Estonia’s Beautiful South

The south of Estonia is a peaceful place with beautiful lakes surrounded by forests. The narrow roads guide people to get here and enjoy the weekend or a well-deserved holiday. You would not expect it to be a showcase for high power LED luminaires. Over four hundred of them have been applied by AAA-LUX, in cooperation with VIRU Elektrikaubandus, illuminating several sports facilities while respecting mother nature. These projects represent what AAA-LUX is all about.

Tehvandi Sports Center

Otepää is considered the winter capital of Estonia. With its biathlon, ski jump and cross country facilities as well as its specialized athlete hotel, Tehvandi Sports Center plays a central role. In 2019 the facilities have been prepared for international sports events. Last winter the European Championships Biathlon and Cross Country was cancelled, due to lack of snow. Thankfully there are many more events to come.

Low weight and wind surface

The two stadiums at Tehvandi were illuminated for 1.000lx. The football stadium is prepared for the start and finish in cross country and biathlon. The neighbouring biathlon arena was extended with a new penalty area. Five new stadium masts were used but the seven masts at the biathlon arena could be re-used thanks to the low weight and wind surface of AAA-LUX luminaires. “This is what made us more interesting over the competition”, says Michel van Dooren, AAA-LUX’ business development manager. “It gave the installer the head start in terms of total price level”.

Optimum use of funds and energy

But there is more to it than cost alone. Being able to offer quality lighting for the different purposes, requires specific types of luminaires. Narrow beam for 30 meter high masts at the stadium, and wide beam in the forest where the four kilometer ski track was illuminated. Sten Sooäär, project manager at VIRU Elektrikaubandus: “Different levels where requested for recreational use and training as well as for official competition. With extra intensity near the dozens of camera positions, providing clear TV images for Eurosports and other international TV broadcasting purposes”. VIRU made these plans together with AAA-LUX that led to the most optimum use of funds and energy.

Ease of use

An important aspect is dynamic controls. To minimize the burden on flora and fauna the philosophy of AAA-LUX is to illuminate only the location needed, at the time needed, at the level needed … and not more than that. Van Dooren: “Our luminaires can be controlled individually or in groups of luminaires, for a specific sector while the rest is switched off. Also per sector the required light level can be chosen. There are over 10 sectors divided over the stadiums and the tracks in the forest. When machines have created snow at specific tracks, only these tracks are lighted so athletes easily know where to go”.

Kääriku sports and leisure centre

Sooäär: “This project came on our path because of an earlier project nearby, at Kääriku Spordikeskus which is just 10 minute drive from here”. Kääriku had the same installer who was convinced of our products. The Kääriku sports and leisure centre, located in the middle of a stunningly beautiful area, was the first project of AAA-LUX with VIRU. It was done in three phases. At the end of 2015, early 2016 the tennis courts, volleyball fields and the playing areas where illuminated. Phase 2 in 2018 was the football field down the road and in 2019 the athletics facilities situated at the edge of the lake was illuminated. Today a high class athletics track stands with an artificial sports field in the middle. It completes the number of sports that Kääriku offers the guests in their hotels in the middle of this sports environment.

Lowest total project cost

“For this project we searched for an easy-to-use LED luminaire and we found it with AAA-LUX in The Netherlands. The difference with other LED manufacturers is that AAA-LUX can use the same masts as conventional lighting”, says Sooäär. “A large portion of the total budget is for infrastructure as in masts, cabling and installation cost. Where some LED manufacturers focus on the lowest priced luminaires, the vision of AAA-LUX is to have the lowest total project cost. That is clearly not the same thing. It means we can re-use old masts and when we buy new ones, standard masts are easily capable to handle the mechanical stress applied by these luminaires. So the total investment is lower which obviously is beneficial for the end-customer”.

Smart controls

Here also many features of the smart controls are used. Each sports field has its own group, so you can switch power and select the right lighting level from a central control room. And thanks to radio frequency communication, it is easy to locate the luminaires at the football field, which is 200m down the street. Also here providing the light that is needed without wasting energy. Dynamic controls reduced the carbon footprint by 60 – 80% compared to the conventional lighting equivalent.  

For AAA-LUX the South of Estonia is an example of the company’s vision. Van Dooren: “Being smart is needed to make money and exist as a company. Keeping in touch with nature is the core of our companies vision. This beautiful place combines both elements perfectly well.