Located in the heart of London, the Thistle Hotel's commanding position in Piccadilly had become overshadowed at night by its glitzy neighbours. To overcome this, lighting designers Lighting Design International created a simple scheme to highlight the hotel's curved facade. The design consisted solely of small spotlights using the latest super-compact metal halide lamps, controlled by an iLight architectural lighting system from Cooper Controls.
The effect produced provides strong lighting to the vertical architectural elements - pilasters and window reveals - which generates great contrast with the surrounding surfaces despite their similar tones.
To provide precise positioning, the spotlights are fixed to arms of varying length so that they protrude just far enough from the building to catch the capping of each pilaster. In addition, each luminaire is positioned to minimise stray light and any glare that could be visible from the bedrooms, where appropriate louvres and visors are used to cut out possible viewing angles.
The lensing and positioning of lights were also checked to ensure that the frieze running along the top of the building was illuminated, thus tying the whole facade together.
According to LDI's lighting designer Chris Lewis, the contrast produced leads to a heightened sense of three-dimensionality, with the pilasters and reveals appearing to stand out much further than they actually do.
A time clock in the iLight control system switches the spotlights on automatically at dusk and then turns them off in phases throughout the evening. The lights can also be controlled manually via a seven button iLight control panel.
The lighting scheme therefore allows the Thistle Hotel, Piccadilly to stand its ground among its theatrical neighbours, through emphasising its own form rather than adopting a mantle of neon.
The striking facade illumination of the Thistle Hotel, Piccadilly is controlled by an iLight architectural lighting system. (Photograph courtesy of Chris Lewis, Lighting Design International)
About Cooper Controls
Cooper Controls is a market leader in architectural, entertainment and energy management lighting controls. A subsidiary of global manufacturer Cooper Industries, it was formed following its acquisition of Polaron plc in March 2007. It consists both of the former Polaron business units, which include iLight, Marata Vision, Zero 88 and Lightfactor, as well as Greengate, the new energy management brand, with their emphasis on innovative, energy efficient products. For more information, visit www.coopercontrols.co.uk
About Cooper Industries
Cooper Industries, Ltd. is a global manufacturer with 2007 revenues of $5.9 billion, approximately 87 percent of which are from electrical products. Incorporated in Bermuda with administrative headquarters in Houston, Cooper employs approximately 30,000 people and operates eight divisions: Cooper B-Line, Cooper Bussmann, Cooper Crouse-Hinds, Cooper Lighting, Cooper Menvier, Cooper Power Systems, Cooper Wiring Devices and Cooper Tools group. Cooper Connection provides a common marketing and selling platform for Cooper's sales to electrical distributors. For more information, visit www.cooperindustries.com.
Date: 14 October 2008
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