County Durham, UK - Refurbishment and extension of Rockliffe Hall in Darlington, County Durham to create a luxury hotel has made extensive use of a Philips Dynalite lighting management system for highly flexible scene setting and energy management. Using DALI (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface) protocol, a single lighting control system is used to manage the lighting in five separate buildings.
The 18th Century Rockliffe Hall has been carefully restored and extended to create a luxury hotel, spa and golf course while retaining the grandeur of its heritage. Original features have been blended with contemporary furnishings and the lighting plays a key role in establishing the required ambience.
At the same time, the hotel required a high level of flexibility in its lighting controls so that different lighting scenes could be easily selected to suit different activities. For example, lighting for a wedding reception can be selected to complement a particular colour theme.
“There were key criteria for the lighting controls,” explained Rockliffe Hall Chairman Warwick Brindle. “We wanted to ensure ease of use for both guests and staff, have the capacity for substantial variation in scenes and achieve economical and energy-efficient operation of the lighting,” he added.
The level of flexibility required of the system, considerably more than in most projects, presented a major design challenge, as lighting designer Kristina Simpson of consultancy KLS Lighting Design recalled: “When designing the lighting to meet the hotel’s requirements it became clear that a conventional system would require a lot of cabling. Not only would this be costly, it would also present installation problems, particularly in the older parts of the building.”
The design team - comprising KLS, consulting engineers White Young Green and contractors Shepherd Engineering Services - worked closely with the hotel in considering a number of options. It was quickly recognised that a DALI-based system would reduce costs and simplify wiring requirements and the Philips Dynalite system was selected as offering the required functionality and technical support.
“Using the DALI system enabled us to make each individual luminaire addressable, so there are no circuit limitations and the possibilities are almost unlimited,” Kristina Simpson enthused. “Rather than having to plan everything months in advance before the cabling began we were able to fine-tune the lighting scenes on site,” she added.
It was also vital that the lighting management system could control a range of different light sources, including LEDs, fluorescent, tungsten halogen and metal halide. In some cases this required special combinations of control gear or drivers and DALI interfaces, with mock ups in the site hut to test different solutions before installation.
Control of the lighting scenes is through master control pads in management locations, and key staff have been trained so they are able to set more scenes themselves. In guest rooms there are simple, custom-engraved key pads that enable guests to choose their preferred lighting scene from a simple description (e.g. bright, low, reading).
Guests are also able to turn off all of the lighting in their room with a single switch, rather than turning lights off individually, thus saving energy as guests often leave some lights on.
Other energy saving features of the system include presence detection in areas of variable occupancy and daylight linking. Time clock functionality provides master overrides and control of external lighting.
A high speed network connects the communication between different parts of the site, including the golf clubhouse which is over 100 metres from the main building. This enables all of the lighting to be controlled from a central location using Philips Mapview graphical and system management software, enabling the hotel to monitor energy consumption and other aspects of lighting performance.
“As well as saving a lot of money on wiring, compared to other systems, the Dynalite system will greatly facilitate system monitoring going forward and make day-to-day maintenance considerably easier,” Warwick Brindle observed.
To facilitate the ongoing efficiency of the system and to protect its investment in lighting controls, Rockliffe Hall has signed up for Philips’ bespoke Aftercare service. Under this arrangement, Philips engineers will make regular visits to ensure the system is maintained correctly and delivering optimum performance and sustainability. Aftercare is a comprehensive package that enables customers to select the features they want, making it much more than a standard maintenance contract.