Bright future for tennis club

With little fanfare, Whangaparaoa Tennis Club quietly became the first club in the northern region to have LED lights installed.

The lights were first switched on back in May and members have been enjoying the increased light over the winter months. Members play at the club, in Manly’s Edith Hopper Park, year round, although the season officially runs from spring to autumn.

The lighting set up includes 20 LED bulbs, 600w each, improving lighting levels on court by 65 percent – this means members playing at night can now clearly see the ball – something which was an issue prior to the upgrade.

Edith Hopper Park is surrounded by residential homes, so a lot of testing was required to ensure that the light spill was acceptable.

Club president Brendon Forbes says that the angle of the lights has reduced glare and light pollution into neighbouring homes.

“The light spill was measured outside the courts and the levels were significantly below Auckland Council’s requirements due to the lighting angle being almost horizontal to the courts,” Brendon says. “This benefits neighbours and players alike.”

He says that the lighting brings the courts to a standard that only national and international courts, or those with televised coverage, can better.

The project cost $56,000, most of which ($45,000) came from grants.

Brendon says a bonus is the potential for a 50 percent reduction in the club’s power use. “We also hope that this will help to alleviate the occasional winter power outage from overloading when the local transformer is unable to cope when soccer, netball and tennis facilities are all running their lights on winter evenings.”

The lighting, and the resurfacing of all six courts, which took place last year, means the club now offers some of the best playing facilities north of the Harbour Bridge, Brendon says.

Currently the club has more than 180 senior members and around the same number of juniors. The most rapid growth is among young players.