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Flicker-free floodlight technology installed at new Karlsruhe skate park

Energy-saving lighting system provides flicker-free lighting for a new sports facility, in response to community requirements

 

The skater scene at the new skate park in Karlsruhe, Germany, enthuses about ideal conditions for spectacular super-slow-motion recordings that a new lighting technology from Osram delivers.

The new Floodlight 20 generation of LED floodlights provides not only perfect lighting conditions for the stunts of skaters, in-liners and BMX riders, but also enables the flicker-free recording of skating tricks in super slow-motion.

Capturing moving images and live streaming is important to modern sports facilities – filming the world’s best athletes in super slow-motion is already a big part of today’s professional TV technology – and must be considered when selecting lighting.

This calls for state-of-the-art lighting technology – and the same applies to leisure sport facilities, where recording is more likely to involve smartphones and video cameras.

“Much is filmed during skating. Recordings in super slow-motion are especially popular because they best communicate the ability of the individual athletes as well as a strong sense of emotion. In this respect it’s important that the slow motion is flicker-free. This we’ve achieved with the lighting,” explained Ingo Naschold, managing director of design consultancy DSGN Concepts, located in Münster in northwestern Germany.

“For the new construction of the skate park in Karlsruhe we managed to find a partner in Osram that enabled implementation of this creative concept professionally and at a maximum level in terms of lighting technology.”

Specifying the right lighting solution plays a decisive role for the flicker-free playback of moving image sequences: recording a scene requires a high fps rate. For television recordings, a frame rate of 50-60fps is used as standard, but for slow-motion recordings (with a smartphone for example) significantly higher rates of 120-240fps are achieved – in some cases, up to 480fps can be achieved.

The problem is that artificial light pulses (due to the mains frequency or because of the signal characteristic of its control units) and does not supply constant luminous flux. The inertia of the human eye compensates for this pulsing up to a certain frequency, meaning that spectators do not normally perceive the difference in brightness. With slow-motion recordings however, each individual detail comes to the fore. The pulsing of the light becomes visible and is seen in video recordings as fluctuations in the brightness.

Various technical solutions are available to avoid this flickering, even with super-slow-motion playback. Osram Lighting Solutions has developed the flicker-free Floodlight 20 Series, which offers important advantages, particularly in the sports sector.

The use of suitable control units in combination with the LED modules reduces the deviation between bright and dark to a minimum – video recordings are thus rendered without flicker.

“Over the past years we’ve equipped several large-scale sports stadia around the world with flicker-free lighting systems – always for professional sport though. That’s why it’s great, with the new outdoor skate park in Karlsruhe, to bring the benefits of these innovative floodlights to leisure sports as well,” said Jörg Meyer-Brenken, global market leader – sports, at Osram Lighting Solutions.

The Karlsruhe skate park was given a complete refurbishment in 2016. Specific requirements for the lighting concept were drawn up as part of a previous workshop that documented the needs of the new system, and were developed together with the skater community.

For example, it was particularly important for the youngsters to be able to skate in the evening, and to be able to record exciting videos for posting on social media. The operators of the leisure facility also placed special importance on energy saving solutions.

Together with Osram Lighting Solutions, Naschold managed to create a solution that uniformly illuminates the skate park with low glare for skaters, enabling use of the facility up until 10pm.

The installed Floodlight 20 midi LED floodlights emit flicker-free light at the press of a button. The luminaires use energy-efficient LEDs, available on demand – as soon as visitors press the switch, the light is activated without any start-up time. The system dims down to 50% after 30 minutes to indicate the pending switch-off, and if no new switch pulse is triggered, the system deactivates the lights five minutes later.

“The teenagers have completely accepted the concept of the skate park,” said Naschold.

October 13, 2016

 

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