Jessica P - Jan 18, 2023
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Ice hockey. A legendary sport that has a dedicated, swelling fan base in Canada and the U.S.A. Hockey continues to spark passion in the hearts of all generations and is experiencing growth in popularity internationally. Along with Lacrosse, Canada claims hockey as its national sport, an athletic staple enjoyed by many. Most of us know a grandmother that throws on her favourite team jersey during the playoffs and watched a kid get restless as the Zamboni does its last turn. That kid might be you.
The Hockey Rink is a beloved destination for so many, be it the official big city NHL facilities or on a rural backroad arena that is supported by a tight knit community where the world’s greatest athletes are born.
According to records, the first rink took shape around 4000 years ago in Finland, when “edges” were first given to a body of ice. To zip around canals, the Dutch (more so evolved the design) invented the first ice skates not far from the design as we know them today. Throw a lump of frozen cow dung onto a frozen lake somewhere in Ontario, Canada and there you have one version of the history of ice hockey. Points for resourcefulness to the pioneers but luckily, the puck currently used is made up of 6 ounces of vulcanized rubber that is frozen before each game.
Ice hockey is one of the fastest, competitive sports that exists (badminton is surprisingly # 1) and is runner up to boxing as the toughest. The ¾” layer of carefully crafted ice layer consistently registers players speeds at 30mph and puck speeds at over 100mph.
For this reason, optimal arena lighting is crucial for both player and spectator safety, visual comfort and being able to follow the detail of such rapid play.
For a game that is as technical and dynamic as hockey, an arena should be lit in an optimal way for the best player and spectator experience. This can be achieved through rigorous calculations to determine the best placement, beam spreads and optics just to name a few. It is a science that combines engineering and creativity. Having love for sport makes us “Go to” sports lighting specialists.
CHALLENGES & LEGACY LIGHTING
There are many reasons to make the switch to LED. Energy and maintenance cost savings, giving venue operators more control and an overall enhanced image for dynamic use of space. The ice is brighter and whiter and with LEDs giving off less heat it’s easier to maintain the ice itself.
In hockey arena applications, glare is one of the greatest challenges when lighting a venue both indoors and outdoors as the light beams reflect off the ice and boards mainly. With so many reflective surfaces and requirements for high light levels particularly for broadcast, it is no surprise that glare causes discomfort and intercepts both the players and fans vision. With our sports lighting design, this excessive brightness can be corrected and controlled.
The standard lighting approach has been to provide:
1. Clarity/ brightness
2. Minimal to no glare
While these characteristics all work together in an attempt to eliminate shadows and glare at the most basic level, there is a lot more to consider. Ensuring contrast for the puck, color fidelity to distinguish features and team colours and not leaving the corner boards in the dark reminds us of the complexity of what needs to be considered when lighting for an ice hockey arena. Increasingly, facility managers are pursuing retrofits and upgrades as there has never been a better time or more demand to do so with many NHL establishments leading the way with improved standards and entertainment.
Typically, HIDs and fluorescents lamps that were originally installed are in the process of being phased out and switched to LEDs due to:
• Shorter lamp life
• Lack of light uniformity and hotspots (causes shadows, visual discomfort and glare)
• No dimming or control options
• High maintenance costs and increased safety risk due to working at heights in challenging conditions more frequently
• Long lamp start up times
• Higher energy costs
• Numerous negative impacts on the environment
MEETING STANDARDS AND REQUIREMENTS
Standards can vary based on country, region, type of activity and level of play.
Light levels can be as low as 300 lux for recreational ice hockey and figure skating and up to 800-1000 lux at 3’ above ice level for semi-pro and professional levels. For NHL and televised performances, 1500 lux is required. Other areas such as the players box, dressing rooms and common areas such as concession also have required light levels (as listed in the chart below).
Improved lighting gives players at every stage of their career, from recreational and house league to Stanley Cup Playoffs, a chance to refine their skills and evolve the game.
