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SPECIAL: Harnessing the new power of light

A lot is changing in the world of lighting and businesses of all types are being challenged to think about how lighting is used in new ways. This revolution in lighting will affect all stadia and arenas, and may be happening much faster than you can imagine.

We all know by now about LED lighting and the benefits it brings for energy usage and performance: that argument is over and has been won by the new technology. What a lot of us may not know is that the body of knowledge of how lighting affects us as humans and the way we behave and feel has grown more in the last 10 years than in the preceding 100 years. So, at the same time that we were embracing digital LED lighting, we were learning what lighting does to us as people.

Now throw into this mix the magic word “connected” and we have a scenario where artificial lighting is efficient, powerful and becoming connected in ways we take for granted with other technologies. And that at a time when we are starting to really understand what it does to us. That is what is happening right now.

This new capability allows the appearance and ambience of even the largest venue to be changed instantly without the need for complex or costly technical operation. It puts the power of lighting into the hands of the venue staff, literally, through simple to use apps, for example.

Some hospitality operators have already embraced this change and with some startling results. One of the leading conference and event venues in London, 8 Northumberland, has reaped huge benefits from installing smart LED lighting with dynamic colour control by amBX.

Charles Boyd, owner of the venue, evangelises on how this has brought dramatic improvement to the quality of client events, as well as his bottom line, as he confirmed:

The ease of use of the amBX system allows all staff the use the lighting features to show off the venue, without the need for technical expertise. The venue has seen a threefold increase in utilisation since the lighting installation.

This is lighting as a business tool for venue and hospitality operators as it is now technically and commercially feasible to do this in venues of all sizes and make a real difference to business performance.

The next step is to aim this at the fan experience and think of it as a marketing capability for both new build and retrofit. The concourse areas can be transformed with even a small injection of colour, and lighting is a very effective way to get a lot of impact from a small investment. Manchester Arena have achieved exactly that in their 400m+ concourse, as shown below.

Make it dynamic, connect it to the video and music content, and even events such as goals and the enhanced level of the fan experience will be turned up several notches. Of course, this is just the start as we all know once things get connected surprising new ideas have the habit of becoming reality.


Manchester Arena

Manchester Arena


Author’s credits: Neil MacDonald is Chief Operating Officer of amBX Ltd, the company that owns, develops and delivers the unique amBX intelligent lighting control technology for partners, clients and licensees worldwide. With over 220 installations in 16 countries, amBX is changing the way the world uses light.
Top image: 8 Northumberland