Few RF (Radio Frequency) environments are more complex and challenging than a modern American Sports Stadium, where the air is literally saturated with wireless traffic of all kinds, from life safety and security, to sophisticated team communication and anti-terrorism systems, to the latest in state-of-the-art ticketing and concession wireless systems.
So when Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver needed to add wireless lighting control into this heady mix, there was really only one choice: The most advanced wireless lighting control system available today – LumenRadio. The project was a new effect lighting system retrofit, designed by ME Engineers of Denver to accent Sports Authority’s new sponsorship of the stadium. The lighting concept was successfully implemented with the help of George Lacey Sales (GLS) of Denver. Two distinct lighting elements operate independently within the stadium. First, a color wash, visible to downtown Denver and Interstate traffic, is used to cast color glows, typically Broncos orange and blue or Sports Authority red, on the underbelly of the stadium bowl. Second, a band of red light, controlled on 8 ft. dimmable segments/pixels, at the very top of the stadium along the entire sports lighting rack catwalk is used to animate various show effects as well as punch a bit of drama in the Denver night sky. For a retrofit project of this scale, use of a wired control system was practically impossible, making wireless control the necessary choice.
In addition to the anticipated RF challenges, this particular project came with unexpected obstacles for the wireless system, i.e. steel vs. concrete. With a design aspiring to capture the same intimate noise level and ambiance of the old Mile High Stadium in a much larger venue, the stadium bowl steel construction had the unintended effect of significantly attenuating the lighting control signals. LumenRadio’s sophisticated configuration options, interoperability features and ability to adapt to a very wide range of antenna sizes and antenna cable lengths provided all the necessary tools, and allowed the large complex system to be set up for flawless operation.
When all was said and done, five LumenRadio receivers carry the data controlling LED accent lighting on the stadium underbelly and along the upper sports lighting rack catwalk over the stadium. The DMX source is an ETC Mosaic MSC-1 hardwired to two LumenRadio transmitters, one for the underbelly and one for the rack catwalk. The wireless signal from the underbelly transmitter sends data to receivers on five concession venue roof tops where the underbelly LED fixtures are located, while the wireless signal from the sports lighting rack transmitter sends data to two locations for control of the iLight Plexineon PWM controllers.
“Obviously, it is essential that the wireless lighting control does not interfere or compromise the many other critical wireless systems in the stadium. I’m happy to say that, since set-up, we haven’t had any issues,” states Shane Lacey of George Lacey Sales. “Also, the LumenRadio RDM system gives comprehensive feedback information for maintenance and any potential troubleshooting. The all-important feature that the system automatically selects the lowest noise frequencies is another reason we chose to go with LumenRadio.”
Asked about the installation process, Lacey continues, “During the installation while troubleshooting various radio signal issues, GLS technicians Randy Hoff and Eric Bloom received first-class assistance from LumenRadio and TMB. As we adjusted and modified the system to avoid interference with any other systems in the venue, and to optimize the final radio signal strength on the catwalks, TMB provided intensive 24/7 phone and email support, and responded overnight with shipments of miscellaneous items as needed.”
For more information about George Lacey Sales visit their website at www.georgelaceysales.com/. TMB is exclusive distributor for LumenRadio in North America and the UK. For details about LumenRadio lighting control please visit www.tmb.com/lumenradio. Learn more about other exciting products from TMB at www.tmb.com.