Over 900 Araya tunable color LED modules with integrated control protocols have been used in the chandeliers and spotlights.
LOS ANGELES – August 17, 2020 – ERP Power LLC (“ERP”), a leading provider of small, smart, and connected LED drivers and light engines for the lighting industry, announced that their Araya tunable color LED modules with integrated control protocols have been used for the relighting of the iconic Westminster Abbey in London.
According to Lux Review, the first phase of this lighting scheme – designed by top design practice Speirs + Major – included the refurbishment of 16 Waterford crystal chandeliers, and spotlighting from high-level. Both of these elements required a substantive testing, mock-up and approvals process, before being designed in detail and implemented by the abbey’s works department in a phased process.
The Waterford crystal chandeliers. a gift from the Guinness family, each have 500 ‘feathers’ of mouth-blown, hand-cut crystal arranged in three tiers. In total, 56 Araya tunable color LED modules were fitted into each chandelier, and each tier is separately controllable so that both the color and brightness of each pendant may be gradated. As the chandeliers are designed to raise and lower, no additional cabling was possible, so the control of these is by a mains voltage wireless system.
A new adjustable spotlighting system added at triforium level now provides the principal functional light to the abbey floor, and accent to areas and objects of liturgical significance including the high altar and nave altar (the latter being removable). The lighting installed at triforium level entails a total of 60 custom designed poles, each holding between four and eight adjustable spotlights.
The system also allows the form and detailing of the roof vaulting to be fully revealed after dark for the first time in the building’s history. Comprised of spotlights mounted onto custom-designed vertical poles, the system is designed to minimize the number of attachment points to the historic fabric of the building while optimizing flexibility in positioning. The poles are mounted on the western face of the structural columns, so that the spotlights are largely concealed from view when seen from the west.
All of the spotlighting is dimmable and controlled wirelessly using a Bluetooth-based control system. This technology was selected to reduce the amount of cabling, thereby minimizing adverse impact to the historic building fabric.
The lighting is programmed to provide numerous scenes to respond to various liturgies and for other uses, including tourism. The maximum lighting levels are now considerably brighter if required, so television crews will not necessarily require as much supplementary lighting for broadcast and filming.
The largest and most ambitious part of the scheme were the nave, quire, and transepts re-lighted with a LED installation operated by a largely wireless control system. The design delivers much-needed flexibility through multiple scenes for the various church services as well as other functions such as music recitals, events and tourism. Brightness levels have been balanced, functional lighting improved, and the architecture celebrated in a manner that remains sensitive to the use of the sacred spaces.
In total 338 spotlights were installed, taking a full two weeks to focus. The spotlights are individually addressable and controlled by a Bluetooth wireless system.
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