Coca-Cola Arena - 100% LED, 100% teamwork
Sunday 5th July, 2020
The new Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai – recent winner of a Mondo*DR’s 2020 EMEA & APAC Awards – unites three dynamic, industry-leading lighting brands from Cooper Lighting Solutions – Zero 88 for entertainment-style control, iLight for architectural-style control and Ephesus LED sports lights.
The interior lighting and control systems together with all associated infrastructure were delivered as a turnkey solution during last year by Eaton Lighting Systems – now known as Cooper Lighting Solutions (CLS).
These aspects of this flagship project were managed by Peter Coles (Business Manager), supported by Martin Piper (iLight International Training & Support Manager), Jon Hole (Zero 88 Product Manager) and Cooper Lighting Solution’s two EMEA Project Teams – one based in the UK, the other in Dubai, who together oversaw the process from design to final delivery in close collaboration with UAE-based lighting installation contractor, BMTC.
The venue itself is a 17,000 capacity (bowl format) multi-purpose indoor arena located in the City Walk neighbourhood of Dubai, United Arab Emirates and operated by ASM Global.
The tender requirement stipulated the specific sports lighting criteria required to maintain the correct lighting levels to be TV / broadcast friendly. The whole arena had to be properly lit in white as well as having the capability of being turned into an array of vibrant colours and textures, so in all, some 369 high output LED fixtures were specified.
Three different types of LED fixtures are used in combination – 74 x Ephesus Arena Pro Variable White, 191 x Ephesus Prism RGBA fixtures and 104 x LED profiles. These are carefully positioned around the venue to light the floor, seating stands and surrounding areas for both sporting and non-sporting events like concerts.
The Ephesus Prism RGBA fixtures are ideal for lighting the seating areas and for providing high level practical ‘states’ for cleaning and working. Being RGBA, they also offer a fantastic range of colour effects.
The project encapsulates an array of firsts. It’s the first fully air-conditioned indoor multi-purpose arena in the Middle East, the first arena to be operating year-round in the region, the first EMEA project for Ephesus LED fixtures, and the first project worldwide to unite Zero 88, iLight and Ephesus all together under Cooper Lighting Solutions.
The Arena itself is divided into four key areas – each of which can then be subdivided into different sections allowing for multiple types of music shows and sporting events to be staged, but also allowing for weddings, corporate events, dinners and awards shows, etc.
Each light is individually controllable and can be used in several different setups. In any situation, venue managers can change colour in the upper, middle and lower tiers of seating and across the arena floor, so the space can be illuminated and adjusted according to the specific event lighting requirements.
The primary control system offers architectural-style lighting control for day-to-day running. It’s based around an iLight touch screen controlling the powerful Zero 88 ZerOS Server which drives all the lighting scenes, cues and DMX setups and merges with the FLX lighting desk in the control room. Other touch screens are located in the security room and the VOC room. The whole system can also be controlled from the BMS system or via an App.
For aisle and step lighting this custom-configured CLS control system is designed to be as flexible and straightforward as possible; combining the architectural and show lighting systems so that they can work independently or seamlessly together. This approach highlights the synergies of the CLS brands and the flexibility of the solution, where Zero 88 FLX, ZerOS Server and iLight Touch Screens can all work together.
All the different settings – cleaner, load-in, working, special events, sports lighting, etc. – can be called up and tweaked, activated, etc via the Touch Screens.
The main roof catwalk features an IP-based Art-Net 4 system running on a dedicated IP fibre network that is controlling all of the sports and arena lighting either via the architectural control system … or via the in house FLX lighting console.
Zero 88’s FLX console was selected for its power, simplicity and intuitive hands-on control of lighting and LED fixtures. It includes a touch monitor for quick access to palettes / show overviews and is ultimately portable with a small footprint.
Free apps are available from Zero 88 to enable wireless monitoring of the lighting rig and there’s support for a range of networking accessories.
Inbuilt tools include the award-winning “RigSync” and “Auto Palettes” to assist with prep work. Colours can be quickly and accurately selected and applied via the multi-touch Colour & Image Picker or the encoder wheels or by selecting colours contained within “Mood Boards” by LEE Filters.
In a concert scenario, visiting productions can bring in their own touring consoles and hook into the house system – in addition to their own production rigs – and take control of the Arena lighting for the duration of their show, using their touring desk accessing the in-house lights via Art-Net.
The two systems (iLight Touch Screens with ZerOS Server and the Zero 88 FLX console) work on an HTP hierarchy with the architectural controller as the primary controller for the whole Arena – so in the event of a fire or other emergency, it has precedence.
Another advantage of Zero 88 and iLight being “sister brands” is that many of the team resources – sales, production, R&D, customer service etc. – are shared, so on projects like this, there is constant dialogue, coordination and interactive creative thinking to bring the project to delivery.
A great example of a 100% LED lit venue with 100% teamwork.