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Airport grounds lighting control

Monitoring, dimming and adjusting lighting remotely

On the way to the check-in counter with your suitcase. Getting through security, then off to the gate with your ticket in hand. If you take off from Brussels Airport in the near future take a look outside. It is our electrical panels that provide the exterior lighting on the tarmac. And, everything is remotely measurable and adjustable. Project manager Gunther Bleux explains the details.

Brussels Airport has countless metres of conveyor belts, as well as shops, counters, bars and restaurants. And on the outside, there are the aircraft waiting for their passengers. There is also a variety of just about all types of lights outside. We were commissioned by Claesen Outdoor Lighting to take care of the site lighting on the tarmac at the aircraft bays.

They are also the company behind the spectacular lighting at the Ghelamco Arena in Ghent, and the floodlighting at just about every Belgian first and second division club.

“At Brussels Airport they replaced the traditional mast lighting with LEDs. These last longer and consume less power. Brussels Airport also wanted more lighting control options. Their old lighting could indeed be turned on and off, but no more than that. They wanted to remotely monitor, dim and adjust the lighting. This requires very different electrical panels.”

“But the available space did stay the same. The cabinets we were to build had to fit on the same base as the old ones. So there was no possibility of compromises. And extending upwards at an airport is not a good idea (laughs).”

Brussels Airport can monitor, dim and adjust the lighting remotely.
Project manager Gunther Bleux

“So we looked for creative ways to integrate all the extra technology in our panels. The control unit particularly took up a lot of space. The solution was to also use the sides in the cabinet. In principle that is not done, but in this case we had no other option. It was not a simple matter, because we obviously also had to take account of the fitting requirements of all the other components. As an example, we had to leave sufficient space in between to guarantee good ventilation. These cabinets are indeed outside the whole day on the tarmac – and sometimes hours on end in full sunlight. This is why we chose a highly reflective colour for the cabinet housing. This again shows that everything must be done right down to the smallest detail.”


“We made a total of five panels according to specifications in just as many cabinets measuring one meter by two. It was all plug-and-play, so everything was simply connectable for Claesen and no time was lost with the switch-over. The panels themselves are a combination of control and power panels. With a heap of intelligence on board. The personnel at Brussels Airport can remotely consult the status of the lighting and adjust it. They can also monitor power consumption. They can see if the intensity of the LEDs is suitable for the light intensity outside. This means perfect lighting is guaranteed at any time of the night.”