Designs for Lighting Ltd were commissioned by Atkins to redesign the lighting of a prominent light art structure. Michael Bleyenberg, hologram light artist, designed the New Burlington Flare to highlight the entrance to the new headquarters of the Crown Estate in 2006. His sculpture is a landmark between Regent Street and Savile Row in London and HRH The Prince of Wales unveiled the work on June 9th, 2006.
The original lighting was decommissioned due to technical failings. The halogen source lighting gave off high levels of heat. This could only be dissipated through the titanium outer frame which caused the surface temperature to reach hazardous levels to the touch. For this reason, the structure was switched off whilst DfL found a solution.
How is the visual effect created?
It's produced by the refraction of natural and artificial light through holographic optical elements (HOE’s) within the sculpture’s glazing. The angle of the light falling onto the prism is critical to the visual effect produced by each of the HOE’s. Clusters of HOE’s all with slightly different configurations are used to create a non-uniform effect, which changes depending on the viewing angle.
DfL’s Technical Challenge
Several challenges were faced, including the thermal management of the proposed light source. We also had to make sure we could replicate the original Spectral Power Distribution (SPD) and photometric distribution to achieve a faithful reproduction of the original lit effect.
We looked at many options and decided that an LED solution would achieve the thermal management target with cooler running temperatures. To achieve the original lit effect, we needed a high Colour Rendering Index (CRI) source. Without this, parts of the SPD would be missing which would show in the light refracted by the HOE’s. In turn the artwork would have differed to the artist's original design vision. Choosing the correct beam angle and photometric distribution was also critical to achieving the lit effect. It had to be neither too narrow or wide to make sure the HOE’s refracted the light correctly.
DfL also advised on the electrical design solution. The existing lighting system required 12-volt safety extra low voltage with transformers housed in the structure’s base. We supplied a bespoke design for the contractor, allowing the LED drivers to be located 20 metres away in the basement of an adjacent building. This helped with ease of maintenance and improved reliability.
DfL demonstrated a broad array of technical skills and knowledge in the design of the Flare, from electrical design to complex lighting design skills, ultimately delivering the right solution for the client.
Can we help you with your light art project? Please contact us.