Sports Lighting Control Solution

  • Sector: Sporting Facilities
  • System: zencontrol
  • Status: In Progress



  • End Client: Auckland Netball
  • Controls Specialist: Sanjiv Gounder

The Auckland Netball Centre is located in St Johns and is considered the home of netball in Auckland. Every year it serves thousands of netballers and spectators for practice sessions and tournament games. It also provides multipurpose sporting and recreation facilities for the wider community. Holiday programmes run during school holidays, events from birthday parties to boxing matches are regularly hosted, and their 800-space carpark is home to the Auckland Markets every Sunday all year round.

Lighting has always been a key challenge for this site. The netball association requires a venue that can be lit naturally as much as possible, both for energy saving, but also to limit heat emitted unnecessarily from lights that could overheat players.

The site was developed initially in 2006, and earlier this year Intelligent Environments were invited by Auckland Netball to consult and provide advice on a potential upgrade path for the existing but aging, C-Bus sports lighting control both inside, and for the exterior netball courts.

The accepted proposal involves transitioning to a full DALI system which will not only allow seamless dimming of the sports lighting but will also enable the courts to be split into multiple configurations and associated lighting scenes. This will positively impact on efficiency and usability of the venue.

As the venue is also a Sky Sports event location it’s imperative the lighting meets the requirements for TV broadcasting. The flexibility of DALI ensures filming requirements are met, but lighting and configuration of the courts can also be easily changed to suit smaller events or training. Being able to easily change lighting scenes to suit the application will also reduce running costs.  

As well as the indoor courts, the centre has 30 outdoor courts, all fully lit to extend playing times.

DALI LED lighting is to be installed in this outside area, and initially, due to the difficulty in re-wiring, the plans were to use simple relays to turn these lights on and off. This would have limited the control to on/off and would not allow the full range of control that DALI offers.

We were able to offer them the zencontrol wireless solution which provides all the benefits of a wired DALI system without the difficult and costly exercise of running DALI cables.

The extreme flexibility of the zencontrol wireless DALI allows for future changes or expansion as required. An important consideration as this facility is a major sports location.

Being able to dim the lighting for the outside courts allows Auckland Netball to fine-tune the lighting to deliver best results for the players, but also reduce light levels in adjacent areas to minimise light pollution for neighbouring properties, but still have safe levels of light for departing players. Dimming the fittings will also increase lamp life, and decrease maintenance costs.

To provide easy operation and visualisation of the site, we were able to offer a fully customised user interface which will allow the Centre’s team to operate and adjust the lighting controls.