Case Study: Kalvertoren Shopping Centre, Amsterdam

IST’s iDrive® White Knight 36 and Thor 36 centralised LED drivers have recently been used to bring the Kalvertoren, one of the most famous shopping centres in the Netherlands to life. The substantial enhancement to the shopping experience includes an Ethernet-based lighting refurbishment including multi-colour interior and façade lighting, which merges the capabilities of traditional lighting with futuristic video screen effects. Kalvertoren Shopping Centre Amsterdam

The Kalvertoren is home to 45 premium brand retail outlets spread out over three floors  located on Kalverstraat, Amsterdam's busiest shopping street. The centre was developed as a premier retail destination and in 1998, the shopping centre was presented with the annual European Shopping Centre award by the International Council of Shopping Centres.

The centre is managed by the Kroonenberg Groep BV, which provides shopping, office and residential space and continuously strives to tailor their property portfolio to meet market demand, adding value by combining creativity with a sharp eye for detail.

Retail lighting is one of the most diverse sectors in the lighting market and can be more subjective than most. A bright and clean aesthetic is important for clients to highlight merchandise to passing customers and can be of as much importance as energy usage.

The Brief
The client wanted to attract footfall into the Kalvertoren centre from surrounding streets by using the very latest energy efficient LED lighting technologies to entice shoppers into the centre, then enhance the whole shopping experience by continuing the lighting experience throughout the interior.

The vision to enhance the client experience required a collaborative approach to design a human-centric lighting scheme that would enable a flicker-free lighting environment to reduce any health effects whilst combining red, green, blue and white LED light engines to offer a near infinite range of colour effects.

• To enhance the shopping experience the luminaires needed to ensure that human visual effects were taken into account.
• Energy efficiency was a high priority. The lighting needed to play a dual role. In addition to illuminating the space, the lighting needed to offer a visual experience to entice customers and encourage the shopping experience
• Ongoing maintenance and servicing costs should be a high priority due to being a prime retail outlet. Easy access for maintenance should minimise downtime and be achieved day or night.

The Solution
Over 1125 individual rear illuminated lighting panels representing more than 4500 individual channels were developed with high-efficacy red, green, blue and white mid-power LEDs to fit a specific matrix of luminaires to create a façade at the entrance to the Kalvertoren, followed by a continuous ceiling of light as shoppers enter the centre, featuring many different effects.

In order to achieve the dual-role lighting specifications, the 4500 lighting channels were combined to create a virtual screen with each of the LED panels representing one pixel of the screen. This enabled the lighting to be converted into a dynamic screen capable of showing full colour videos enhancing the environment and experience for shoppers. An important feature of the iDrive® LED drivers can be controlled by all common Ethernet lighting protocols to enable video effects to be achieved within the lighting scheme.

The iDrive® centralised LED driver range provided the ideal solution to meet all of the client’s requirements to power the luminaires for this highly impressive retail project. With each individual centralised, rack-mounted LED driver capable of powering up to 36 channels from a single point, the drivers could be installed at ambient temperature in a designated ground level location, without compromising on control or power supplied to each channel. Installing LED drivers at ground-level at ambient temperature not only serves to significantly prolong the lifetime of the LED drivers, but also vastly simplifies installation, commissioning and minimises downtime for any future maintenance required at the site.

In addition to its unique rack-mounted, centralised design, the iDrive® centralised LED driver range boasts the smoothest dimming on the market and provides totally flicker-free, healthy lighting, which is now recognised as critically important for the health and wellbeing of people in their everyday environments.
v2 Kalvertoren Shopping Centre Amsterdam
The unique and patented iDrive® flicker-free technology enables flicker-free changing of colour and intensity within the Kalvatoren lighting scheme, unlike competitors’ using low frequency PWM dimming techniques, which generate substantial and potentially harmful levels of flicker.

Project Roll-out:
125 x iDrive® White Knight 36 LED drivers were installed to power the 4 channel luminaires. Ancillary linear luminaires are controlled and powered using 10 x iDrive® Thor 36 centralised drivers.

Advanced video controllers were used to allow video effects and colour control of each LED panel to allow features such as mimicking the sky including floating clouds, change of colours to celebrate national days such as Kings Day festival, streaming text on the façade and many other options.

The iDrive® LED drivers are all controlled by DMX, Art-Net and sACN. Ethernet connectivity was chosen as the control solution because the client wanted to use an IP- based control network to facilitate the integration and control of the large number of luminaires, as well as a future-proof solution.

In order to reduce ongoing maintenance costs, the iDrive® products were installed to ensure the power systems could be easily reached for service and commissioning purposes by being placed up to 200 meters from the farthest LED luminaires. The majority of clients understand the maintenance cost and inconvenience of replacing localised LED drivers in difficult to reach ceiling spaces, sealed luminaires and the extra cost, difficultly and safety of installing 230Vac containment routes to visible areas. Thus, the iDrive® centralised, low voltage power and control systems offer huge benefits compared to traditional 230V AC installations. 

Key Project Statistics

  • 125x iDrive® White Knight 36 (1000W).
  • 10x iDrive® Thor 36 (2000W).
  • Over 4500 LED output channels controlled using Ethernet IP.
  • 1125 four channel constant current LED panels containing red, green, blue and white channels.