Nelson’s Trafalgar Park Stadium shines with Philips
To secure international test level rugby matches required one of New Zealand’s oldest stadiums, Nelson’s Trafalgar Park, to undertake an extreme makeover. A key aspect of the upgrade was ensuring that the new stadium lighting met modern world-class standards.
Electrical engineering consultancy Aurecon was provided with a brief by Nelson City Council to come up with a solution to ensure the stadium lighting would not only be fit for international rugby matches and broadcast standards but would also serve as a multi-event facility to rival any regional centre in New Zealand.
Illuminating the stadium didn’t come without its challenges. The project team were faced with the task of ensuring there was minimal light spillage onto adjacent properties to prevent visual discomfort to neighbouring residents and drivers in the surrounding area.
Following a six month intensive resource consent process involving detailed consultation with residents, local businesses and the NZ Transport Agency, Aurecon put out a tender for lighting solutions that would meet the Council’s strict requirements. Philips stood out because it was the only lighting supplier that was able to meet the specific needs of the stadium brief, backed by its outstanding international reputation for lighting large scale venues.
How did they do it?
The solution was simple. Philips’ innovative new MHN-SE 2000 SE lamp technology – which is part of the Philips ArenaVision MVF404 family – was chosen to illuminate the stadium. This technology is specifically designed for outdoor sports stadiums and large indoor arenas and ultimately offers increased light output and optical efficiency.
The new MVF404 floodlights not only provide around 10% more light compared with conventional stadium lighting systems, but with fewer luminaires required for full lighting coverage, they can also deliver substantial savings on capital, energy and maintenance.
Eight large poles housing 196 2kW Philips ArenaVision MVF404 floodlights were strategically placed around the stadium to create a uniform level of lighting as well as reduce light spill and glare. Unlike traditional floodlights, the curved headframe of the Philips floodlights soften the appearance of the towers on the skyline during daylight hours. Their streamlined aerodynamic design also reduces windage area and consequently lowers maintenance and engineering costs.
Local business Glenn Roberts Electrical was tasked with the responsibility of installing the lights. Once electrical work was completed, Philips arrived on site to commission the lighting and spent four days testing and refining the lights, including walking the neighbouring streets with a light meter to ensure local authority light pollution policies were met.
Philips Lighting Project Manager Allan Stephenson says the Philips MVF 404 Arena Vision combined with MHN-SE 2000 SE lamp technology was well suited for the Council’s brief.
The new mono-block optics, which have been designed specifically for the new axial lamp-optic concept using the highest-purity aluminium, enabled greater freedom in lighting design than ever before.
“We really wanted to meet all of the Council’s requirements and are delighted our lighting solutions were able to minimise light spillage and keep neighbouring residents happy while providing the high level of lighting required for HDTV live broadcast.”
Carl Devereux, Project Manager from Aurecon Engineers, said “We chose Philips because its innovative lighting solution has fantastic light spill control and the ability to give spectators the best possible viewing experience. The lighting is so clear and unobtrusive that it also helps players and referees deliver the best performance.”
The finished product exceeded all expectations: “We think the upgrade makes Trafalgar Park the best stadium of its size in New Zealand – primarily because the light output is so powerful the stadium is almost three times brighter than it was previously. Importantly it passed our biggest test by meeting the broadcast standards for international rugby and the feedback from neighbouring residents has been fantastic,” said Shane Davies, Senior Project Manager for Nelson City Council.
Allan Stephenson from Philips was equally pleased with the final result: “It was incredibly satisfying to hear from some of the local rugby players that the ground was the best they had ever played on due to the quality of the lighting – and it is a credit to everyone involved.”
“The Philips technologies used in the upgrade have delivered everything we needed to create the perfect conditions for players, spectators and top-quality television viewing. We know that over the coming years it will become a significant part of Nelson’s local community,” said Mr. Devereux.
The improved illumination also adds to the flexibility of the stadium to be used by the wider community. Already the home of Nelson’s annual Opera in the Park, the challenge is now to attract further regional events. And with the ability to turn night into day inside the stadium, Trafalgar Park certainly has a bright future.
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