Feb 042013

Well, they told us yesterday’s Super Bowl would be the greenest one to date, but they failed to mention that as part of the plan to save energy they were going to turn the lights out in the second half.

Just kidding. This year’s Super Bowl might go down in the books for its lighting “abnormality,” but certainly there were some “bright spots” about this year’s lighting as well. Today, I’m going to reflect on  both.

Superbowl Blackout NY Times Lighting Wins and Losses From Super Bowl XLVII

Image via NYTimes.com

Here at Pegasus Lighting, we were all so excited to ogle the Mercedes-Benz Superdome’s new lighting system, and it didn’t disappoint. (At least through halftime, that is.)  The Superdome’s exterior featured more than 26,000 LED lights on a whopping 96 full-color graphic display panels. These panels flooded the building in a spectrum of animated colors, patterns,and images. We were especially impressed knowing that the system used only 10 kilowatts of electricity, which if you can believe it, is the amount used to power a small house. Not to mention that if the LEDs are used for an average of 6 hours per day, they won’t need to be replaced until 2057.

Super Dome Washington Post Lighting Wins and Losses From Super Bowl XLVII

Image via WashingtonPost.com

We were also enamored by the flashy lights in Beyonce’s halftime show. Seriously, this show was any lighting enthusiast’s dream. It had everything. A stage with insane video effects, a guitar with incredible pyrotechnics, and 72,000 fans wearing blue finger flashlights. Some even blamed the blackout on this incredible light show. If you missed it last night, or just want to relive it in all it’s glory, you can watch it here.

Beyonce SBNation 1024x575 Lighting Wins and Losses From Super Bowl XLVII

Image via SBNation.com

Then, of course, came the now infamous blackout. Shortly after the second half began, the lights went out, and stayed out for around half an hour. Auxiliary power kept the playing field somewhat illuminated, but escalators shut down, credit-card machines stopped working, and the concourses were only lit by small emergency lights. Millions of people across the country were shocked and confused.

Blackout USA Today Lighting Wins and Losses From Super Bowl XLVII

Image via USAToday.com

What actually caused this thing?

After the lights came back on and the game ended, Entergy New Orleans, the stadium’s energy provider, and Superdome operator SMG issued this statement in an attempt to “shed some light” on the situation:

“A piece of equipment that is designed to monitor electrical load sensed an abnormality in the system. Once the issue was detected, the sensing equipment operated as designed and opened a breaker, causing power to be partially cut to the Superdome in order to isolate the issue. Entergy and SMG will continue to investigate the root cause of the abnormality.”

To me, that still sounds pretty vague, but they say the investigation will continue, so I’ll keep you posted.

If you’d like to read in more detail about the blackout, CBS published a fairly thorough play-by-play here.

Did you watch the Super Bowl yesterday? What did you think of the half time show? What did you do during the blackout?


Annie JoseyAnnie was the E-Commerce Marketing Specialist at Pegasus Lighting from June 2012 to October 2013. She has a background in English literature, and loves using language to help illuminate the world. So covering lighting news and tips naturally fit her interests. In her personal time she enjoys painting, biking, and reading.

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 Posted by on February 4, 2013 at 12:33 pm

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