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Flicker-free LED Floodlights Improve Video Recordings at Skate Park in Germany

Datetime2016-10-5  Clicks

The skater scene at the new skate park in Karlsruhe, Germany enthuses about ideal preconditions for spectacular recordings in super slow-motion thanks to innovative lighting from Osram. The new Floodlight 20 generation ofLED floodlights guarantees not only perfect lighting conditions for the stunts of skaters, inliners and BMX riders but also enables the flicker-free recording of skating tricks in super slow-motion for training purposes or for sharing on Facebook, Instagram and Co.

With regard to lighting, those constructing sporting facilities pay attention not only to optimum conditions for the event directly on location. Today further processing via moving images and live streaming is also highly relevant, and filming the world's best athletes in super slow-motion is already a part of today's professional TV technology. The precondition for this is the use of state-of-the-art lighting technology C and the same applies to leisure sport and recording with smartphones and video cameras. "Much is filmed during skating. Recordings in super slow-motion are especially popular because these best communicate the ability of the individual athletes as well as a strong sense of emotion. In this respect it's important that the slow motion is flicker-free. This we've achieved with the lighting," explained Ingo Naschold, Managing Director of the design consultancy DSGN concepts from Mnster. "For the new construction of the skate park in Karlsruhe we managed to find a partner in Osram that enabled implementation of this creative concept professionally and at a maximum level in terms of lighting technology."

Osram Lighting Solutions ensures efficient and flicker-free lighting for the new Karlsruhe skate park. (All photos courtesy of Osram) 

Specifying the right lighting solution plays a decisive role for the flicker-free playback of moving image sequences: recording a scene requires a large number of single images, so-called frames per second (fps). For television recordings a frame rate of 50 to 60 fps is used as standard, but for slow motion recordings with a smartphone for example, significantly higher rates of 120 to 240 fps are achieved and in some cases up to 480 frames per second. The problem: artificial light pulses due to the mains frequency or because of the signal characteristic of its control units and therefore does not supply constant luminous flux. The inertia of the human eye compensates for this pulsing up to a certain frequency, meaning that we do not normally perceive the difference in brightness. With slow motion recordings though, each individual detail comes to the fore: pulsing of the light becomes visible and is seen in video recordings as fluctuations in the brightness.

Various technical solutions are available to avoid this flickering even with super slowmotion playback. Osram Lighting Solutions has developed the flicker-free Floodlight 20 series of floodlights that offer important advantages particularly in the sports sector. The use of suitable control units in combination with the LED modules reduces the deviation between bright and dark to a minimum C video recordings are thus rendered without flicker. "Over the past years we've equipped several large-scale sports stadiums around the world with flicker-free lighting systems C always for professional sport though. That's why it's great with the new outdoor skate park in Karlsruhe to bring the benefits of these innovative floodlights to leisure sports as well," said Jörg Meyer-Brenken, Global Market Leader Sports at Osram Lighting Solutions.

Siteco Floodlight 20 Midi floodlights enable flicker-free recordings for both professional and leisure sport.

The leisure facility in the Otto-Dullekopf Park in Karlsruhe was given a complete refurbishment in 2016. Specific requirements for the lighting concept were drawn up as part of a previous workshop that documented the needs of the new system together with the skater community. It was for example particularly important for the youngsters to skate in the evening hours and to record exciting videos for posting in social media channels. The operators of the leisure facility placed special importance on energysaving solutions.

Together with Osram Lighting Solutions the designer Ingo Naschold managed to create a solution that uniformly illuminates the skate park with low glare for skaters, enabling use of the facility up until 10 p.m. The installed Floodlight 20 midi LED floodlights emit flicker-free light at the press of a button. The luminaires use energy-efficient LEDs switched "on demand": as soon as visitors press the switch the light is activated without any start-up time. The system dims down to 50% after 30 minutes to indicate the pending switch-off, and if no new switch pulse is triggered the system deactivates the light five minutes later.

"The teenagers have completely accepted the concept of the skate park," summarized a pleased Ingo Naschold. The brilliant visual experience can also be admired in the social media C both in real time and slow motion. 

Light at the press of a button saves energy at the new skate park at Karlsruhe.