Tamlite LED downlights star at London theatre

Tamlite, LED, lighting, lamp
Replacing high-maintenance incandescent lamps in this theatre auditorium with LED fittings has virtually eliminated maintenance.

Replacing incandescent lighting in the auditorium of the Bloomsbury Theatre in London with Firestar Mini LED downlights from Tamlite lighting will significantly reduce maintenance man hours and replacement lamps. Energy consumption will also be reduced.

The previous lighting scheme for this 535-seat auditorium dated back to the theatre’s opening in 1968. Although the lighting provided the warmth and dimming capability the theatre needed, it had become a drain on energy and resources. Maintenance staff spent an average of four man-hours a week up in the roof replacing lamps. The EU ban on incandescent lamps had made them more expensive and harder to source.

Syd Funnell, technical manager at the theatre, explains, ‘New auditorium lighting was long overdue. The long lifespan and low energy burden of LED lighting really appealed to us. But maintaining the same light quality in the auditorium was just as important. Essentially, we wanted lighting that was as close as possible to incandescent in terms of colour temperature — but without the maintenance issues.’

The theatre’s electrical contractor, Bradbrook Electrical Services, tested six types of LED from four manufacturers for colour temperature and smoothness of dimming. Some lamps suddenly went out at the final 10 to 15% of the dimming curve, creating a jarring effect. The Firestar LED downlights offered the smoothest dimming.

About a hundred Firestar lamps were installed in a couple of days by four electricians. Each fitting has three 3 W warm-white LED lamps, with an average life of 30 000 h.

Savings in maintenance — which has been virtually eliminated — and energy are expected to achieve a payback on the new installation in three to four years.

For more information on this story, click here: August 2013, 120
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