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-   -   Lights a problem? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=439258)

NLBwell 09-08-2012 08:10 PM

Lights a problem?
 
Just played a tournament match under the lights - beautiful night, no wind, perfect temperature. Lights are actually pretty decent as far as most courts. Problem is that I hadn't played an outdoor match under the lights in years. Lost 6-0, 6-2 to someone I woundn't think that I would lose to very often. Barely won a point in the first set, just couldn't see the ball to contact it. Started to get some idea of where the ball was in the second set - or at least thought so until a serve I never saw hit me in the groin area (and he didn't have a big serve, thankfully). Couple other guys from my USTA team also played that night. One lost the first set 6-0 before winning the match in the end. The other played a guy he would normally beat 6-0 and was on serve late in the first set when the other guy had to retire.
I used to play a lot under the lights many years ago, and never had any problem. It never occurred to me that lights could be such a problem. I've played under much worse lights than these, before. I was thinking maybe it was just me having a bad day, but the other guys took a long time to adjust, also.
Do any of you have problems under the lights, or is this just a statistical anomaly that all 3 of us took a long time to adjust to the lights?

escii_35 09-08-2012 08:22 PM

The older I get the harder it is to play competitive matches under lights. Playing under home court lights is not too painful but if I'm at a foreign court or if I have not played under lights in a while I avoid certain shots and sequences.

NTRPolice 09-09-2012 03:33 AM

Very few facilities have proper lighting for tennis.

You need halogen bulbs and you need a lot of them in lots of different locations. Most public parks here have incandescent bulbs in the 6 corners of the court. That isnt enough.

It drives me nuts when serving, because of the ball is lit and the other half is sitting in a shadow.

beernutz 09-09-2012 07:24 AM

I play under the lights for well over 50% of all matches because almost all leagues start at 6 pm or 6:30. We play a huge number of league matches at the Mobile Tennis Center since they field probably a third of all teams. MTC has 70 odd courts spread out on two different sides of a road. The newer courts and their lights are better but the ones on the older side are awful.

On the side of the road with older courts there are five rows of courts like the diagram below and they are tiered so on one side you're looking straight ahead into the lights on courts at a lower elevation while on the other side you are looking at two rows of lights on the courts at a higher elevation.

To add to the fun the courts are old and somewhat dirty on this side of the road so that balls quickly get discolored and darker making them even harder to pick out from among the array of lights in your eyes.

I almost want to forfeit in advance whenever we play on this side of the road and the last time we played a match there we got about the worst possible court, right on the center court of the middle row. Bah! Balls come right at you and you can't pick them up till the last minute.


X = a court, 0 is where I last played a match, stuck in the middle

higher elevation courts
XXXXXXX
XXXXXXX
XXOXX
XXXX
XXXX
lower elevation court

floridatennisdude 09-09-2012 08:14 AM

I wear contacts and lights are a tough thing for me. In the summer, I rarely play at night so it's a non issue. But, it's unavoidable in the winter months. Even if you can start right at 5, you'll end under the lights in January.

I definitely shank a few more balls per match, but it would be odd for me to lose to someone that I am significantly better than. It's the even match ups that can be skewed.

Cindysphinx 09-09-2012 08:39 AM

A lot of indoor facilities have poor lighting. Just too dim for aging .

West Coast Ace 09-09-2012 08:51 AM

Yeah. It's definitely tough. Ball seems to get on you in a hurry.

If this wasn't a change of plans, you should have gone for a hit a night or 2 before to get acclimated.

And like @FloridaTennisDude said, unless you're going to put the sticks away - or only play on the weekend during the day - after work tennis is going to go into the night.

TimothyO 09-09-2012 08:55 AM

I hate playing at night. For some reason I have a tougher time judging distance to the ball at night, especially serves/overheads. Must be age...or bad memories. As a kid I took a fly ball to the face in a night game (hardball). I was a bloody mess.

OrangePower 09-09-2012 11:54 AM

I used to hate playing under lights. As others have pointed out, aging eyes + contact lenses makes it a challenge.

But I have found that you can get used to it - I now play under lights fairly regularly, and I don't mind it nearly as much as I used to.

The worst for me is twilight after sunset, when the lights are on but there is also some lingering natural light. There is about a 30 min period where I really struggle seeing the ball.

floridatennisdude 09-09-2012 12:02 PM

^^^totally agree with that 30 minute twilight statement.

Mongolmike 09-09-2012 12:53 PM

I agree with all the troubles, but I found that my disposable contacts (single use) work better under lights. They are monocular... distance only, whereas my regular contacts each have a different perscription (one for closer distance, one for further) which many people have. Not having to compensate for the different focal points might be one less thing for the brain to have to deal with along with the improper or dim lighting.

