Abacus Lighting

Notts County Football Club

Maintaining unique sports lighting projects

Nottingham, UK: January 2015

The lighting system at Notts County Football Club (FC) is the only project of its kind so far for Abacus. Unlike most football grounds, the home of the Magpies uses heavy duty base-hinged GL620 Abacus raise and lower masts designed for ease of maintenance at low height. Due to the height and weight of the masts, Notts County FC have a custom counterbalance unit designed specifically for this unique system.

Football lighting maintenance and replacement programme at Notts County Football Club

The lighting solution has seen a large amount of use since it was first installed back in the early 1990’s, the system has aged and many components such as electrical control gear have required repair and more recently replacement. Over the last twenty years, the control units in all four masts have aged and corroded to the point of needing replacement units which were installed by Abacus mid-year 2014.

Natural dilapidation of electrical components used in the mast heads along with the floodlights have also seen replacements required. The floodlights were past the original design life and no longer repairable, to remedy this and meet the new football league lighting level requirement, more efficient and modern fixtures were installed in place of the original floodlights. High performance Challenger 1 sports floodlights were installed on all four masts to meet the recently increased league lux requirements, with each mast holding a lower number of floodlights than before due to the increased performance and high quality light control of this particular 2kW fitting.

The maintenance works on the updated lighting system at Notts County FC grounds will continue to cover the ILP Technical Report No.7, with the team thoroughly inspecting all equipment and reporting back in order for the grounds to continue to perform safely and at the appropriate level. This vital maintenance involves close inspection of the mast and head frames to check the welded and bolted joints, with the correct torque setting of the bolts being essential. The general condition of the mast is reported on, with the state of both the interior and exterior of the mast being checked over from the foundations and holding down bolts, through to any protective finishes. The lighting system on top of these masts must also undergo annual maintenance for an installation to meet its full potential life span; as part of this the luminaire glasses, clips and accessories must be present, secure and undamaged along with all associated electrical items. The fixings along with internal optics and visors must be examined with any dirt being removed and glass being cleaned allowing the floodlight to operate to its optimum efficiency.

To maximise the life of a floodlighting system and reduce failures, it is important that a regime for structural inspections and testing be implemented to inform the maintenance programme. Notts County FC have worked with the Abacus maintenance team for the last 2 decades in order to keep the lighting and mast system in great condition, with replacements only being necessary as products reach the end of their design life. Notts County FC continue to enlist the services of the Abacus maintenance team in order to preserve the upgraded lighting solution for the next couple of decades.

As part of the relationship with Notts County FC, Abacus Lighting were match day sponsors for the January 24 2015 home game against Peterborough United and picked out Curtis Thompson as Man of the Match for a sterling performance on the day.

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