The organizational structure of hockey leagues in both the U.S.A. and Canada are very similar and strategically built to groom and feed the talent pool while giving players of all skills and ages access to the game.
It’s interesting to note that different countries, namely Europe, have slightly different rink dimensions lending to different game statistics and styles of play.
DIRECTION OF SPORTS LIGHTING
We’ve established the overall benefits of lighting upgrades that range from cost savings and fixture/ system performance to safety and enjoyment. But there is more…
With an increasing shift to accessibility and streaming live at all league levels - the broadcast technology and requirements have become more sophisticated and less forgiving. Vertical illuminance and flicker now need to be factored in for video and reproduction which needs to be compatible with cameras that tend to capture all these inefficiencies in lighting during reproduction. HDTV quality is the standard that many viewers are now accustomed to. Visual impairment is also on the rise and being inclusive of various age groups and accessibility guidelines that are making headway into building code and compliance is something to be mindful of.
WHAT IS THE SPACE FOR?
If you are operating an arena or hockey rink, there is a good chance that there is programming for a larger scope of sports and activities such as figure skating and recreational skating. If you’re a facility that converts to hosting basketball and other sports giving more control to lighting operators is literally a game changer.
The growing demand for venues to be adaptable for other sports (ice based or otherwise) and special events such as concerts, point to an opportunity to provide an elevated sense of entertainment. Why not set a different vibe for a recreational public skate night or offer coloured lights as an incentive for private rentals or big tournament nights.
There are many reasons to evaluate the benefits of upgraded lighting and customized design while investing for the long term.
BASIC PLANNING PRINCIPLES
Depending on your needs, we have a proven process that starts with evaluating your unique ceiling plan, ice rink qualities and overall building design.
Flawless hockey is our goal. The key lighting objectives we target are:
• Clear & optimal light levels (achieve high illumination and contrast, no shadows)
• Light uniformity (eliminate hotspots)
• Glare free
• Flexibility with controls
• Energy savings/ reducing energy costs
• Minimize “life cycle” cost
• Rendering colours accurately
The planning principles and some basic considerations we can assist with are:
• Budget development
• Production schedule timeline
• Lighting requirements to meet the Standards for Level of Play
• Mounting height and location
• Quantity of fixtures and layout
• Fixture degree angles and aiming
• Meeting power requirements
• Maintenance considerations
A couple of important metrics that are important to know when working with lighting selections are CRI and CT.
CRI (COLOUR RENDERING INDEX)
Used to measure how accurately artificial lighting reproduces the true colour of an object as it would be viewed in full spectrum composition of daylight. The rating scale is based on 1- 100 with 100 indicating the most accurate reproduction. The higher the CRI also indicates a better performing light source.
The 80s to 90’s range is standard for sports with the higher end being possible with LEDs. Not only does an accurate colour rendering serve the purpose of safety and fans with high standards but helps with the simple and essential function of distinguishing team colours and features.
CT (COLOUR TEMPERATURE)
Measured in “Kelvins”, this method of measuring the perceived colour of a light source is based on the incandescent principle of a black body radiator with CT level correlating to a colour and its temperature. The higher the temperature the whiter the light.
1800K is a reddish, warm colour which gradually shifts up to the cold, blue and brilliant white range with 6500K being the standard upper range in the context of most sports lighting.
Our team would be happy to review product and design solutions further with you...
Whether you’re operating a local ice rink or a 20,000 seater arena like the Rogers Centre, providing the bare minimum in lighting requirements is no longer adequate and the limitations of legacy fixtures aren’t stacking up based on costs alone.
Lighting technology has made exponential strides in the last decade yet can still be confusing and intimidating to navigate.
By understanding your objectives and challenges we can tap into our tools and expertise to help you achieve the delivering your best product - the game experience.
We want to help you bring new meaning to Lighting a Lamp.
Let us help you score this goal.
