Even though visibility for the audience is one of the main concerns of any lighting plan, the visibility for the players is equally as important. Lower wattage lighting options will help ensure that the output will not be blinding for players. A good rule of thumb is to remember when it comes to this area of lighting, horizontal light levels should be around 80 foot-candles.
Most basketball courts are made of natural wood that has a glossy finish, so reducing glare is paramount. Even though a certain amount of glare is expected and unavoidable, there are steps you can take to help reduce it. Installing spotlights and floodlights are commonly used to combat excess glare. You can also choose lights with glare reduction shields as well. One type you should consider that allows you to get the most out of your lighting system is LED, since it has a lower glare overall because of the way it evenly spreads the light output instead being more concentrated like other lighting options.
The most concentrated point of illumination should be placed outside the field of play, which helps ensure players aren't blinded. The outer cast of the light scope will deliver sufficient light output to adequately illuminate the playing area.
When it comes to lighting sports arenas, it is better to opt for cooler tones such as a bluish white or white over warmer tones of yellow. Whiter toned light makes everything look bright and sharp, creating a more noticeable focal point visually for the audience. In the past, metal halide fixtures were a mainstay in arena lighting. However, they had poor color rendering unlike LED options. In fact, the majority of stadiums are switching to LED because of the improved color rendering and efficiency.