Stadium poised to debut new lighting

 Lights getting replaced at Forsyth Barr Stadium. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Lights getting replaced at Forsyth Barr Stadium. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Imaginative spectacles could soon light up Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium, after completion of an upgrade.

Floodlighting at the covered stadium has been replaced and lights added that are intended to enhance the crowd experience.

It is expected the package will also appeal to television broadcasters when showcasing events and sports fixtures.

Dunedin Venues Management and stadium chief executive Terry Davies said yesterday the upgrade had been completed and the results would be unveiled soon.

"You can expect some sensational light themes, colours, and sequencing", Mr Davies said.

"This is a pivotal moment for Forsyth Barr Stadium as we transition our lighting infrastructure to meet international standards."

Since its opening in 2011, the stadium had relied on metal halide lamps invented in 1912.

The 233 lights took about 15 minutes to start and warm up and had a lamp life of under 10,000 hours.

They were replaced by 262 LED sports lights.

"The new LED sports lights and crowd experience lighting will not only elevate the spectator experience, but highlight our commitment to innovation and sustainability", Mr Davies said.

They used less electricity than the previous floodlighting and had a fitting life of 40,000 hours, he said.

The system would be managed through sophisticated software, and programmed scenes and sequences could be run.

"We are limited only by our imaginations", Mr Davies said.

Aotea Electric Southern general manager Warren Taylor said installation required expertise.

"The newly installed lighting system not only enhances visibility within the stadium, but will showcase a dynamic atmosphere that will elevate the crowd experiences for all events to come", Mr Taylor said.

Other New Zealand stadiums using the lighting technology included Auckland’s Eden Park.

Internationally, the home venues of the Manchester United and Chelsea football clubs, Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge, also used it.

The lights will be ready for when the Highlanders play their first rugby match of the season on February 24 and when the All Blacks play England on July 6.