Centralised LED Drivers for Victoria Gate Shopping Centre, Leeds

THE BRIEF

Architects ACME were commissioned by Hammerson to design the Victoria Gate Shopping Centre in the centre of Leeds, using a novel design in keeping with the style of old-fashioned Victorian arcades of the past, whilst incorporating a modern and vibrant feel. The shopping centre is anchored by John Lewis and has a dynamic, high quality feel throughout.

The interior of the shopping centre has a roof of latticed steel and glass, designed to flood the space with natural light. However, there is a large area of the ceiling that has no access to natural light. In order to uphold the design concept, a ceiling of light was designed which required bespoke, dimmable luminaires to be fitted within the lattice steel sections.

The client had two major concerns about the installation. Not only did the ceiling design leave very limited working space behind the luminaires for installing the LED drivers, but the installation of the luminaires 20m above a marble floor posed a potentially hazardous and very costly headache for commissioning and any future maintenance of the fixtures and electronic control gear.

The “Ceiling of Light” effect would only work visually if all of the luminaires remained illuminated simultaneously. Any fault in the lighting would seriously compromise the design and the potential cost of hiring equipment to reach the ceiling out of normal hours post commissioning would be extortionate.

This is when Tower Tech UK Ltd, the client’s installation partner, sought advice from IST Ltd. on how best to install a remote, centralised LED driver solution to address the potential stumbling blocks facing the project.

THE SOLUTION

Working with Tower Tech, IST provided support on determining the best location for the LED drivers, the type of LED drivers and the optimum number of drivers to control the “Ceiling of Light” efficiently.

The concept simplified the lighting scheme as the “Ceiling of Light” provides all of the lighting and no ancillary luminaires were required within the scheme.

In order to meet the client’s brief the iDrive® Thor 36, 1U 2000W centralised LED drivers were considered the best option because:


• They offered a compact and centralised LED solution for the 400 bespoke panels.
• The centralised concept allows easy access to the drivers for commissioning and maintenance, as the iDrive® Thor 36 drivers are located in an accessible ground-level area, behind the scenes.
  • The programmable output voltages allow for compensation of any voltage drop across cables, depending on the distance between luminaires and the LED drivers (up to 200m).
• They allow super smooth dimming using standard 8-bit DMX control, enabling flicker-free lighting and step-less dimming at very low intensity levels.
• Centralised LED drivers can easily be replaced, fitted or recommissioned without needing expensive equipment to reach them, thus significantly reducing maintenance costs post sign-off.
• With centralised LED drivers the luminaire design meant the units could be sealed as the drivers didn’t have to be placed inside thus improving usable lifetime of the luminaires.

Over 22x iDrive® Thor 36 LED drivers were used on the project, providing approximately 40,000W of power to the “Ceiling of Light”.

Each iDrive® Thor 36 was programmed to provide flicker-free dimming with up to 14-bit dimming to allow smooth step-less dimming of the luminaires meeting the clients requirement of being flicker-free.

The overall impact is stunning and the client has an exceptional lighting scheme that is easy to maintain through the lifetime of the shopping centre and not just for the first year.

SITE REFERENCE

The client is delighted with the solution IST provided. In fact, why not visit the shopping centre yourself to witness the superior lighting, dimming and control?!

 

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