DIRECT & INDIRECT
VOLTAGE: 100-277V (UNV) / 277-480V (HV)
MOUNTING: EYE BOLT / PENDANT MOUNT
The Dome Bay is an extremely versatile, Direct /Indirect, highperformance LED sports high bay that is ideal for both outdoor and indoor sports lighting applications. With its flexible, modular design the Dome Bay is specifically engineered to illuminate swimming pools, tennis and soccer domes, gyms, arenas and more.
• LED Driver: Lumileds
• Lumen Maintenance @L70: >50,000 hours
• CRI: RA>80
• THD: <15%
• Power Factor: >0.95
• Operating Temperature: -40ºC to 60ºC / -40ºF to 140ºF
POOLSIDER DIRECT & INDIRECT
VOLTAGE: 120-277V (UNV) / 277-480V (HV) (REMOTE DRIVERS ONLY)
MOUNTING: YOKE MOUNT (STD) / PENDANT MOUNT / CROSS ARM BRACKET
The Poolsider is a modular LED flood light specifically designed for the caustic environment of Natatoriums, but versatile enough to be used in any flood light application. Multiple optical lens choices, and rotatable modules allow a wide variety of light spread for various use both indoor and out.
• LED Engine: Philip Lumileds 50502, CREE 3524 for 10D ONLY
• LED Driver: Meanwell XLG
• Lumen Maintenance @L70: 75,000 hours
• CRI: >70 Ra
• Power Factor: >0.95
• Operating Temperature: -40ºC to 60ºC / -40ºF to 140ºF
NEO DIRECT LIGHTING
VOLTAGE: 100-277V (UNV)200-480V (HV)
MOUNTING: EYE BOLT (STD)
140LM/W (UNV, HV)
The Neo is a high-performance LED high bay luminaire that is perfect for distribution centers and warehouses. It can be applied to industrial, commercial, gymnasium and other applications that would traditionally use HID or fluorescent luminaires.
• LED Driver: Integrated
• Lumen Maintenance @L70: 100,000 @ 25ºC
• CRI: 80+ (Standard) or 90+ (Optional)
• THD: <15%
• Power Factor: >0.93
• Operating Temperature: -30ºC to 50ºC / -22ºF to 122ºF
MAXUM DIRECT LIGHTING
WATTAGE: 90W/120W/150W & 120W/160W/200W
CCT: Selectable 3000K/4000K/5000K
MOUNTING: EYE BOLT (STD) / CEILING BRACKET
The Maxum is a WATTAGE SELECTABLE AND CCTSELECTABLE high bay featuring a patented design, with aesthetic modeling and unique style. It is occupancy sensor ready (It features a built-in occupancy sensor socket.) It has a luminous output of 170L/W, making it an ideal solution for warehouses, factories, supermarkets, and other indoor applications.
• LED Engine: SMD2835 LED
• LED Driver: Lifud
• CRI: Ra>70
• THD: 15%
• Power Factor: >0.9
• Operating Temperature: -40ºC to 45ºC / -22ºF to 113ºF
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PATRIOT DIRECT LIGHTING
WATTAGE: 115/130/155W & 155/180/210W & 240/270/310W
CCT: Selectable 4000K (DEFAULT)/5000K
VOLTAGE: 120-347V (CUNV) / 277-480V (HV)
MOUNTING: SUSPENDED / CEILING MOUNT / PENDANT MOUNT
The Patriot is a CCT SELECTABLE AND WATTAGE SELECTABLE DIE-CAST ALUMINUM LED linear high bay featuring a super compact design with die-cast housing with powder coated paint. Standard 6KV surge protection provides steady performance, even under poor power conditions.
• LED Engine: SMD2835 LED
• LED Driver: Ankom (CUNV), Fahold (HV)
• Lumen Maintenance @L70: >75,000 hrs
• CRI: >80Ra
• Power Factor: >0.95 @120V, Power Factor: >0.7 @347V
• Operating Temperature: -40ºC to 50ºC / -40ºF to 122ºF