Wimbledon Centre Court by Populous and ME Engineers
When the U.K.’s premier tennis venue recently replaced the High-Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps at Centre Court with advanced LED sports lighting, the owner, All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), tasked ME Engineers to revise the controls, which had been installed in 2009 along with the HIDs and the stadium’s retractable roof. This was to assure compatibility between the new fixtures and controls and to take advantage of the latest LED and control technologies. To do this, the lighting designers upgraded the software for the existing Quantum system by Lutron, which had been providing complete management for all of the lighting elements and such energy-management components as motorized shades. The updated system, which includes a DMX controller that communicates with every fixture individually, can be accessed via PC or remote keypads with an improved graphical interface. It is now possible to more finely tune the lighting during a game, eliminating potential glare (distracting to both players and spectators) and providing the appropriate illumination for television cameras. Custom programs consist of a championship scene as well as additional adjustable settings for the remainder of the year in areas of the building shown in tours of the facility. This system also integrates with the operable roof controls and is programmed to automatically turn sports and seating lights on and off depending on whether the roof is open or closed, although a manual override is available. Outside of the championship, a time clock and remote keypads control the house lighting for the tours and for staff. The manufacturer maintains that this lighting retrofit has been so successful that AELTC is currently considering a similar solution for its Court No. 1.