The facts on capability of LED to light large Sports fields and stadiums.

What a fascinating two days at the Smart Lighting Summit 2015 in Melbourne, listening to the experts on smart lighting technology.

The AAA-LUX Luminaire was displayed on the LumaLED exhibitor stand.

LumaLED are our NSW reseller, and gratefully offered to present our technology to the delegates.

But what happens when the major players do not have an answer for the market in a particular segment ? They have no solution, and so the only option is to state it doesn’t exist and when they have something to offer sometime in the future- it will exist.

It reminds me of the those early days for Kodak and the onslaught of Sony and the digital camera. All Kodak could do was use fear and doubt to extract those last gasping sales from their customers, fully aware the new technology was here. I only hope it will not be as hard to find replacement lamps for the sports light customer in 10 or 20 years, as it is to find film these days… Who knows, by then Mercury in manufacturing of lamps may be banned and an impossible task to find replacements! I think today, the technical term is interrupter or disruptive technology. LED sports field lighting “interrupted” Europe in 2009 and got into full swing by 2012 –2013…. It’s our turn now.

LED Sports field lighting was a hot topic at the summit. On two separate occasions – one a presentation on LED sportsfield lighting’s capacity to light fields, and the other a response from a major manufacturer to a question from the delegates. Both answered it was not possible to light a field…yet….by them, or by the suppliers that were researched….

So, for those clients in Australia and New Zealand who have seen our LED Sports field lights performing on large sporting fields, I apologise in advance.

The facts are blatantly clear for those who truly want to see and do their own honest due diligence. Above is our first install underway on an AFL field as an example…

So – I’ll just put this in bold italics for all…

The 1.7 kw AAA-LUX LED Sports field Luminaire now outperforms the old 2.2 kw Metal Halide on large sports fields…. and we will stand by this based on substantiated facts and approximately 500 projects completed both here in Australia, New Zealand, Africa and Europe.

But it is not just about capability to light the fields and stadiums. That is the easy part…
Really, what is being said to us, and what you really want to know is
how the heck does it do it ? Questions such as:

  1. what about heat?
  2. Is there a glare issues ?
  3. The cables – will they be ok?
  4. Weight and sail area – can it retrofit?
  5. Those modules –do I have to aim them?
  6. What about warranty ?… and others.

So here are the facts, the truth, the statistics, and the data….and we’re happy to share the information with you directly anytime…
We have every technical report known to man that you will need to make an informed decision.

How does it work..

The luminaire comprises of the full 8 modules and driver. The total maximum operating capacity is 1.7Kw. It is 2 Phase 415 volts and 4.25 amps over two phases. There are 9 optics variations now allowing the correct photometrics to design to standards for all sporting facilities and stadium designs.This includes large oval illuminaition such as AFL and Cricket, or double fields with circumference lighting requirements, high mast stadiums, as well as ring of fire designs.
The world patented frame and module design allows for lighter weight, exceptional heat dissipation and more powerful operating levels.
The AAA-LUX luminaire started its journey of development in 2005 by Erik Swennen, who established LED Expert BV in Eindhoven, and then went onto establish AAA-LUX as the company name.
The first field was lit in 2009, and we now have around 500 installations across the world – from the cold climes of northern Europe to the heat of Africa, Malta, Mediterranean, and Australia and New Zealand. There are two core products – a Sports field luminaire( WS series) and an Industrial Large Area luminaire (AL Series). They are based on the same principals but have different operating conditions and requirements. That is one is less hours per annum and higher lux output verse longer operating hours and slightly less lux output.
The AAA-LUX luminaire is now being used across major fields and stadiums in Europe, on ports, Airports, Rail facilities and large carparks. The products are mature in both design and performance. In field real data has demonstrated exceptional reliability in very challenging environments of heat, humidity, salt air, gail force winds, and extreme cold.

What about heat?

AAA-LUX luminaires have NTC (a thermistor to control temperature) as standard. The luminaire has two NTC and, the 8 modules are split into 2 independently controlled ‘banks’. This means that if a ‘bank’ reaches a preset value, the bank will dim momentarily. Please also remember that we never drive the luminaires at full power. From day one we are dimming the lights. In the designs we allow for at least a 0.9 Maintenance Factor and we always design above the required Lux. Our lux averages and uniformities are always at least 10% higher than required by the relevant Australian Standard. The fact that our technical datasheet refers to testing @ 25°C is demonstrating compliance with the appropriate testing methodology. In fact, as part of the testing methodology for LM80-08 our LED modules are tested at 50°C

So -we are not running them at full power and we have capacity to correctly manage heat.It is not an issue.

Is there a glare issue?

