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Beijing Airport, China

  • Beijing Airport, China
  • Beijing Airport, China
  • Beijing Airport, China
  • Beijing Airport, China
  • Beijing Airport, China
  • Lamp efficacy

    Lamp efficacy

    Ensuring the lamp efficiently converts electricity into light (lm/W).

  • Ballast classification

    Ballast classification

    Controlling the electricity supply to the lamp (Energy Efficiency Index).

  • Luminaire distribution

    Luminaire distribution

    Controlling light emission using optics which bend and shape the light to the correct location.

  • System efficacy

    System efficacy

    Combining optical and thermal control within the luminaire (luminaire lm/W).

  • Presence/absence detection

    Presence/absence detection

    Providing lighting only when it’s needed.

  • Daylight detection

    Daylight detection

    Reducing waste light during daylight hours.

  • Constant illuminance

    Constant illuminance

    Producing the correct lighting levels for the duration of the maintenance period.

  • Task-scene setting

    Task-scene setting

    Allowing the user to set scenes and adapt the lighting to different tasks.

  • Timed off

    Timed off

    Automatic cut-off to turn all lights off during unoccupied hours.

  • Task lighting

    Task lighting

    Lighting task areas with the correct amount of light.

  • Zoning of lighting

    Zoning of lighting

    Zoning lighting in accordance to occupancy patterns or window location.

  • Maintenance schedule

    Maintenance schedule

    Tailoring maintenance schedules in accordance to product age, performance and environment.

  • Waste light

    Waste light

    Eliminating waste light which does not hit the intended target.

  • Reflectance


    Taking advantage of light which is reflected from the surface within the space.

  • Visible smart metering

    Visible smart metering

    Enabling results of actions to be quickly seen as increased or decreased energy use to encourage responsible energy consumption.

New terminal lit with 70,000 luminaires

All airports rely on light. It is used to accentuate the architectural features of terminal buildings, provide relaxing, sustainable environments for passengers and staff and enables efficient management of baggage and cargo handling activities.

Thorn has a long history of involvement in many of the world's major airport projects, but nowhere is the company's ability to provide a total lighting solution more clearly demonstrated than at Beijing's latest 2008 Olympics project – the monumental International Airport Terminal 3 building. This is the new gateway to China and, with a concourse nearly two miles long and a half-mile wide, is the world's largest covered structure


Around 70,000 luminaires have been supplied for the terminal and its associated Ground Traffic Centre. For such a vast space the lighting plan had to serve a dual purpose: not only provide sufficient illumination for the task, but be free of glare, thereby lessening eye fatigue and strain; and increasing staff performance and motivation.


The lighting options supplied combine low running costs with ease of maintenance and practical performance. Many of the luminaires are fitted with a unique rotating mounting bracket for easy access from the lofty maintenance catwalks.


The terminal's designer, Lord Foster, placed a premium on space and light, producing an airy glass-and steel structure employing distinct Chinese colours and characteristics. Its rising aerodynamic roof reflects the feeling of aviation as well as being representative of a dragon, complete with triangular skylights that resemble scales. The lighting creates an ambience that combines grandeur with intimacy. It is also used to enhance the colours - at the entrance passengers encounter a blaze of crimson, reminiscent of good luck and happiness, while inside gold is used for its association with the earth and calmness.

The lighting was developed in conjunction with a joint venture design and engineering team, comprising Dutch airport planners NACO, engineers Arup and the Beijing Institute of Architectural Design and Research.