Outdoor Fiber Optic Lighting Projects

Sky Needles

Birmingham, UK

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 fiber 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 fiber 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 fiber 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 illuminators are used to power the fiber 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 fiber.


Outdoor Lighting



 Products used

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

 Date completed


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