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Case study



SSE Hydro

The SSE Hydro is one of the most recognisable new additions to the Glasgow skyline and the venue for some of its most high-profile recent events and concerts. Black Light was involved in the final stage of its construction and supplied innovative exterior LED lighting for the highest point of the building.

Service Type: Sales 
Sector: Venue 
Completion: September 2013 
Location: Glasgow 
Client: FES Ltd, Consultant: Arup 

Equipment list: 
  • Traxon DOTXL9 RGB 
  • Traxon LED Engine 
  • eCue Butler XT2 

The SSE Hydro is a strikingly shaped arena located on the banks of the river Clyde in Glasgow, close to the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre. It was designed by the London-based architects Foster + Partners and consultants Arup. It opened in September 2013. Since then it has hosted concerts by the likes of Rod Stewart and was the venue of the MTV European Music Awards in 2014. 

The project 
As part of the final phase of the build of the SSE Hydro project, the high-level bullnose of the building needed to be illuminated. The project brief specified a robust light fitting that could withstand the challenging wind and weather of the Hydro’s riverfront position. The fitting had to be positioned on a 400m-long ledge running around the perimeter of the building’s bullnose.

We worked alongside the Lighting Consultants on the project (Arup, South Queensferry) and the main electrical contractor (FES) to develop a solution to this challenge. Using our extensive product knowledge of architectural LED lighting, we were able to specify and source the best product for the job – the Traxon DOTXL9 RGB. This product met the project brief and budget. It provides fully-programmable flexibility and allows a wide range of colours and lighting effects to be deployed. 

Key project steps
  • Project review and quote – We reviewed the project requirements and then delivered our project proposal to the client. 
  • Sample demonstration – a sample of the proposed  technology was put in place on the building and demonstrated to the client. 
  • Product customisation – based on the client’s feedback the final product was customised to provide a custom pitch between the lighting elements (dots). All cabling and fittings were also customised in black. 
  • Client briefing – once the product specifications had been finalised it was delivered to the client. We then held a familiarization meeting with the client to go over wiring schematics and to brief them on the correct installation procedures. 
  • Commissioning – once FES had installed the product, we programmed and commissioned it. 
The product 
The Traxon DOTXL RGB is a flexible product that offers either an extra bright clear or diffused dot, with 3, 6 or 9 leds per dot casing. The dots are single dot controllable by dmx or e:pix (dvi capable), and are connected per string using the dot xl pixel distributor. The pixel distributors can be daisy chained to form large installations.

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