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Sherborn tennis courts get new lights

While the new lights will be brighter and use less electricity, the rules of the tennis courts will remain the same.

By James Kinneen
Hometown Weekly Reporter

On September 1, the lights at the William C. Jameson tennis court on Cemetery Lane were replaced with better ones that will both be brighter and use less electricity. So, while the courts were out of commission for the entirety of the day, the new lights will offer the town much more playing time as soon as this summer.

According to the Sherborn Recreation Committee, part of the impetus for the decision to replace the lights was that the tennis courts offered one of the few activities people could do safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was something we’ve wanted to do for a while,” they explained. “We just weren’t sure if we had any money in the budget, and every year as more of the old bulbs go out and it becomes less and less usable at night, there was more of an effort to make it happen. I would say that the COVID pandemic probably pushed us a little bit more. It is one of the few activities that is allowed, and people can enjoy outside, so we were trying to help folks get a little more time on the court when possible. It wasn’t necessarily because of it, but it helped push us in that direction.”

At least half the old lights had been blown, meaning the courts were very dim.

The decision to change the lights on September 1 was in large part to give people more playing time this year (as opposed to making the change during the winter, when the courts would naturally be empty of players). While replacing the lights meant sacrificing an entire day during prime tennis-playing season, it opened up the opportunity to play for hours more this season.   

“We wanted to get them up while it was still warm enough for people to use them. So the idea was that people will want to play in September, and maybe even October at night, so there were sixty days or so of tennis that could be played from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. that wouldn’t have happened if we’d waited until November 1. September 1 was also during a week when there were no lessons planned, so we weren’t kicking anyone who paid for lessons off the court.”

The Sherborn Recreation Committee claims the difference will be immediately noticeable to anyone that sets foot on the court. One of the members said that when he stepped on the court to make sure everything worked, they were, “Way different. I think half the old ones the bulbs had been blown, so just with that alone, the lights are going to be twice as bright.”

The electricians kept the old lights after they took them down.

But there’s another advantage to the new lights: they will both use less electricity and last for much longer than the old ones.

“They’re going to save electricity, that’s for sure. I’m not an electrician, so I can’t tell you the specs of the old ones, but I know they were very old and that the new ones use much less wattage for the same luminosity. I believe it’s at least half of the wattage, if not more. They’re LED lights instead of, I believe, quartz lights. I think the old lights were there for 20 years and these lights are supposed to have a lifespan of 40,000, hours whereas the old ones had a lifespan of like 10,000 hours. So, these should last, at minimum, a decade, if not a lot longer.”

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