This winter Thorn has modernised the lighting of two Swiss ski jumping arenas. The famous World Cup ski jumping slope “Gross-Titlis-Schanze” in Engelberg, and the Nordic Ski Arena in Kandersteg. The main criteria for lighting the ski jumping slopes was to allow ski jumpers to land safely, even in terrible visibility conditions such as fog and falling snow. Thorn solved this risky and challenging task using a selection of their floodlights, and by working closely with long-standing partners, to overcome the unique and exposed construction conditions.
At the World Cup slope in Engelberg, the lighting is not just for the safety of ski jumping stars, it is also vital for the judges and the crowds of spectators. The lighting also has to be ideal for viewing the spectacle on TV. Floodlights will now illuminate the take-off point and the landing slope. Several project specific units have been placed on the seven masts assembled and aligned in the direction of the jumper’s flight. Due to the steep terrain the positioning of the lighting, and the choice of the light spot height, was of great importance and therefore required exact and intricate planning. The light point height between 18 m and 22 m was chosen so that the light does not come in too shallow and interfere with the ski jumper’s perception. Thorn’s Altis product was selected as it produces the necessary vertical illuminance (1,000 lx) with a uniformity of about Emin / Em ≥ 0.6) that is necessary for TV transmissions. In case of a power failure, independent power circuits ensure the safety of the athletes. The drama of the events held on this ski jump have been intensified and celebrated through the inlaid LED strip, which accompanies the athletes dynamically on their rapid ride downhill.
The three newly renovated ski jumps of the Nordic Ski Arena Kandersteg, which can be used all year round, make an ideal training ground for ski jumpers and cross-country skiers from both regional and national teams. At the Lötschberg-Schanze, the new surface spotlights make for better visibility. Between seven and nine of the lights, which have an asymmetric light distribution, emit no stray light and are project-specific on the four masts assembled and aligned in the direction of the jumpers flight. The take-off platform and the landing area have 200 lx illuminance with a uniformity of Emin / Em ≥ 0.5 for training conditions, and 300 lx and Emin / Em ≥ 0.6 for competitions. As in Engelberg, Altis flood lights were used to generate the necessary light for TV transmissions.
The planning was dedicated to finding a fine balance between the correct number of lights to deliver standard-compliant illumination, and the budget. There are no fixed solutions for the construction or illumination of ski jumps, because the terrain is just as unique as the needs of the operator, and importantly those of the end users. For projects that contain so many variables, it is a combined effort from all expert partners that results in a safe and dramatic lighting solution. In these cases ones that are packed full of drama, that heighten the adrenaline of the experience for both skiers, and spectators.