A perfect solution to emergency lighting at SSE Hydro

The challenge

Our challenge was to provide an effective yet discreet general and emergency lighting solution Arup’s lighting design team quickly discounted traditional bulkhead methods (from the walls) as they did not meet their aesthetical requirements.  With a stainless steel handrail already planned for the ground level up to the VIP area, Arup took the inspired decision to integrate the lighting, specifying our Garda LED handrail.

Clients and partners

  • Client


Key project requirements

  • An effective, discreet lighting solution for stairwells inside the arena – focusing the light where needed.
  • A reliable lighting solution to enable wayfinding in the event of an emergency.

The solution

Using latest LED light source technology, our illuminated handrail and balustrade system, Garda was specified. Providing market-leading photometric performance and ensuring unparalleled uniformity, Garda was used across the 2.4m stair treads at the SSE Hydro.

Ticking all of the high-profile arena requirements, Garda provides:

  • A 3-hour battery backup system in the event of an emergency.
  • High energy efficiency.
  • A life of in excess of 60,000 hours (to L70).
  • Low energy consumption and negligible maintenance requirements will also reduce any lifecycle cost to the arena’s operators.

Our Garda Illuminated LED handrail was site-welded to the standard handrail on the staircases to provide a high-quality seamless finish between the two sections, and on both sides of the stairwell.  Highlighting the importance of thorough planning at survey and design phases, coordination between handrail contractors was required prior to attending site, to ensure that the handrails (illuminated and non-illuminated) perfectly met with bespoke brackets designed by us, to suit the internal side balustrade sections.

Asymmetric distribution was employed to focus the light where needed; the Garda Illuminated Handrail achieves 150lux as necessitated by CIBSE standard for staircases.

Our Stratum lanterns were additionally used to light the roads and walkways behind the arena.

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