The glare will always never be more and often less than conventional luminaires. Much of this is to do with the patented design of the AAA-LUX. Look closely and you will see the 8 modules are all “splayed” in different directions. Glare is produced from direct view of the module of the luminaire. LED is very accurate and therefor in most cases you are only getting direct visual with one or two of the modules. There is further science based discussion on this we can provide. Much of this is to do with capability to outperform 220,000 lumens of a metal halide with under 150,000 lumens of our AAA-LUX luminaire. If glare is a function of candlella from a single point source, how can there be more glare? The Mh Luminaire is one light source with a polished reflector… so please talk to us and we can walk you through it.

All designs are completed on Agi 32, and glare calculations and spill control are provided, and independent sign off can be provided. Same process and format of design…
The cables

The cabling is a high quality best of breed technology used for extreme heat, cold and challenging weather environment. As with best practice European design and construct –these details have been carefully thought through, as the life expectancy is well beyond anything considered currently. 3% lumen depreciation at 25,000 hours means a life well over 20+ years. The cables and everything about this product have been designed accordingly. Both cable protection and bird spiking are offered and recommended with every quotation. We live in Australia, and we know this is an issue in some regions of the country, especially on the eastern coast and country districts.

Weight and Sail area?

The luminaire is 25 kg and has a sail area of 0.26. The major pole manufacturers have stated we a fully within their footprint of weight and sail for lamp retrofits on replacement of Metal Halides. The patented design allows for significant weight reductions and allows the photometric variations capable of outperforming the older technologies.
The design is very close in size and scale to existing MH Luminaire meaning there is no requirement for larger or additional cross arms, etc.

 

Those modules –do I aim them?

The BIG challenge is to now think like an LED Luminaire. It is one luminaire- not 8. It just happens look a little different – well very different…. So the aiming is exactly like the conventional luminaire – an easy aiming device is supplied and used. The whole luminaire fixes to the cross arm – and is aimed up/down and left/right. Our certified installers have advised it is very easy and quick to install and commission.

What about warranty ?

The standard warranty is 5 years. The option for another 5 years is available. I do not think there are many Metal Halides that provide a 10 year warranty for product failure?
What I am even more excited about is the performance and lux delivery of our luminaire on these fields from years 11 to 30. I think by then you are up to your 3rd, 4th, and most probably 5th ,6th and possibly 7th lamp replacement. Our Roi & TCO value proposition would have well and truly crossed over between years 4 and 8, and those with the technology will have been increasingly saving on energy and maintenance , ploughing those savings back into the field and club facilities, or the community benefit needs in general.

 

Is the light the same ?

It’s not the same. It’s better! We have some great technical papers on LED and the human eye. In layman’s terms – you have the ability under LED to use more of your optic capability. You see with more dimension and have better peripheral vision. The black sticks played under our lights at Warkworth in Auckland recently and commented about clarity and reaction times. They loved it. That is consistent with the technical data and science. That is consistent with comments made at the University of Queensland Tennis Club, that is consistent with comments made by players and coaches at Ipswich Rangers Rugby- and those in Europe on fields and courts over the past 6 years. CCTV cameras pick up far more on camera under LED, and in the TV & HDTV space, there is far less shutter flutter. LED sports field lighting is now on European and UK Stadiums. We have several stadiums now using the AAA–LUX luminaire in Europe. I”m sure Australia and New Zealand will follow soon.

 

ROI & TCO Metrics

The luminaire costs more up front. ROI’s range from 3 years to 8 years, depending on hours of use, size of field or court, level of lux, etc. We will be the first to tell you if you are not ready yet. Our sustainability values dictate we must do what is right for you -not us.
We understand many have financial constraints, and all we can do is off you the design and some financial ROi’s and Total Costs of ownership based on whole of life values.
It is very clear the AAA-LUX LED option stacks up financially every time when you consider whole of life, total costs of ownership. Once you take into account energy savings, reduced maintenance, no lamp replacements, cranes and electricians costs, etc – the savings are very easy to see. They become more accelerated when you adopt the lighting control system allowing greater functionality from the luminaires. They increase in value as lux increases, as we often reduce in luminaires required verse the older conventional solutions.
Some can and some can’t take the journey, based on their situation. Interestingly, procurement processes are now moving swiftly to accommodate best off overall value for purchase verse cheapest price.

So… Where to from here?
We have a wealth of technical information, reports ,tests, compliance certifications and required information to make correctly informed decisions. Just call and have a chat to us sometime….
We are here now with over 20 installations completed or underway, including large fields. Our first mining facility is being installed, and it is only a matter of time before we follow Schiphol, Jersey, Rotterdam and other major infrastructure(stay tuned -some BIG ones to be announced soon) who have adopted the AAA–LUX luminaire for it’s lowest cost per unit of lux, per watt performance.

The true facts and data speak for themselves.

A Kodak camera or a digital camera ? It’s your choice !