot-long fixtures that generally emit about 200-300 lumens.
They are an excellent option for lighting a volleyball court as they can be installed practically anywhere and use very little energy due to their low lumen output which allows them to run off of T12 or T8 fluorescent bulbs.
Troffers provide even light distribution across the surface of a court and can be mounted much lower than metal halide or LED fixtures.
This is one major reason why troffers are a great choice as they won’t obstruct students’ views from seating areas above the court or block any lines on the floor that may be used for instructional purposes (such as “feet, shoulders, hips” in serving).
Troffers can limit ceiling height because the top of the light fixture is at a 90-degree angle further limiting headroom, but they do provide great lighting for volleyball courts.
These are sometimes used for volleyball courts but most schools prefer high bays and medium bays because they provide greater light output and uniformity. We still think that this is your best bet if you have the budget.
Although troffers can be purchased with metal halide bulbs (an option not available in either high bay or medium bay fixtures), this wattage is typically too low to illuminate a regulation court properly.
Troffers are generally less expensive than either high bays or medium bays; however, their lumen output per bulb is also much lower (no more than about 1500 lumens).
This level of brightness works best when multiple troffers are installed above a basketball or tennis court where shorter throws combined with multiple fixtures will provide the necessary light levels.
Comparing Light Fixture Options
When selecting a lighting solution for your volleyball court, energy efficiency should be a priority. LED lights are known for their energy efficiency, followed by fluorescent troffers and then metal halide high bays. Be sure to factor in the long-term energy costs when deciding which lighting option is best for your budget.
Lumens output is a measure of the brightness of a light source. The higher the lumens output, the brighter the light. High bays typically have the highest lumens output, providing the best illumination for a volleyball court. Medium bays and troffers have lower lumens output, but can still be suitable options if arranged correctly to provide adequate light coverage.
Installation and Maintenance
The installation process and maintenance requirements for each type of light fixture may differ. Troffer lights require professional installation, but they are relatively easy to maintain.
High bays and medium bays might be more challenging to install and maintain, especially when it comes to changing bulbs or addressing other issues that may arise. Keep these factors in mind when choosing the best lighting solution for your school’s volleyball court.
Each type of light fixture comes with different costs, both in terms of initial investment and long-term expenses. While LED lights may be more expensive upfront, their energy efficiency and long lifespan can save money in the long run.
Metal halide high bays are generally cheaper to purchase but can be more expensive to operate and maintain. Consider your school’s budget and weigh the pros and cons of each option before making a decision.
Choosing the Right Lighting Solution for Your School
When selecting the best lighting solution for your school’s volleyball court, consider the factors mentioned above, such as energy efficiency, lumens output, installation and maintenance, and cost. It’s essential to evaluate the needs of your specific court and school, and to consult with professionals if necessary, to make an informed decision.
Planning and Scheduling for Light Installation
Proper planning is crucial when it comes to installing lighting for your volleyball court. Coordinate with professionals to determine the best time to install the lights, taking into account the school’s schedule, the availability of the installation crew, and any other factors that may affect the project timeline. By planning ahead, you can minimize disruptions to the school’s activities and ensure a smooth installation process.
What is the most energy-efficient lighting option for a volleyball court?
LED lights are the most energy-efficient option, followed by fluorescent troffers and metal halide high bays.
How important is lumens output when selecting lighting for a volleyball court?
Lumens output is crucial for providing adequate illumination on the court. High bays typically offer the highest lumens output, while medium bays and troffers have lower outputs.
Which type of light fixture is the most cost-effective option for a volleyball court?
While LED lights may have a higher initial cost, their energy efficiency and long lifespan can save money in the long run. Metal halide high bays are generally cheaper upfront but may have higher operating and maintenance costs.
How can I schedule the installation of lights for my school’s volleyball court with minimal disruption?
Plan ahead by coordinating with professionals and considering the school’s schedule and other factors that may affect the installation timeline. This will help minimize disruptions to the school’s activities and ensure a smooth installation process.
Can troffers be installed in a volleyball court with a low ceiling?
Yes, troffers can be installed in a volleyball court with a low ceiling. Although they might limit the overall ceiling height, they still provide adequate lighting for the court. However, it’s essential to consult with professionals to ensure the lighting solution meets the specific needs of your court.
Is it necessary to hire a professional to install the lighting for a volleyball court?
While it’s possible to install some lighting options on your own, it’s highly recommended to hire a professional with experience and the proper equipment to ensure a safe and proper installation, especially for troffer lights.
What factors should I consider when choosing between high bay, medium bay, and troffer lighting for my school’s volleyball court?
When selecting a lighting solution, consider factors such as energy efficiency, lumens output, installation and maintenance requirements, and cost. Evaluate your school’s specific needs and budget before making a decision.
How can I ensure the lighting solution I choose is safe and suitable for my school’s volleyball court?
Consult with professionals, such as lighting specialists and electricians, to make sure the lighting solution you choose is safe and suitable for your school’s volleyball court. They can help you evaluate the various factors involved and make an informed decision that will benefit your school and its students.
How can schools plan and schedule the installation of lighting solutions for their volleyball court with minimal disruption?
Schools should plan ahead by coordinating with professionals and considering the school’s schedule and other factors that may affect the installation timeline. This will help minimize disruptions to the school’s activities and ensure a smooth installation process.
How can schools ensure the lighting solution they choose is safe and suitable for their volleyball court?
Schools should consult with professionals, such as lighting specialists and electricians, to ensure the lighting solution they choose is safe and suitable for their volleyball court. They can help evaluate the various factors involved and make an informed decision that will benefit the school and its students.
Investing in the right lighting solution for your school’s volleyball court is crucial for ensuring a safe and enjoyable playing environment for students.
By considering the various factors involved, such as energy efficiency, lumens output, installation and maintenance, and cost, you can make an informed decision that will benefit your school and its students for years to come.