How to Choose the Right Ski Slope Lighting?

Skiing is one of the most popular and attractive sports in most countries. It offers a unique experience of enjoying the beauty of nature and the thrill of movement. While skiing during the day is more common, skiing at night has its own charm and appeal. However, night skiing requires appropriate artificial lighting to ensure safety, visibility and comfort for the skiers. Now let talk how to choose the right ski slope lighting?

Artificial lighting for ski slopes is not a simple task. It involves many challenges and considerations, such as:

  •  The visual tasks of the skiers, who need to see the slope contours, obstacles, other skiers and signs clearly.
  •  The curved and uneven slope surfaces, which require careful calculation of the illuminance levels and uniformity.
  •  The snow reflection characteristics, which can affect the glare and contrast of the lighting.
  •  The speed of movement and recognition, which demand high light quality and color rendering.
  •  The environmental impact and energy efficiency of the lighting system.

In this article, we will provide some guidelines and tips on how to choose the right ski slope lighting based on the European standard EN 12193:2009 “Light and lighting – Sports lighting” and some successful ski slope lighting projects.

Types of Ski Slopes and Lighting Requirements

According to the European standard, there are three main types of ski slopes: alpine/freestyle, jumps and cross-country. Each type has different lighting requirements depending on the level of competition or training. Table 1 shows the minimum illuminance levels (in lux) and uniformity ratios (in percentage) for each type and level.

*The illuminance should be equal at the point of take-off and landing.

**The higher value should be used for televised events.

The illuminance levels for ski slopes should be calculated or measured on the slope surfaces, not on a horizontal plane. The grid points for calculation or measurement should be spaced according to the slope width and length, with a minimum of 11 points along the length and 5 points along the width; For ski jumps, there are specific requirements for the grid points distances: 2m or less for the run down and 5m or less for the landing area;

Moreover, there is a requirement for the retardation area in ski jumps, in which the illuminance levels should have at least 30% of the landing area;

The uniformity ratio is defined as the ratio between the minimum and the average illuminance levels on the reference area. A higher uniformity ratio means a more even distribution of light on the slope surface, which reduces shadows and improves visibility.

Apart from the illuminance levels and uniformity ratios, there are other aspects of light quality that should be considered for ski slope lighting, such as:

  •  Color temperature: The color temperature of the light source affects the perception of brightness and contrast on the snow surface. A higher color temperature (above 4000K) produces a cooler light that enhances the whiteness of the snow and improves visibility. A lower color temperature (below 3000K) produces a warmer light that creates a more cozy and relaxing atmosphere.
  •  Color rendering: The color rendering index (CRI) of the light source measures how well it reproduces the colors of objects under its illumination. A higher CRI (above 80) means a more natural and accurate color rendition, which helps skiers to recognize signs, flags, clothing and other objects on the slope.
  •  Glare: Glare is an uncomfortable sensation caused by excessive brightness or contrast in the field of vision. Glare can impair visibility and cause eye fatigue or discomfort for skiers. Glare can be reduced by choosing appropriate light sources,

Welcome to contact AIKO lighting specialist immediately to see which kind of AIKO’s Ski Slope Lighting will work best for your projects.

For more information, please contact us.


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