The Olympics aren't the only big sports event in Europe this summer. The European Football Championship (translation: a big international soccer tournament that runs every four years in between World Cup gatherings) gets underway June 8 in Poland and Ukraine.
It's huge. The 3-week spectacle pits 16 countries against each other for one glorious trophy. The 16 have all emerged victorious from more than a year of qualifying matches by 51 national teams.
Euro 2012, as it's called, will also show off some of the latest in stadium lighting and architecture, including the dancing lights of LEDs that bring the facade of Poland's Poznan City stadium to life. Check out the video below, which includes an interview with the stadium's architect, Wojchiech Rynzynski. He waxes about slopes, curves, about a steel frame that supports special floodlights (not LEDs) that make HDTV cameras possible, and, of course, about LEDs.
Not only are LEDs energy efficient compared to conventional lighting, but their digital nature allows choreographers, if you will, to digitally control their on/off state, brightness, and color hue.
I do wonder if these gatherings would spend less energy by simply not having the fancy illumination, as has traditionally been the case with more bland night time stadia facades. But how much fun would that be? That's another conversation. Most spectators will probably find the lights add an ambiance to what can be a sterile, corporate, big stadium event.
Have a look:
Oh, about the soccer. Fifteen teams will try to unseat reigning champ Spain, which not only won the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, but also took home the hardware from the 2008 European tournament hosted by Austria and Switzerland.
YouTube video and Poznan City stadium photo from Philips.