Anolis LED installation for Somerset House

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A massive Anolis architectural LED lighting installation has been completed by A.C. Special Projects Ltd. at London's iconic Somerset House venue. This was designed by Patrick Woodroffe, who was commissioned by Somerset House's director Gwyn Miles.

Woodroffe's brief was to transform the night time ambience of the Edmond J Safra Fountain Court - the hub of the spectacular neoclassical building - with a classic warm white illumination on the facades. Additionally, utilising RGBA fixtures, Woodroffe introduced the potential to bathe the buildings in a rich medley of colours, adding a theatrical dimension for corporate and themed events.

Somerset House hosts a wide variety of special events and a lively programme of public entertainment throughout the year - including live music concerts, ice skating, presentations, product launches and parties.

A key requirement was for the lighting scheme to be environmentally sustainable and involve low power and maintenance, so LED was the obvious choice. Out of the vast array of LED products available on the market, they specifically sought high quality, well engineered units that would underline the cost efficiency of using long life LED lightsources.

Once the contract for the supply and installation was awarded, the team at A.C. Special Projects approached Anolis to help achieve the very specific technical and aesthetic qualities that this LED lighting scheme required. This is achieved using a mix of custom and off-the-shelf Anolis products.

"Patrick, A.C. Special Projects and ourselves all collaborated closely to develop and specify the exact products needed for a very precise and elegant design," says Anolis UK's Scott Callis, adding "It was an interesting project which really challenged all our imaginations and pushed the boundaries of the products and in what we could deliver as a manufacturer".

After initial product trials using the standard Anolis ArcLine Optic Outdoor 1 Watt incorporating Luxeon K2 LEDs configured in an RGBA format - it was decided that additional power plus a greater colour range was needed, together with improved warm white output from the RGB mixing.

This resulted in Anolis producing a sample of custom ArcLine strip.

Eighty-nine of these special Anolis ArcLine Optic Outdoor 36 RGBA fixtures with 6 x 25 degree precision elliptical lenses to reduce light spillage are used in the installation - 34 on the west facade, 35 on the east facade and 18 on the south facade. The battens are mounted in the lightwells below courtyard level, up-lighting the building fascias and back-lighting the columns of three balconies which are integral to the structure.

Anolis ArcSource Outdoor 36 RGBA units with 6 degree optics are utilised to infill the areas above the various doorways. These also have shuttered optics that fit the light precisely to the space, another essential requirement for the scheme. There are 10 on the east and west facades, and 16 on the south.

The entire installation had to be discreet and as concealed and unobtrusive as possible, with minimal impact on the architecture.

For the main Strand entrance to the Courtyard, A.C. created bespoke lengths of IP rated frosted tubing encasing Anolis ArcLink 4 strip. A hundred and twenty pieces of the compact and flexible ArcLink 4 proved the ideal choice of illumination for a very unique application. These up-light the vestibules, the vaulted ceiling and the capitals of the entrance's four central columns.

The installation is completed with careful highlighting of the courtyard statue and flagpole - achieved using Anolis ArcSource Outdoor 36 Warm Whites with 15 degree optics.

The Anolis fixtures are driven and DMX controlled by over 50 Anolis ArcPower 72/K2 and ArcPower 36/SW drivers. The K2 Smart White drivers have been developed specially for electronic dimming and smooth fading of the white channels via a range of colour temperatures. This allows for precise control of the colour rendering, an attribute particularly pertinent for this style of architectural lighting.

The LED lighting is controlled by a Jands Vista PC system, triggered by an AMX panel located in the main building. It's been pre-programmed with presets for various different shows and events, including a selection of rich static colour looks and mixed contrasting colours. Effects chases like gentle ripples shimmering across the surfaces, waves and stepped blocks of colour are also available.

A.C. Special Projects' Managing Director, Peter Keiderling, commented: “Patrick and his team were a pleasure to work with and were always there to relay the design intent in a clear and concise manor. This, coupled with a ‘can do' attitude from the Somerset House team, has made this an outstanding lighting scheme.”

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