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Outdoor Fibre Optic Lighting Projects

Sky Needles

The National Indoor Arena is a state-of-the-art sporting and entertainment venue with a unique canal-side location in the heart of Birmingham.

Originally opened by sprinter Linford Christie in 1991, the arena has recently undergone a £26 million redevelopment which saw all areas of the NIA upgraded and the city's skyline transformed with the installation of three striking sky needles.

Constructed from steel and lit with our fibre optics, the needles reflect the arena's sporting history and stand at 16m, 26m and 20m on top of the NIA. The varied heights of the needles are designed to symbolise the winner's podium in athletics, with the tallest needle measuring 48m into the air from canal level.

We were approached by Marshalls, the fabricator of the needles, to supply and install a fibre optic lighting system that would effectively illuminate the needles and ensure that they could be seen some distance away from the arena.

Our installation team fed more than 600 tails of our 1.5mm diameter polymer fibre into the needles from the top down, before fixing our small round P9 paver fittings to the end points of light. We opted to manufacture the P9s in 316 stainless steel to prevent weathering from occurring and fitted each with high-quality toughened glass for added durability.

Three of our 250w Ultima metal halide light sources are used to power the fibre optics in the needles and are securely stored in a dry location 5m away. We selected the Ultima for its bright light output and ability to power long runs of fibre.


Birmingham, England


Outdoor Lighting



 Products used

Light Sources: 3 x 250W Ultima metal halide white light
Harnesses: Over 600 tails of PMMA sideglow fibre with an outer diameter of 1.5mm
Fittings: P9 paver fittings

 Date completed


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