Wales, UK- Philips, in partnership with Cadw, the historic environment service of the Welsh Assembly Government, is to relight 18 of the region’s most impressive castles.The new lighting proposal is predicted to achieve energy savings of 50%, equating to saving 92 tons of CO2 annually, using state of the art LED lighting technology.
Thought to be the biggest venture of its kind, the project includes Harlech, Beaumaris, Caernarfon and Conwy which, together, form a prestigious World Heritage site.
Adoption of the latest LED design innovation has ensured that the multiple challenges of energy reduction, enhanced visitor enjoyment and the health and safety of those working on site have all been met.
As Neal O’Leary, Cadw’s Programme Manager explains, “The heritage of Wales is very rich and diverse, shaped by past generations, highlighting where we have come from and enhancing our quality of life. Some of these monuments are of international importance and have justifiably been given global recognition as World Heritage Sites. However, this historic environment is also a fragile resource and therefore we have an obligation and duty to manage them in a sensitive and sustainable way for future generations to enjoy. We are therefore pleased to be working with Philips to ensure that our castles are shown to best effect, but also that we have done so in a way which is sustainable as well.”
Often known as the “Land of Castles”, Wales welcomes millions of visitors to its sites every year. Impacting on the refurbishment programme, the castles have to remain open to the public whilst work is carried out, therefore, minimum disruption is an essential factor. Philips built this criterion into its proposal by ensuring that the existing lighting would be replaced on a point for point basis. This also avoided the unnecessary complication of requiring the work to be overseen by archaeologists.
Caerphilly Castle and Castle Coch are two of the first sites to be relit. Both very different in style, the lighting treatment has nonetheless been sympathetically applied to each.
Built on medieval remains, the fairytale Castle Coch now enjoys over 60% reduction in power consumption using Philips eW Reach Powercore LED floodlights situated in the same positions as the former fittings. With its ability to emit two separate beam angles from each fixture, the lighting picks out the architectural detailing of this romantic vision of the Middle Ages. The main stone façades have been softly illuminated whilst the upper turrets have been accentuated to give greater definition.
Shades of neutral white and warm white light have been used at Caerphillly Castle, one of the largest medieval fortresses in the UK. Capable of projecting light some 500 feet, the eW Reach Powercore is amply equipped to scale the impressive elevations reaching the full height of the external walls from moat level. Discreetly placed on both the projected and recessed fascias the fixtures illuminate the arresting structure ensuring that the principal façade is equally imposing at night time when viewed from the public highways. The other facades have also been treated with neutral white light but to provide contrast the internal castle walls are washed with warm white to enrich their colour and texture.
“The project has taken social and environmental responsibility to its core proving that energy efficiency and continued visitor enjoyment of the rich history of Wales can go hand in hand without compromise.” O’ Leary sums up.