Energy saving lights for Welsh monuments

Monday, 16 August 2010
Energy saving lights for Welsh monumentsTintern Abbey now benefits from energy-saving lighting
UK - Llanelli-based Lighting Technology projects (LTP), was asked by Philips SSL to provide its specialist design, specification and installation services to replace old sodium lighting for eight Cadw Monuments in South Wales.

Cadw, a division of the Welsh Assembly Government, holds responsibility for preserving and promoting the history and heritage of Wales.

LTP was brought on board at the tender stage of the project by Philips' key account manager Richard Williams. The eight sites in which LTP is involved are Tintern Abbey, Chepstow Castle, Caerphilly Castle, Castell Coch, Coity Castle, Llansteffan Castle, Kidwelly Castle and Swansea Castle.

In addition to making significant savings to the amount of electricity needed to run the schemes, the new scheme dramatically reduces the long term maintenance needed and radically enhances the quality of light with a cleaner and more flattering source.

The products utilised are primarily the Philips eW Reach Powercore - the white light version of Philips SSL's flagship exterior architectural floodlight. These are currently the only LED fixtures incorporating Powercore technology, that are powerful enough to illuminate large architectural façades with white light washes in colour temperatures ranging from a warm 2700 K to a 4000 K 'neutral white'.

Powercore technology is optimised to drive LED lighting systems. It integrates power and data management directly within the LED fixtures, eliminating the need for external low-voltage power supplies and special cabling that was historically required for LED lighting systems. Reducing the cost and complexity of the installation process, it also makes LEDs far easier to use in existing lighting environments such as this.

The site work was co-ordinated by LTP's Jonathan Adkins, working with two experienced installation engineers. With the first four locations complete, the challenges included having boat-only access to rig the fixtures skimming up the exterior walls of Caerphilly Castle via the substantial moat.

Caerphilly Castle is one of the great medieval castles of western Europe. The interior Castle keep walls of the castle are now illuminated with 15 warm eW (essential white) Reaches. In contrast the exterior walls are lit with 12 neutral white eW Reaches, which add depth and dimension to the visual picture at night by differentiating between the two areas.

For in-fill lighting, 6 warm white eW Blast Powercores are dotted around, ensuring that the many intricacies of the Castle's superstructure are visible, adding a touch of magic to an already majestic scene.

A new addition to these elements of the scheme, 15 neutral white eW Graze Powercore fittings have been added, skimming up three sides of the Castle's front walls, just inside the moat. These were suggested by Terry Reeves to incorporate the external fascias of the castle into the overall design."It made complete sense" he says, "Rather than having this great expanse sitting there in darkness". Once again, this adds a sharp definition to the after-dark experience, giving on-lookers a real sense of the vast scale of the Castle.

All the fixtures are fitted into housed in special self contained hides, custom built to LTP's spec to guard against the weather and potential vandalism.

For control - at all sites - the new units are hooked into the existing lighting control systems, and turned on/off either by time clock or photo cell.

At Tintern Abbey, LTP fitted eight warm eW Reaches around the outside facades, which pick out the red stone in a striking soft ambient glow.

The interior is a complex juxtaposition of structural elements, with all those in the main space including the internal walls illuminated by eight carefully positioned neutral eW Blasts, sunken into the ground. The subtle differentiation in colour temperature between the inner and outer shells of the building enhances the magical aura that descends over Tintern Abbe

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