Incheon, South Korea – Anyone who remembers South Korea winning the baseball Gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, while Cuba collected Silver and the USA took Bronze, will know that the sport is hugely popular in the South East Asian country.
One of South Korea’s top-flight baseball teams, SK Wyverns, hosts up to 30 matches each season at its home ground, the 26,000-capacity SK Stadium. The thriving venue, located in Incheon, just south-west of the nation’s capital city, Seoul, will soon benefit from a new floodlighting installation, taking advantage of all the cost and environmental benefits of an ArenaVision LED solution from Signify.
In readiness for that upgrade, the team’s owners also wanted to take the opportunity to install a brand-new entertainment lighting system, which would allow them to enhance the match-day experience for SK Wyvern’s loyal fans.
With the Arena Vision system already specified, it made perfect sense to look to Signify’s extensive product portfolio for an entertainment and control package that would integrate seamlessly with the new sports lighting system. Hence the choice of high-powered, full-featured moving heads from Vari-Lite, along with a Strand control system which would deliver trouble-free access for the stadium’s technical team.
The system was specified by Signify’s representative in South Korea, Henry Shin, working in collaboration with the venue’s technical team and installation company Chunil Group. He explains, “The entertainment lighting system had to be designed to produce pre-set lighting effects at key moments in a game, such as a new player, a home run or a victory.”
Discussing the lighting performance requirements, Shin says, “It was necessary to illuminate this large stadium with a relatively small number of luminaires, and to be able to maximize the lighting effects by using the entertainment lighting in combination with the ArenaVision sport lighting. So our main focus was to network the lighting data so that both entertainment lighting and sport lighting can be used individually or in combination.”
With this in mind, the decision was reached to specify high-performance fixtures from the Vari-Lite range. Shin explains, “Outdoor stadium lighting requires coverage of a wide area, so it is necessary to use equipment with the best possible visual impact. For this reason, we decided on beam luminaires with discharge sources, rather than LED, and also to choose equipment that could produce a wide range of effects.”
The final choice was for eight of Vari-Lite’s unique VL6000 Beam, plus ten of the powerful, effects-laden VL10 BeamWash luminaires. “The VL6000 is an unmatched large-diameter device that can excel in a stadium lighting. It produces a strong beam through its wide face and is able to flood the entire stadium, even with a small number of luminaires,” says Shin. “The VL10 has great light intensity of 28,000 lumens, and endless creative possibilities. With its dual overlaying prisms, rotating gobos, and VL*FX effect wheel, plus its wide zoom from 2.2 to 48 degrees and its beam reduction giving a 0.7 degree pinspot effect, it was able to produce more than enough lighting effects to meet the client’s needs.”
Used in combination, the VL6000 Beam and VL10 BeamWash fixtures deliver rich variations of color and effect – essential for the range of dynamic pre-set looks needed to punctuate the ins, outs, ups and downs of a baseball game. While great care needed to be taken with the programming to ensure the luminaires would not provide in-play distractions for the players, the new fixtures are able to introduce both drama and celebration, signaling key moments and raising the audience experience to a new level.
Another requirement was for protection of the fixtures - not only from the rainfall common in the wet season of South Korea’s summer, but also from the risk of damage from well-struck baseballs. For this reason, hard-shell transparent housings were specified for all 18 moving heads.
For control, a Strand 500ML lighting console was specified. This provides control of the entertainment fixtures over an Ethernet network via Art-Net. These are divided into two groups of four VL6000s and two groups of five VL10s, via four Strand DMX 512 Networking Nodes. The console will also seamlessly integrate with the architectural control of the ArenaVision LED lighting when the installation is complete.
Mrs H J Park, who led the installation team at Chunil Group, comments, “From the beginning to the end of the project, the Signify team helped with the overall system design, equipment selection and network configuration, which enabled us to proceed with the installation without difficulty. We would especially like to show our appreciation for Total Plus Co., Ltd as Vari-Lite’s Korean distributor and Mr. Henry Shin’s support.”