NLBwell 09-09-2012 02:32 PM

Seems problems with the lights is a lot more common than I thought. Interesting about contact lenses since mine are setup to be somewhat different for easier reading. Seems that since all three of us had problems and we are all getting older, maybe it is just aging.

(Not a whole lot of outdoor night tennis around here, because when the days get shorter, it starts getting cold and snowy.)

beernutz 09-09-2012 02:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mongolmike (Post 6882608)
I agree with all the troubles, but I found that my disposable contacts (single use) work better under lights. They are monocular... distance only, whereas my regular contacts each have a different perscription (one for closer distance, one for further) which many people have. Not having to compensate for the different focal points might be one less thing for the brain to have to deal with along with the improper or dim lighting.

I wear Acuvue Oasis contacts which are just like the ones you describe and while they are infinitely better than glasses at night for me they still don't help much on the worst lit courts I've had to play on. I'm spoiled in that the lights on our home courts are pretty good and that there are only two rows of lights on them to deal with.

Fusker 09-09-2012 04:13 PM

Certain courts are most definitely tougher than others. The technology is there to do the lighting well, but this is often a case of building codes getting in the way. The last decade has seen many municipalities adopt "dark sky ordinances" that basically require lighting to be "full cutoff". Essentially what that means is that no lighting is cast upwards of the 90 degree plane above the fixture.

While this is generally a great concept (who needs light spill from parking lots for example) it is poorly apllied to court lighting. With no uplighting, the ball disappears against the sky the moment it is higher than the lamp. The other negative effect is that lighting tends to pool below the fixture and results in spotty, uneven distribution at eye level.

Some of the older courts around here have lights angled at 45 degrees. While the lights are older, they actually work better.

floridatennisdude 09-09-2012 06:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by beernutz (Post 6883008)
I wear Acuvue Oasis contacts which are just like the ones you describe and while they are infinitely better than glasses at night for me they still don't help much on the worst lit courts I've had to play on. I'm spoiled in that the lights on our home courts are pretty good and that there are only two rows of lights on them to deal with.

I wear the same brand. I don't like driving at night either as I am not 100% confident on the depth perception of approaching cars.

I have actually told opponents that my vision is a little off at night. I welcome them to challenge my calls and I tell them that I'll happily over Ryle myself if I see a wrong mark or something goofy. It puts it front and center that I want to be fair.

Bobby Jr 09-09-2012 06:49 PM

Aaaah. the night time issue. I played a league match recently - hosted at their club. At my end behind me was a park... behind my opponent (about 19yrs old) was another row of lit courts. For some reason we played a set without changing ends (which is quite common in some night leagues here). I won it 7-5 but was really struggling to see the ball.... when I walked down his end to get some water after the set I noticed how much brighter his end of the court was and said we should swap for the second set. He said it didn't matter since it was night - no sunlight distraction etc. I said if it doesn't matter then he wont mind swapping.

The next set I went up 4-0 - he basically couldn't hit a ball... then he called for ends saying we'd played 4 games and the lights were a disadvantage to him. I refused and won the set 6-0. I took note of our team and, mysteriously, the other two were both put down the dark end also.

Our team won comfortably in the end with the loss of only one match but i asked our club admin to email the rest of the league teams - this club included - highlighting how they attempted to get an unfair advantage by putting visiting teams down the dark end of the courts. Sneaky ****ers...

Them damn lights - they are an issue globally!

mikeler 09-10-2012 04:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by floridatennisdude (Post 6882474)
^^^totally agree with that 30 minute twilight statement.


That is the worst time of day for me. Whenever it gets overcast or dark, I've found that night vision glasses really help me. They are yellow tinted and brighten everything considerably. I think I bought them for $10 off Amazon.

Clive Walker 09-10-2012 07:08 AM

It's an issue at some clubs but the majority around here have very good floodlights, Most of the time through the winter it's dark by 5pm so a good proportion of the tennis year is spent under lights. I must say I've never really had much a problem with it, but then the UK weather is not exactly renowned for tennis excellence, maybe we're just used to it.

g4driver 09-10-2012 07:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OrangePower (Post 6882459)

The worst for me is twilight after sunset, when the lights are on but there is also some lingering natural light. There is about a 30 min period where I really struggle seeing the ball.

OP, this isn't your imagination. Dusk is the period when neither the rods or cones in your eyes are working 100%.

Dusk is the toughest time for anyone. Aerospace physiologists make it a point to educate this point to pilots.

Probably way too much info but here you go.

http://www.aoa.org/x5352.xml

Read the part about Mesopic Vision

Govnor 09-10-2012 08:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cindysphinx (Post 6881808)
A lot of indoor facilities have poor lighting. Just too dim for aging .

I played indoor for the first time in many many years recently and I could not adjust to how dark it was. Very off putting.


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