Abacus Lighting

Abacus’ energy-saving solution adds up for Leeds Rugby

Abacus Lighting’s design team pulls off a successful tackle with a solution that has increased floodlighting levels by 400%

Leeds: March 2010

Leeds Rhinos

Abacus Lighting’s design team has pulled off a successful tackle with a solution that has increased floodlighting levels by 400% the world famous Headingley Carnegie rugby stadium - a significant increase in lighting levels that has, in fact, only doubled the Club’s power consumption.

The original floodlights at the stadium which hosts top level Rugby League and Rugby Union, were installed back in 1968 and, although the original masts were replaced twenty years ago, the floodlights themselves have been lighting the ground for the past 42 years!
The need for new floodlighting became apparent as Leeds Rhinos success in the Engage Super League over the past three years coupled with Leeds Carnegie’s presence in the Guinness Premiership brought increased interest for televised matches.

Abacus’ Sports Lighting Manager, Neil Johnson, said: “The previous lighting levels were presenting difficulties with broadcasting in HDTV and, in order not to limit the opportunity to stage televised matches, Leeds Rugby bosses decided that it was time to upgrade the system.

“We replaced the existing 27 1kW floodlights with 24 of our Challenger® 3 2kW floodlights. This has actually increased the lighting levels from 300lux to 1200lux over the pitch, thereby giving much improved lighting levels with high energy efficiency.”

Designing the new head frames to ensure they fitted on the old masts was also a challenge for Abacus. Neil added: “There was a structural dilemma. Because of the floodlighting requirements, we were aware that the new lights would significantly increase the head load.

“Our design team carried out considerable structural analysis to ensure the old masts would be able support the new floodlights. During installation, additional strengthening bolts have also been set in place to ensure structural safety.”
Abacus has enjoyed a long relationship with Leeds Rugby, having previously installed floodlights at the club’s training academy. Neil said: “Now it’s great to see that some of the world’s best players will be performing under our floodlights. I believe this project cements our place as the leading supplier of floodlighting for Rugby.”

Leeds Rugby Chief Executive Gary Hetherington said, “We are delighted with the work carried out by Abacus.The improvements are a significant investment for our company but it is essential that we give the players and supporters, both in the stadium and at home, the best possible conditions to enjoy the game.”

Abacus has an unrivalled portfolio of floodlighting projects in the sports of Rugby League and Rugby Union. Previous installations in the UK include: Gloucester; Warrington; Leigh in Lancashire; Galpharm Stadium in Huddersfield; Northampton and Exeter’s Sandy Park. Further afield, Abacus was commissioned to design and install the floodlighting solution on Pitch 1 at The Sevens Stadium in Dubai. This solution has enabled matches to be broadcast in high definition around the world.

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