The lighting design is as unique as the entire project – SlideWheel, the world’s first rotating water slide, is a combination of a Ferris wheel and a slide. More than 700 LED luminaires illuminate this impressive ride – controlled via WiFi by the innovative e:cue SYMPHOLIGHT™ light management system.
The SlideWheel is around 25 meters high and weighs 160 tonnes – numbers that are mind-boggling. The water slide, which spins round like a Ferris wheel, has a length of 140 meters and a diameter of 2.7 meters. In it, guests move back and forth at varying speeds on rafts – each occupied by up to four people. It’s followed by a 260-meter-long fixed water slide. SlideWheel is a gigantic fun attraction for visitors to the Chimelong Water Park. One of the people who made a significant contribution to the project was Mathias Benz, owner of Swiss company Lichtstark who specializes in such complex lighting solutions and came up with this impressive lighting concept.
A project filled with challenges
The perpetually spinning system that operates with a constant flow of water brought with it special challenges for the installation of the lighting. All the electronic components had to meet the highest requirements in terms of water tightness. It was also necessary to find a solution to supply the rotating part with uninterrupted power and data.
Data transmission via WiFi
Mathias Benz opted for LED and light management components from OSRAM to benefit from the renowned lighting company’s expertise and, despite all the complexity, to ensure optimal interaction between light management and electronic components. At the heart of the system is the e:cue SYMPHOLIGHT™ light management system. Developed for dynamic, media and functional lighting control, this software can be used to plan, control and monitor entire buildings – or giant rotating water slides for that matter. In the SlideWheel’s case, SYMPHOLIGHT™ uses WiFi to control 80 Washer Quattro AC XB RGBW fitted in the rotating steel construction. Eleven more of these LED spotlights, equipped with precision optics and IP66 protection, illuminate the inside of the slide which is made of special translucent material. The two wheel rims on the right and left of the slide are highlighted in spectacular fashion by 320 light points each – using Traxon Allegro Dots on flexible cables – evenly illuminating the gigantic SlideWheel from every angle.
Fully automatic thanks to astronomical timer
The lighting is operated fully automatically via an interface to the control system thanks to an astronomical timer in SYMPHOLIGHT™ that uses the latest sunrise and sunset times so that no brightness sensors are required.
Customized lighting scenes
The lights are either projected across the front and back or along the slide. Since the position of the rotating wheel is constantly transmitted to SYMPHOLIGHT™, it is also possible to create lighting scenes that appear still from the ground or disconnected from the wheel motion – for example, an effect that always runs from top to bottom while the wheel continues to turn. There are also six cameras connected to the network to monitor the inside of the slide. It goes without saying that visitors to Chimelong Water Park don’t know anything about the SlideWheel’s complex lighting technology. But the unique light show grabs the attention of visitors from afar and leaves them eagerly anticipating the rapid ride down the gigantic water slide, during which the boundaries of top and bottom and space and time seem to dissolve, giving way to an experience perceived with all their senses.
Copyright of photos and video: Lichtstark:: Visual Engineering FrickeFilm