Sydney Opera House – Lighting Control Upgrade

This project forms part of the Sydney Opera House (SOH) commitment to achieving energy savings. Savings are made through the upgrading and automated control of lighting in the areas throughout the Opera House. To meet energy saving targets this project was completed months ahead of the required completion date. This together with the overall successful delivery of this technical, challanging and incident free project has ensured Ryan Wilks attainment with current electrical projects at the SOH.

The original and heritage fixed light fittings were powered from local electrical distribution boards. These boards had controls switched from a 50 volt control system with buttons that were generally located in inconvenient places and of which most had become faulty over time. The opportunity was taken to ensure that the new C-Bus system had maximum flexibility.


The extent of work includes but not limited to the following:

  • Coordination with existing Services and Infrastructure
  • Day to day communication with the Sydney Opera House to ensure zero disruption to the theatre and tourist operations
  • Co-ordination and interface with the electrical services and existing lighting control systems.
  • Installation of screwed steel conduit through non-traditional building  environments.
  • Upgrade of Lighting Controls and New Lighting Controls
  • Removal of Redundant Lighting Controls and fittings
  • Installation of  state-of-the-art LED Fittings
  • Engineering measures to design out the nuisance tripping of RCD circuits with LED Fitting high inrush, harmonic and earth leakage content.
  • Upgrading Distribution Boards where necessary
  • RCD protection for new circuits and modified circuits
  • Assistance with Final Lighting Control Programming
  • Installation works in line with SOH heritage standards.
  • Handling and disposal of PCB Light Fittings
  • Working at Heights
  • Detailed investigations and project  planning for numerous out-of-hour  DB electrical outages to  ensure restoration of power in a timely manner  without compromise to the integrity of the operatic theatre and their associated productions.

The contract works include the detail design, supply, delivery, installation, commissioning, testing, certification and warranty of the lighting services as described below:

Central Passage Loading Dock:

  • Out-of-hour staged removal of 106 existing fluorescent light fittings upgraded with new Envirolite fluorescent fittings through the heart of the House operations
  • Reconfiguring  of screwed steel conduit to suit new lighting layouts
  • Fault finding and rectification works of numerous crossed neutral circuits
  • Installation of new C-bus lighting control  

Drama Theatre & Playhouse Houselights:

  • Auditorium lighting were reconfigured to be controlled via two lighting devices, a new DMX Dimmer system controlled via a control room by-pass switch and lighting contactors controlled through new C-bus relays.
  • All existing fluorescent fittings were upgraded with new LED Lumascape Lighting to replicate the existing aesthetics.
  • Challenges in 7 day a week performances meant these works had to be completed in out-of-hour shifts.
  • The shift work incorporated, working at heights,  lighting control and fittings upgrade, scaffolding and access equipment erection and dismantling, theatre cleaning and lighting reinstatement every night.

Green Room Lighting Control System.

  • Installation of new C-bus lighting control and C-bus equipment.
  • Decommissioning of redundant lighting control system.

Concert Hall & Opera Theater Foyer & Toilet Lighting Control Upgrade

  •  Numerous C-Bus control panels installed within the foyers to control event and foyer lighting circuits.
  • Local C-bus touch screens installed throughout  the foyers to enable local override / control operations.
  •  New C-bus cabling and screwed steel conduit containment
  • Installation of C-bus motion detector throughout the foyer toilets
  • Installation of C-bus Wireless Gateway where steel conduit cable pathways were not possible.
  •  Installation of control to various bars mural lighting and mural curtains.
  • Decommissioning of redundant Foyer and Toilet Light switches.

Want to know more about our services?