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New LED lighting for indoor tennis facilities is ace

New LED lighting for indoor tennis facilities is ace 

LED lighting is perfectly suited to indoor sports facilities as it provides bright, even illumination and great visibility. Earlsmann has recently installed new LED lighting at the Hardwick House Real Tennis Court in Reading, Berkshire, one of only 43 such courts worldwide. Such an unusual space required a truly bespoke lighting solution; Earlsmann worked closely with the client from design to installation, providing a solution that enhanced the playing experience while also achieving savings of 60% in energy and maintenance costs.

The Real Tennis Court – an unusual space steeped in history

Hardwick House is a listed building, reputed to have inspired E. H. Shepard’s illustrations of ‘Toad Hall’ in the book The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. The Real Tennis Court, built in 1907, is enclosed by walls on all four sides, three of which have sloping roofs, known as ‘penthouses’.

The Friends of Hardwick Tennis Court approached Earlsmann to replace the existing 400W metal halide bay lights, following a recommendation from Crosfields School (where Earlsmann recently installed new sports hall lighting). Earlsmann’s Sales Director, Simon Thornton, visited the site to discuss the project and take measurements to enable a process of lighting modelling and design.

Designing a lighting scheme that delivers bright and uniform light levels

The age and unusual shape of the building presented the team at Earlsmann with various challenges during design. The lights are mounted centrally around the roof light, but the playing floor is offset due to the penthouses – potentially creating a challenge for uniformity. To overcome this Earlsmann used a combination of 150 and 200 watt lights, carefully located to avoid dark corners.

The old metal halide lighting was providing light levels of around 380 lux average. Following Relux modelling, Earlsmann selected its LED high bay units. The new units create an increased light level of over 500 lux across the playing area, with colour temperature boosted from 4000K to 5000K – ideally suited to the fast-paced game of real tennis. The playing area is now brighter, while the overall power of the lighting has been reduced from 7200W to 3000W, delivering significant energy savings.

Low-maintenance lighting: vital for a historic building with restricted access

During installation, a manually assembled scaffold tower was the only possible form of access, and the position of cross-beams meant the top of the tower needed to be dismantled several times to reach the next set of lights.  The reliability of LEDs should virtually eliminate the need for maintenance. This provides significant savings as the client was previously regularly replacing light bulbs at a cost of several hundred pounds each time.

At 12m, the ceiling height made it impractical to fully examine the existing lighting during the initial site visit. To solve this issue, Earlsmann pre-made custom brackets to facilitate efficient installation. This meant that the installation team was able to mount new fittings in existing locations, avoiding the need for remedial work. Installation was completed in just two days, minimising disruption to the facility’s users. Feedback from tennis players has been positive, with Vaughan Williams from the Friends of Hardwick Tennis Court reporting “unanimous praise” for the new tennis court lighting.

Earlsmann – your experienced partner in creating total lighting solutions

Earlsmann has many years’ experience in the LED marketplace and manufactures lighting units at its factory in the UK, producing high-quality, reliable products underpinned by a full five-year warranty. The company provides a comprehensive range of lighting solutions to suit every interior and exterior application.

Find out more about Earlsmann’s commercial lighting products, call 08456 434 740 or email sales@earlsmann.co.uk.

Work in progress at Hardwick House Real Tennis court
Work in progress at Hardwick House Real Tennis court
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