Thorn lights up French football stadia for Euro 2016


Thorn, a Zumtobel Group brand, has provided new lighting for three of the stadia hosting Euro 2016 in the run-up to the tournament, ensuring that illumination at the Euro 2016 matches will be in line with the stringent requirements imposed by UEFA for TV broadcasts. Thorn floodlights are in use at Geoffroy-Guichard Stadium in Saint-Étienne, the Stade des Lumières in Lyon and at the Allianz-Riviera stadium in Nice. Together these Thorn projects represented contracts worth almost €1.5m (US$1.7m).

“We’re delighted to be contributing to this major football event through our Thorn brand,” says Zumtobel Group CEO, Ulrich Schumacher. “As an international lighting group, the Zumtobel Group has already supported many major sporting events. Thorn has more than 40 years’ experience in sports venue lighting and its innovative products will ensure that the scene is set perfectly for the thrilling encounters of Euro 2016. We’re looking forward to seeing top-class games in the stadia and we’re very proud that our products are helping to deliver top-class lighting.”

Working in conjunction with Vinci, a leading company in building and operating soccer stadia, and Léon Grosse, Thorn equipped the three venues with various different floodlights including Altis, Areaflood, Mundial and Champion. In addition to the pitches themselves, other areas – including car parks, interiors and a façade – were also illuminated. At all the stadia, three or four variable lighting modes are available to meet the different lighting requirements during training, matches and for TV broadcasts. The ability to adjust the level of illuminance makes this lighting solution not just highly flexible, but also energy efficient.

“In the lighting for the Euro 2016 stadia, our primary concern was to comply with UEFA’s guidelines for TV broadcasts in full,” says Damien Venet, head of service at electrical contractor SPIE Sud-Est, which realized the lighting solution with Thorn in Lyon. “At the same time offering various lighting modes was also very important. We’ve been working with Thorn for years now and together we’ve achieved optimal lighting solutions for the stadia in France – solutions that will soon be seen in action at Euro 2016.”

In the lighting of such major arenas the primary focus is on compliance with UEFA’s stringent demands for high-definition TV broadcasts. As many as 300 floodlights are installed per stadium, directed in order to light the pitch evenly to the required illuminance level of 2,000 lx. The vertical light distribution required to show the players optimally is 1,500 lx – enabling cameras to capture their movements perfectly across the whole playing area. Even lighting across the whole of the pitch is another requirement, reducing shadows to a minimum. For slow-motion replays and HDTV coverage it is also very important that the light is almost completely flicker-free – a factor that is especially crucial in slow-motion TV sequences. This flicker factor must be lower than 5% to comply with the UEFA guidelines. Color rendering (≥80 Ra), color temperature (5000-6200K) and glare rating (GR <50) are further key criteria.

Thorn can draw on decades of experience in sports venue lighting. The brand has been a lighting partner of Wembley Stadium in London – now called Wembley Stadium connected by EE – for 40 years. Thorn lighting solutions are also in use at the Franz Fekete Stadium in Austria, and at Spennymoor Town Football Club in the UK. Thorn also provided a state-of-the-art lighting system at the Stadion Energa Gdańsk in Poland for the Euro 2012 Championships, and ensured that various venues and infrastructures appeared in their best light at the Sochi winter games.

June 09, 2016

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