Feature, Hospitality/Leisure, IoT/Smart Lighting

How to light a curling rink

During televising, light levels at Curl Aberdeen’s six lane curling rink need to be five times higher than for normal competition play.

CURLING RINKS may not be in the SLL Code for Lighting 2019, but one UK firm had to come up with a design that would give players perfect lighting, minimise energy and deliver TV broadcast standard illumination when necessary. And all with simple wireless control.

The rink uses the Holophane’s Holos Air Lite system, which is based on wireless EnOcean technology which don’t require any mains power. The switch sends a signal wirelessly to the Dali-connected node on the luminaires.

Curling, in case you’re not familiar, is a popular sport in colder climates in which players slide stones on a sheet of ice towards a target area which is segmented into four concentric circles.

Curl Aberdeen is a purpose built, state of the art, six lane curling rink located in north east Scotland. This world class facility was opened in 2005 and has held many competitions and events including the European Curling Championships. More recently, it held the World Junior Curling championships in March 2018.

That event was streamed live via YouTube and on the BBC Sport website. Twenty teams from across the world competed in this nine day event.

The challenge for the organisers was that lighting for TV and video has particularly demanding requirements.

For example, the illumination levels required for televising curling are five times higher than for normal competition play.

The initial plan was to have additional temporary lighting. However, this was judged to be a costly short-term solution for an event lasting just over a week.

Instead, the organisers decided on an alternative solution, suggested by Milton Keynes-based manufacturer Holophane, of upgrading the existing lighting.

Since its inception, the curling rink had been illuminated with Holophane Prismalume metal halide luminaires. These provided good levels of illumination and colour rendering but it would not have been possible for them to provide the 1,500 lux required for televising.

The solution was an upgrade to replace the 36 existing 450W luminaires with 380W LED Haloprism units. Changing them on a one-for-one basis greatly reduced the cabling and installation costs of the upgrade.

There are also large savings in lamp replacement costs because the Haloprism LEDs have a rated life of 100,000 hours (L70B50) compared with 8,000 hours for the metal halide lamps.


The particular luminaires installed at Curl Aberdeen deliver 50,000 lumens with a colour rendering index, CRI, of 80 at 4000K.

Five optical distributions are available with the Haloprism and so the new luminaires can exactly fulfil the stringent requirements for TV and competition play.

During televising, the luminaires are at 100 per cent output and deliver over 1,500 lux onto the ice.

However, this level of illumination is unnecessarily high for day to day play. For this reason, therefore, it was decided to install a dimming system.

Five optical distributions are available with the Haloprism and so the new luminaires can exactly fulfil the stringent requirements for TV and competition play.

To avoid using complicated controls, the rink uses the Holophane Holos Air Lite system. This is based on the wireless EnOcean technology protocol. A simple wall switch, which doesn’t require any mains power, sends a signal wirelessly to the Dali connected node on the luminaires.

No extra wiring is required to dim the luminaires. The switch has four positions, On at 100 per cent output, 75 per cent, 50 per cent output and off. Most of the time, the Haloprism luminaires are switched at 50 per cent and so the energy consumption is reduced from 450W to 190W, a reduction of over 40 per cent.

There are further indirect savings in that, since the luminaires produce less heat in the arena, the cooling system for the ice does not have to work so hard.

The result is a vastly improved lighting scheme which consumes much less energy than before. It is also completely ready for televising events which, hopefully, will produce future champions.


  • See the latest sports lighting luminaires at the LuxLive 2019 exhibition taking place on Wednesday 13 November and Thursday 14 November at London ExCel. Entry is free. Register and see more info HERE.