Side lighting is an ideal option for most home basketball courts with a single court in use. Side lighting relies on two or more light poles placed on either side of the court to brighten the entire playing surface. Side lighting manages spill lighting beyond the playing area, so you can clearly see boundary lines, players and the ball from all areas of the court. It's also generally more affordable to install than area lighting, states the Government of Western Australia Department of Sport and Recreation. Avoid corner lighting that has a tendency to create a glare and perimeter lighting with light poles placed behind the basket, which can interfere with game play.
The best lighting for multiple courts that are in use at the same time, such as those at a park or recreation complex, is area lighting. Area lighting uses taller poles than side lighting and as a result of its placement projects light on larger areas. Area lighting easily enables you to illuminate more than one court at one time, while also permitting you to turn off lights on courts not in use.
If you want the benefits of a lighted basketball court without the added expense on your electric bill that comes with conventional court lights, solar lighting is a good option. Solar lights capture and store energy from the sun that is used to power lights, and automatically turn on as the sun begins to set. You can design and purchase a solar lighting system to accommodate the dimensions of your basketball court to ensure your court is fully lit for use at night. Do-it-yourselfers with some electrical experience can purchase solar light packages that are ready for installation. Ensuring proper placement of each light to take full advantage of sunlight required to power it is the key to successful installation of a solar light system.