Feature, Hospitality/Leisure

Case study: How LED high bays made the snow white at Snowplanet

Snowplanet's new LED highbays could increase advertising revenue, having made billboards more visible.

If the snow looks whiter and crisper at Auckland’s Snowplanet this year, it’s because the 8000 m² indoor snow dome has had a makeover with LED high bays. 126 luminaires have been placed evenly around the dome at a ceiling height of 11 metres, producing significantly more light than the previous 76 dual pulse-start HID high-bays.

Facility and site manager Stuart Hindley oversaw the full lighting upgrade to the site. He said: ‘We wanted a whiter, fresh look to the snow and a lot more light so parents could watch their kids from the top of the run while sitting in the viewing lounge below.’


Qualified for subsidy

Replacing the 350W existing fittings with 140W highbays will save 150,000kWh per year, and the financial savings appeared before the lights were even switched on; the projected power savings qualified the lighting upgrade for a subsidy from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) of New Zealand, which will cover the cost of fittings and installation. The lighting upgrade could potentially save Snowplanet $22,000 per year.

Hindley opted for the Craft LED highbay from Zumtobel. The fixture comes in lengths of 200 and 490mm and are built to withstand both cold and hot climates. Zumtobel Group Specification Engineer, Matthew Hogg, said: ‘Each LED has its own lens, so the light is precisely controlled where you want it. With a light output of up to 28,000 lumens they achieve energy efficiencies of 118 delivered lumens per watt.’


Increased safety – and billboard revenue

One of the biggest challenges of the project was the timeframe. The new luminaires needed to be installed before the start of the school holiday, which is typically the busiest time of year for Snowplanet. Getting all the stakeholders in line – end user, contractor, wholesaler and luminaire manufacturer – in a short space of time while also making sure the project was meeting the strict EECA criteria, was no mean feat. Hindley met regularly with the contractor to ensure the project could get finished in time for the holiday rush.

Tristate Electrical installed the luminaires to a design by Zumtobel engineers that prevented light pooling and brightened the massive space with cool white light. Aside from perking up the look and feel of the snow, the new lights created a safer environment.

‘Potentially there could be 180 people on the slopes and a disruption to the power could leave us without light for up to five minutes,’ Hindley said. ‘Now the LEDs restrike instantly, which is a significant safety benefit.’ And there is one other advantage of the lightnig upgrade, Hindley reveals: ‘Improved light also presents commercial benefits with our better lit billboards having more impact for advertisers.’









Before and after pictures show that the light is more uniform, and the billboards more visible under the new high bays.