Austrian Stadium Kicks off Season with Modern LED Lights

Osram has ensured a technically perfect and highly emotional start of the season for the Austrian record-holder SK Rapid Wien: the new Allianz Stadium in Vienna now radiates in modern light, completely planned and implemented with the expertise of Osram, the lighting professionals for sports facilities. Players and spectators alike were able to enjoy the unique atmosphere of the innovative lighting solutions at the opening games in mid-July.

One hundred eighty eight Siteco SiCompact R3 Maxi floodlights with special ballasts make the Vienna stadium the first flicker-free stadium in Austria.(All photos courtesy of Osram)

The lighting concept drawn up by the Osram business division Lighting Solutions combines classic, efficient floodlight with innovative LED lighting solutions for indoor and outdoor spaces, ranging from parking lots and box levels to the record-holder bar. "The holistic solution from Osram managed to convince us in all applications because the lighting concept ideally solved two requirements at the same time," explained Christoph Peschek, Chief Executive of SK Rapid Wien. "On the one hand it was all about modern illumination of the playing field in accordance with international standards and on the other we also aimed to optimally solve all relevant aspects for sustainable efficiency."

Bright LED ceiling lighting with Punctoled ensures a pleasant atmosphere in the team changing rooms.

The stadium was equipped with high performance floodlighting that is both highly efficient and protective of resources. Illumination is switched on only for selected days and for a few hours but during this time the players, referees, spectators and TV teams have maximum demands. Playing field lighting for the Allianz Stadium in Vienna consists of 188 high-efficiency metal halide projectors sourced from the Osram subsidiary Siteco, each with a power consumption of 2000 W. Special electronic ballasts for the floodlight system ensure flicker-free light. This technology is being used for the first time in an Austrian stadium, and until now only a few sports centers around the world benefitted from such modern lighting equipment. The advantage is mainly found in the medial utilization of the sport –matches can now be ideally illuminated for high resolution HDTV television broadcasting in super slow motion and without flicker. This also provides fans at home with direct sports excitement and an optimal view of match skills on the playing field.

Streetlight 20 LED illuminate the promenade and parking lots of the Allianz Arena.

"The high-end image resolution of today's HD cameras already specifies strict lighting requirements. This is additional motivation for us to generate the perfect light for such broadcasting technology and even to surpass the demands made," explained Torsten Onasch, Business Development Manager for Sports & Area Lighting at Osram. "If a match is run in real time, conventional technology is sufficient to create good pictures. If the cameras aim to catch decisive shots though and present TV viewers with crystal-clear super slow motion images they need light that is pixel-precise," added the expert. The brightness of conventional lighting is always characterized by minimal deviations in dark and light, i.e. light pulses, due to the power supply. The human eye can however slightly compensate for such fluctuations, in contrast to rendering in super slow motion where such light pulses generate flicker effects. "We reduce deviations in bright-dark with LED modules to a minimum with the electronic ballasts – this eliminates flicker with moving images to render them extremely crisply and with brilliant quality," explained Torsten Onasch.

Highly precise calculations for the complete system form the basis to ensure that each individual projector is aligned precisely for its task.

The floodlight installation was implemented according to the highest FIFA class with a vertical illuminance of 2,000 lux towards the main camera and at least 1,500 lux towards all other cameras. The electronic ballasts enable maximum flexibility: switching level 1 (500 lux in the horizontal) is sufficient for training purposes for example, while switching level 2 (1,000 lux in the horizontal) professionally illuminates match conditions for amateur players. If the professionals enter the pitch, switching level 3 (1,500 lux in the vertical towards the main camera) or switching level 4 (2,000 lux towards the main camera and 1,500 lux vertically for all field cameras) for TV broadcasting provides perfect flicker-free light.

Illuminance, uniformity and colour rendering of the Siteco projectors comply with maximum demands to ensure top levels of lighting comfort for athletes and spectators.

Further indoor and outdoor lighting also innovatively meets the needs of this top-level Austrian club. Around 1,800 indoor luminaires, a third of which feature LED technology, ensure that team cabins and prestigious areas are displayed in the best light. Areas important for sponsorship purposes such as the event boxes and business clubs have been equipped with dynamic effect lighting sourced from the Osram subsidiary Traxon: the green of SK Rapid or the specific corporate identity colors of business hosts can be set in scene with the right atmosphere precisely according to needs. Around 250 outdoor luminaires also generate bright lighting conditions on the tribunes, parking areas and promenade to ensure good orientation.

"We're highly pleased about the great teamwork with SK Rapid Wien that with precisely the right lighting concept in terms of performance, efficiency and atmosphere allows us to also assume a leading position," explained Dr. Eladia Pulido, Head of the Osram Lighting Solutions business division. "The lighting of the Allianz Stadium is also a further milestone in a sequence of current stadium projects including the European Championship stadiums Paris, Marseille and Lille."

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