intu Lakeside shopping center food court

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intu Lakeside shopping center food court

A lighting installation controlled by Helvar’s DALI system at the intu Lakeside shopping centre food court in Essex has won best Retail Project of the Year at the Lux Awards 2015.

The judges recognised how Helvar’s fully programmable lighting control solution transformed the food court, enabling a seamless interaction of architectural scene control and commercial energy saving, and created a welcoming atmosphere for shoppers.

The redesign of the lighting played a key role the refurbishment of the food court. intu were keen to create a more inviting atmosphere that would encourage visitors to spend more time in the food court, enjoying their meals. As retailers become more and more focused on providing an engaging experience for their customers, the dynamic and exciting lighting in the food court helped to reinforce intu’s brand identity as providing a premium retail experience.

The food court has a number of contrasting areas, such as a daylight-filled open-plan atrium and deep set soffit areas, which presented various challenges and require different lighting settings and control options. The Helvar DALI addressable system allows for an easy-to-use lighting control system that can be fully customised to suit the needs of different areas. The lighting system was integrated to the shopping centre building management system (BMS) to allow the end users to easily control the lighting scheme from a central point.

Graham Rollins of Lighting Design International said: “The challenge was to increase brightness under the deep set soffit areas by day, whilst allowing more intimate lower level lighting post dusk. Helvar’s control system allowed lighting levels, lighting balance and lighting colour at intu Lakeside Food Court to be adaptable, providing various scenarios appropriate not only to the time of day but also the time of year, taking daylight savings into account.”

The open plan atrium was lit by two specially designed beams, one with recessed linear LEDs to provide ambient lighting, the other with adjustable track spotlights that focused on the dining tables in the atrium. The lighting system ensured that there was both adequate ambient lighting and also sufficient lighting for the food court users to enjoy their meals in comfortable surroundings. The lighting system astronomical time clock was used to adjust light settings automatically over the course of the day. The system adjusts the lighting taking into account the sunrise and sunset changes, and also daylight saving. This system has been programmed to deliver the appropriate lighting levels in line with ambient natural light and the lighting designer requirements.

The food court was redesigned to create a sense of excitement and drama, and this change in focus was emphasised by the impressive 400 kg circular luminaires that hang at each entrance to the food court to welcome hungry shoppers. The Helvar DMX 920 router changes the colours of the outside ring of these luminaires for dynamic lighting scenes, taking commands directly from the BMS system using the HelvarNet Ethernet commands.

The deep-set soffit areas were in particular need of a well-designed lighting scheme to make them more inviting, as they received very little daylight. Unique tessellated back-lit ceiling panels were installed under the soffit that were controlled by the system to provide the appropriate amount of light for the time of day, ensuring that the soffit area remained well lit.

The intu Lakeside shopping centre food court shows the potential of using a digital lighting control system to achieve a lighting solution that really complements its environment and saves energy. The judges of the 2015 Lux Awards agreed, commenting that the project showed the rewards of intu’s commitment to using digital control in its asset management, and was a worthy winner in the Lux Awards 2015.

Helvar is an international lighting technologies company – serving customers in over 40 countries, specialising in energy efficient components and solutions for lighting and lighting control systems.

IMAGES: Lighting Design International

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