The Chase Center’s Layered Lighting Details Deliver High-End Luxury + Athletic Energy

This content is sourced and adapted from an article published in LD+A magazine by the Illuminating Engineering Society, one of the three co-owners of LightFair. Read the original article by Samantha Schwirck: Golden Ticket.


Chase Center’s lighting design checks all the boxes for luxury, ambiance and energy efficiency. Explore the behind-the-scenes details that make this possible.

About the Arena: Designed by Gensler and home to the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, the 18,000-seat Chase Center, San Francisco, features an array of luxurious suites, clubs and public areas. Each space is illuminated strategically to elevate and enhance the patron experience while balancing form, function and energy savings.

Interior lighting: First Circle Design
Exterior illumination: Sean O’Connor Lighting
Office tower lighting: Pritchard Peck

3000K 90 CRI, which is atypical for sports venues, was selected to meet ownership’s objective to create a hospitality destination for their patrons. Aside from the contribution of a warm color temperature selection, which supports the intended mood, the lighting reveals the hierarchy of the interior of the building. – Matt Levesque, founding principal at First Circle Design.

Four-story lobby illumination:
A custom color-changing chandelier and theatrical color cove lighting (Targetti) representing the team’s blue and gold colors illuminate the four-story lobby.

A specific LED tape was selected for its ability to achieve the Warriors’ blue and gold hues, along with a base white that matches the surrounding architectural lighting. Downlights (Intense Lighting) supplement the chandelier and coves with additional 3000K general illumination.

Multi-level concourse:
Angled linear fixtures (AXIS Lighting) supplement general illumination. The upper-level concourse features simple, clean lines of light to balance open ceilings with exposed conduit, industrial décor and task luminaires.

Decorative luminaires in lounges provide a sense of arrival;
Photo by Jason O’Rear/Chase Center

Clubs, lounges and bars:
The Chase Center Owner’s Club reveals layered integrated lighting with downlights (Intense Lighting) and cove, millwork and behind-banquet lighting (Targetti Duralamp). The lamps in the owner’s club use 2700K sources offering an additional layer of warmth.

Integrated lighting with independent controls:
Broad strokes of linear lighting tie in the upper- and lower-level lounges with one contemporary aesthetic.

Lower-level lounges feature integrated linear lighting that accentuates the barrel-shaped ceiling while providing soft ambient lighting. Accent lights help define the seating and dining areas below. Additional integrated linear lighting along the buffet countertops and millwork (by Targetti) complement the overall linear look and lend task lighting.

Decorative luminaires supplement the linear lighting in the two upper-level club lounges and emphasize scale. Color-changing technology is incorporated across the bar’s ceiling and back wall of the theatre lounge. Uplighting behind banquettes (Ecosense) and integrated bar fascia lighting (Targetti Duralamp) create a vibrant, welcoming environment.

Court-side suites: Wine-barrel-inspired design elements evoke the luxury and comfort of the Napa Valley wine country. Layered lighting and complementary color temperatures highlight bright white and dark wood accents and shelving. A linear suspended pendant (Vode Lighting) serves as a focal point.

Central dome light in the locker room spotlights the team emblem below;
Photo by Jason O’Rear/Chase Center

Locker room: Designed to offer a serene, relaxing environment that helps players get focused before each game, the locker room features a dome light in the center (Pinnacle Lighting) that unifies the ceiling elements above the team emblem on the floor. A perimeter cove highlights the wood-slatted ceiling. Perimeter downlighting at seating areas and integrated downlighting within the lockers provide task lighting for players.

Controls system: A controls system—by ETC for the court and Lutron throughout the rest of the arena—ties the project together, catering to both facility and court needs. A wireless iPad designated to each level of the arena enables the operations team to override the lighting sequences or check levels in detail. Manual override preset button stations located on all levels and in every area of the arena allow arena staff to make simple live edits without having to call a technician. Patrons can also adjust the settings for private lounges and suites per personal preference.

Court controls: The push of a virtual button in the main arena control system sends a signal to the Lutron network that turns off all of the areas facing the court for a blackout look. Another virtual button sends another trigger to the system and those areas completely restore to their preset look, pulling the patron’s attention to the center court.

Energy Efficiency: The control system helped the design adhere to Title 24 code requirements and, combined with 100% LED technology, achieve LEED Gold certification.

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