Digital Systems

Marine lighting for: The Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) cruise ships "Breakaway" and "Getaway"

The two cruise ships "Breakaway" and "Getaway" belonging to the US-American shipping company Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), built in the Meyer shipyard in Papenburg, were to be equipped with an ultra modern lighting system. Above all else, this system will consume much less power that one using conventional technology. It will provide optimal illumination for the various areas on board, will comply with all safety regulations and will provide the approximately 4000 guests on board with a modern "feel good", special event atmosphere.

Project description

The aim of the illumination project: When planning the lighting systems for the two ships, firstly energy savings should be as high as possible in comparison to conventional lighting solutions. Secondly, the individual areas should be ideally lit according to their very different requirements, ultimately reinforcing the "feel good", special event atmosphere. Today, guests move along discreetly lit corridors to their cabins, encounter carefully crafted lighting moods in the restaurants and bathe in colorful and spectacular lighting effects in the theater.


Category: Entertainment, Hospitality
Subcategory: Club and DJ lighting, Luminous ceiling/decorative backlighting, Event lighting, Stage and Theater Lighting
Technology/Services: Light engines and LED modules, Luminaires, Light management systems, Compact fluorescent lamps
Year: 2014

Quite varied lighting requirements

Cruise ships make very special demands of the lighting. As the electricity is generated on board, energy efficiency is given top priority, in the face of rising fuel prices and stricter environmental regulations. Apart from power consumption, linking a wide range of lighting applications in very limited space plays an important role. There are also high requirements made of the quality and atmosphere provided by the lighting in the cabins and public areas, in the restaurants, bars, shops as well as in the sports and wellness areas. We should also not forget the very high standards set for the lights' resistance to salt water and meeting fire safety regulations.

Significant energy savings of up to 18%

Using the modern lighting technology from OSRAM and its subsidiary, Traxon Technologies, the two cruise ships are saving energy costs of up to 18% without taking the main drive into account. "Working with OSRAM, we are developing energy-efficient and cost-saving illumination," explains Stephan Schmees, project manager at the Meyer shipyard for NCL. Schmees is focusing on three factors where light is concerned: "Energy efficiency, costs and the effect to be created. Working with OSRAM, we've made lots of progress over the past few years in the LED sector, and have continued to develop the product portfolio."

Swift Amortization

This is a key parameter: As customers, shipping companies require that their investment be amortized within a few years. A short time in which the difference in price between LEDs and halogen lights, which are comparatively cheaper to buy, is made up by the lower power consumption. This is understandable if you consider that, of all the energy a ship needs (apart from its main drive) depending on the type of ship, between 25 % and 40 % is used for lighting.

LEDs in ship's lighting: Can only be optimally implemented with technical know-how

Taking the cabin as an example, it is clear that optimal LED lighting on board can only be successful with a lot of specialist knowledge. The LED technology is installed behind mirrors, in wet cells, behind curtains and in the lighting coves among other places. "In these small areas, we have to think about where we accommodate the control gear, how much heat is dissipated and how the lights reflect from the ceiling material," explains shipyard project manager Schmees. In addition to this, the LED technology also involves the special requirements associated with innovative materials, as it has only been in use for a few years now. "Particularly when we were starting out, we had to think about the special types of mounting and also directly consider the need for replacements at the maintenance intervals," said OSRAM engineer Martin Jost.

For the project manager Schmees though, the benefits of LED technology are obvious. "It's more energy efficient because it consumes less electricity and at the same time generates less heat. This is why we don't have to cool as much. Also, the LEDs are very tough and last longer with a lifespan of around 50,000 operating hours. With each new generation of ships we are using an ever increasing number of LEDs," says Schmees.

A whole new world of lighting technology

Around 17.5 km of flexible LED modules and other lights have been installed on the cruise ships. A total of around 30,000 meters of cable have been installed for the lighting system. The Meyer shipyard installs between 60,000 and 80,000 lighting points in every ship - from simple spots through chandeliers to disco lighting. This includes halogen and energy-saving lamps as well as LED light sources. A variety of lighting solutions now light up the ships: Lamps with control gears, flexible LED systems and luminaires through to dynamic lighting and control solutions from Traxon Technologies.

Project Partner

ClientMeyer Werft / Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL)
Lighting designProject International, London
Lighting design entertainmentFUNA