Norway-based Vestad Lighting recently completed the first permanent installation of the Pharos Lighting Playback Controller, which is now in full production. The award-winning control system was specified to run the new lighting installation in the Galleriet Shopping Centre in Bergen, Norway. Lighting designer Tor Bjarne Vestad specified 96 Tryka LED luminaires and a Pharos Lighting Playback Controller (LPC) to brighten up the dark shopping mall. Vestad’s design washes the Centre’s columns and glass ceiling in constantly changing colors.
“Our main objective on this project was to enhance the features of the main hall in the shopping center,” says assistant LD Gunnar Aasland. “We were asked to make it more attractive for customers and to lighten it up. The Centre had already installed brighter lighting fixtures overall, but they also wanted effect-type lighting, which is how we got involved, because of our background with LED lighting in entertainment.”
Vested Lighting started out in television and entertainment lighting and in the past year has expanded into architectural installations. “We specialize in architectural installations using both standard architectural lighting fixtures and entertainment lighting sources, including LEDs” says Aasland. “We have been looking for a product that can control all these different lighting sources. Pharos is uniquely suited, and was the logical choice for control at the Galleriet.”
The control system consists of two parts: the Pharos LPC and the Designer software. The LPC is a solid-state controller of DMX and DALI controlled equipment of all kinds, including color mixing LED luminaires, conventional luminaires and ballasts, and automated lights. Programming is created using free software that can be downloaded into solid-state memory via Ethernet or USB. The timeline-based software incorporates pixel-mapping functionality allowing LED arrays to display video clips. Shows can also be simulated offline for off-site programming. The comprehensive range of triggering options (including contact closures, RS232, real time, and astronomical clock) makes integration within complex themed presentations straightforward. The LPC is easily interfaced with touch panels and wall stations and includes RS232, MIDI, and contact closures. Units can be linked via Ethernet as a scaleable system that will automatically share triggers, and a built-in web server allows remote network access for monitoring and reprogramming.
According to assistant LD and programmer Christian Weld Haakonseth, the team chose Pharos because they “needed a high quality control system which was easy to program and stable to run.” The Pharos Designer software was a key to Vestad’s choice. “I like the interface, it is easy to learn and easy to use,” adds Haakonseth. Aasland sees the ability to remotely change programming as a plus. “The interface allows us to program a new setting or a complete new show, then e-mail it to the maintenance manager to upload to Pharos,” he says. “Our access to the job site was limited and by using the Pharos Designer software with the LPC, our time on site was maximized.”
Vestad Lighting prides itself on being brand-independent to give its clients the best products and solutions for the job. They do however see themselves using the Pharos Lighting System on a wide range of future projects. Aasland concludes, “Apart from architectural installations with fixtures that demand advanced control in a simple way, Pharos is also ideal for exhibitions, museums, and temporary installations where the system itself takes care of daily startup and shutdown.”
Head Lighting Designer: Tor Bjarne Vestad
Assistant Lighting Designers: Gunnar M Aasland, Christian W. Haakonseth
Programmer: Christian W. Haakonseth
Architect: Paal J Kahrs
Designer: Bente Irminger
Electrical Contractor: Bravida
Consulting Engineer: KV Engineering