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TECHNOLOGY / CASE STUDY

KING OF THE THE CASTLE LITE Ltd, Philips Certified Value Added Partner, used mains borne signalling to transform Edinburgh Castle. It is the first installation of its type on the UK mainland. One of Scotland’s favourite buildings has new lighting. Edinburgh Castle is located high on an ancient, extinct volcano and can be seen from almost all parts of the city. Not only is it a major visitor attraction, with events such as the Edinburgh Tattoo, it also houses an operational military barracks and is a Scheduled Monument. For most of the year, the volcanic sandstone walls are illuminated with a warm white light. On holidays, such as St Andrew’s day, the Castle is floodlit in blue. Other colours can be used for special events. To achieve this, the previous lighting scheme used over 100 floodlights, the majority of which were 150W – 400W metal halide. The client, Historic Scotland decided that these MH floodlights consumed too much energy and were costly to relamp and maintain. There was an additional problem in that when coloured lighting was required

for special events, teams of abseilers had to be used to mount the gel filters onto the floodlights. This process took days to accomplish and cost thousands of pounds. A conventional solution would have been to design a completely new lighting scheme. However, this would have entailed new floodlight locations and rerouting the wiring to new positions. However, due to the Castle’s heritage and the need to preserve the fabric of the building in its original condition, Historic Scotland specified that the existing floodlight positions (and preferably, the same mounting brackets) must be used. Therefore, the new floodlights would have to have the same, or better, light distribution. Although colour changing LEDs were specified by the client, a further constraint was that no extra cabling for signalling would be allowed. Any scene setting and colour

changing had to be achieved using remote control. The contract was tendered in Summer 2013 and awarded to systems providers and installers, LITE Ltd in partnership with Philips Lighting. Achieving the correct beam spread was relatively simple due to the wide variety of lens options available in the ColorReach, ColorReach Compact, ColorBlast and ColorBurst range. An indirect benefit is that the tighter beam control of the LEDs means that there is less spill light. Similarly, the correct degree of warm white light required for the sandstone walls involved several trials with very many interested parties such as Historic Scotland and various Heritage groups. The major challenge was how to control the scene setting and colour changing of the LEDs remotely. Wireless control had already

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mondo*arc Jun/Jul 2014 - Issue 79  

mondo*arc is the leading international magazine in architectural lighting design. Targeted specifically at the lighting specification market...

mondo*arc Jun/Jul 2014 - Issue 79  

mondo*arc is the leading international magazine in architectural lighting design. Targeted specifically at the lighting specification market...

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