Liseberg Amusement Park in Gothenburg, Sweden, is premiering its new 2003 summer season attraction, Balder roller coaster, in a wash of Martin Architectural color. Balder is not only Scandinavia's longest wooden roller coaster; with color-changing illumination from a total of 40 Martin Exterior 200 luminaires it is now also the biggest permanent outdoor lighting installation ever seen in Sweden.

Lighting company Primetec AB of Gothenburg, whose past work includes lighting the Ford Group's car exhibitions in Europe, was commissioned to light the new roller coaster. Primetec, a one-stop supplier of sound, lighting, and AV technology for events and exhibitions, supplied, installed, and created the lighting design for Balder. The Exterior 200s were provided through Martin Scandinavia.

“Liseberg in general and Balder in particular are a total experience that starts as soon as you approach the attraction or drive past Liseberg along the E6 motorway,” says Ralf Andreasson, project manager at Liseberg. “In this respect, the lighting plays a vital role.”

“Light has gained greater commercial significance,” says Per Dahlqvist, sales manager at Primetec. “The competition for consumers is becoming tougher, and in that battle AV, sound, and light are playing an increasingly significant role. It's great that Liseberg allocated resources for a professional lighting installation. It will increase the value of the total experience and attract visitors to Liseberg.”

Lighting designers on the project were Mats Lindgren, Stefan Lundgren, and Joakim Rydholm of Primetec. Lindgren says, “The purpose of the lighting was to make the attraction more alive. Because it's made of wood, it's very good to illuminate. Liseberg wanted the ability to change the look of Balder to make it more interesting for the guests waiting to ride — sort of a pre-show. It is an eye-catcher for the whole park.”

Primetec was looking for a light with high output on low power as well as reliability. It needed to have color-mixing and a dimmer but no shutter. “We wanted to use Martin fixtures because of their history in making outdoor architectural lighting gear,” Lindgren says. “We use all the features of the Exterior 200 except the stand-alone function. We run all 40 fixtures off a Flying Pig Systems Hog PC and the show is programmed on a Wholehog 2.”

The Exterior 200 fixtures are placed on poles approximately 1.5-3m (5-10') above ground, both within and outside the structure, and direct the light up against the roller coaster. “This allows us to highlight the structure of Balder and even change its shape by making slow dimmer and color chases,” Lindgren adds. “I think this will start a growing demand for outdoor installations of this kind. I think other parks will follow.”