Architecturally stunning, the recently upgraded Adelaide Entertainment Centre features an iconic 18 m (59.1 ft) high domed entry structure known as the Orb. This semi-enclosed structure is largely made up of a geodesic grid of 140 ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) "pillows." To give the Centre a commanding nighttime identity, international lighting design firm Lighting Design Partnership (LDP) conceptualized a breathtaking LED lighting installation for the Orb.
To create the installation's sophisticated lighting effects, each ETFE pillow is fitted with runs of ColorGraze Powercore linear LED luminaires (now specified with ColorGraze IntelliHue Powercore
). The LED luminaires are arranged in two rows of three on opposite sides of each pillow, and are controlled using a Light System Manager LED lighting controller via an installation-wide Ethernet data network. Over 800 LED luminaires are deployed throughout the Orb, for a total of over 3,500 individually controllable light addresses. The lighting system delivers a programmable selection of breathtaking colors, patterns, and animations.
A number of LED suppliers were invited to showcase their technology for the project, but only LED lighting solutions from Color Kinetics could meet the project criteria. Andre Tammes, LDP Founding Director, commented on his choice of ColorGraze Powercore: "The addressability was one of the key reasons for selecting the fixtures. It was the only LED product that allowed us to drill down to relatively small increments to provide the necessary levels of visual detail we required." Each luminaire is made up of multiple 305 mm (1 ft) addressable segments, which permits fine control of color-changing effects and pre-programmed lighting sequences. The luminaires' addressability was particularly important from a programming perspective. "It wasn't simply a case of duplicating programming for one pillow to the next," said Tammes. "No two ETFE pillows are the same shape, so the dimensions of each pillow had to be taken into account when programming to achieve the desired lighting effect."
"The robustness of the product and its ability to operate at high temperatures were key features which also contributed to its selection," Tammes remarked. "During summer in Adelaide, temperatures can soar, and as a result it gets extremely hot up in the canopy of the Orb. Here, we needed a tough and reliable solution that wouldn't fail in the heat, and the ColorGraze Powercore delivered."
From an installation standpoint, reliability was also a key consideration. Working at heights of up to 18 m (59.1 ft), Jones & Jones Electrical had to use cherry-pickers to install over 1,000 m (3,280.8 ft) of luminaires and cabling. "It was essential that a dependable LED system that would not require significant maintenance or upgrade was chosen—especially given the hard-to-access location of the LED fixtures," said David Jones, Managing Director. "The maintenance requirements of the ColorGraze Powercore fixtures are negligible. It's a real 'fit-and-forget' lighting solution."