17 Jul 2023

When it became clear that the lighting in four of New Zealand’s premiere stadiums needed upgrading, a suite of experts was called in to oversee the renewal project. Among them were CKL surveyors, a team uniquely qualified to direct the lighting professionals.

Adam Musa heads the Hamilton surveying division at CKL. When he got the call from the client, he admits to being initially taken aback by the exactitude of the job.

“When the lighting person described the illumination requirements, I was surprised by the level of accuracy needed for sporting events.

“To hit the illumination targets outlined, additional lighting towers needed to be erected at some stadiums, and new heads would have to be fitted with every light tilted to an exact angle and direction.

“These are huge structures. To make the fractional adjustments required, CKL needed to give the crews exact targets to aim for with each light head.”

A full suite of work in Hamilton:
FMG Stadium Waikato in Hamilton was the first venue to be fitted with the advanced technology. Before additional lights could be installed, CKL surveyed the pitch to provide dimension details to the lighting designers.

Existing masts were then surveyed to establish their exact positions and orientation before existing light headframes were removed. Adam describes the technology involved.

“These masts reach around 50m in height, so we used laser scanners to map each structure and produce 3D models.

“Once mast surveying was complete and the heads were removed, we then marked out orientation bolts for the new towers.”

Taking care of the nuts and bolts:
After pouring concrete into steel casts for the new supplementary poles, each bolt needed to align in precise ways to ensure the light heads faced the right angles against the field. CKL were responsible for directing the orientation of those bolts.

CKL’s next task was marking the actual pitch to show exactly where the lights should be aimed.

“To light FMG Stadium Waikato properly for all sporting codes and events, there were 387 points we had to accurately mark in order to direct the lighting adjustments. We put down flags and plates as targets so that someone could climb the light towers and adjust the individual bolts to aim the lights."

“Once each light was aimed correctly, we marked out the field into an approximately 9m by 9m grid to measure the illumination levels at each intersection point."

Having completed FMG Stadium Waikato in Hamilton, and assisted with North Harbour Stadium, CKL are currently helping develop Eden Park.

Let there be light: Upgrading New Zealand’s stadiums