The Olympic Qualification Tournament in curling took place in the Netherlands in December and the ice has never looked better thanks to MHB AV and Elation’s tunable Kl Panel™ LED soft lights. Held at the Elfstedenhal sports complex in the town of Leeuwarden, a professionally illuminated surface of the highest standard was a must for the Olympic qualifying event.
The Olympic Qualification Tournament was the first international curling tournament to be hosted by the Netherlands. Teams from across the world competed in the two-week event in the hopes of advancing to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, which starts on February 4. As stones slid across the curling sheet and echoes of “sweep!” filled the air, the stakes were high and concentration was at its highest.
Months prior to the event, MHB AV (www.mhbav.nl ) had contacted Bert Schmeits, Key Account Manager Benelux at Elation, and as a result invested in the full-color-spectrum and color temperature-adjustable KL light panels. Schmeits reports that the company was so enthusiastic with the high-quality illumination and enormous output that they immediately saw the soft light as the perfect candidate to illuminate the curling event.
MHB AV has plenty of experience designing and suppling audiovisual solutions for sporting events, having worked with clients such as Triple Double sports marketing and EMG media group. For the Olympic Qualification Tournament in curling, MHB delivered a complete lighting, audio, video and rigging package.
Lighting for TV and video has particularly demanding requirements. For example, the illumination levels required for televising curling are much higher than for normal competition play. A uniform field of light across the entire ice surface was also a prerequisite.
“We needed a bright, high CRI lighting setup that we could place above the curling lanes in order to deliver at least 1400 lux onto the ice so that the curling players and television cameras had a perfect light without shadows,” stated Marten Hylkema of MHB AV. “We chose to use 90 units of the KL Panel because of its good light output, high CRI and perfect color tuning.” The KL Panel units were mounted in rows approximately 7 meters above the ice.
Housing a 295W RGBW + Lime + Cyan LED array, the KL Panel outputs 24,000 lumens from a small form factor to produce a flat field of soft white light or full-color washes if required. Color rendering is of the highest quality with a CRI above 95. Color temperature is adjustable and the unit is adept at matching the white balance for camera through a green shift adjustment and virtual gel library. Virtually silent, the KL Panel is fully optimized for broadcast with 900-25000Hz LED refresh rate adjustment.
Besides the benefits of an LED system like lower power draw and greater reliability, the luminaires produced less heat in the arena, meaning the cooling system for the ice did not have to work so hard.
Project manager, MHB: Johan Miedema
Project technican, MHB: Durk Pelsma
Photo: © Henk Jan Dijks, WCF / Steve Seixeiro