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St Columbs Cathedral

St Columbs Cathedral in Londonderry has recently undergone a major restoration. As part of the renovation works, Chromatica designed, manufactured and commissioned 122 high output LED luminaries to illuminate the inside of the cathedral. An onsite PC and DMX addressable drivers give flexible control of the installation allowing the selection of 24 lighting scenes.

Built in 1633 and standing on a prominent site within Derry's famous walls, St Columbs Cathedral is one of Londonderry's oldest buildings.

Since the last major building works in 1910 the cathedral has only seen operational maintenance until recently. In early 2007 phase 1 of a comprehensive restoration project commenced, finally being completed in 2010 seeing the total restoration of the cathedral.  As part of the restoration the original tungsten / MBFU based lighting scheme was replaced with a high flux LED installation, design to meet the variety of tasks undertaken within the cathedral.

In common with most Cathedrals, the high exposed ceilings made it desirable to mount luminaries high up in the roof section, in this case 25.0M above floor level. LED lighting was an obvious choice to provide the durability of installation required to minimise the maintenance implications associated with such a high level, inaccessible lighting installation.

To illuminate the Cathedral a total of 122 LED luminaries are used. A combination of 180W warm white luminaries provide a functional illumination level of 300 lux at floor level, whilst similar uplighters relieve the woodwork of the exposed ceiling structure. "Low power" 80W cool white luminaries provide localised illumination of the many points of interest which adorne the cathedral walls.

To ensure serviceability all electronic drivers are remotely mounted in 53 custom built cabinets, located within the accessible sections of the roof structure. The electronic drivers are DMX addressable, allowing individual control of the luminaries.

Via an Ethernet based central programmer, wall mounted switch plates are used to select 24 variable lighting scenes, dependant on the use of the Cathedral and time of day. New lighting scenes may be programmed on site or remotely via a web-based interface.

In addition to the main programming system, a secondary setup provides a backup solution in the event of failure, offering a fail safe programmed scene. In the case of a major power failure to the whole site, a central battery system provides power to operate selected luminaries at a reduced output.


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