The Lighting Control Innovation Award was created in 2011 as part of the Illuminating Engineering Society’s Illumination Awards program, which recognizes professionalism, ingenuity and originality in lighting design. LCA is proud to sponsor the Lighting Control Innovation Award, which recognizes projects that exemplify the effective use of lighting controls in nonresidential applications.
This month, we will explore the role that lighting controls play in enhancing the visitor experience at the visitor center of Fort Wellington, a National Historic Site. Lighting and control design by Nick Chu and Frank Park of DIALOG. Photography by Ben Rahn of A-Frame Studio. Lighting controls by LiteTouch.
A visitor center for a National Historic Site, this building was designed to be warm, inviting and required viewing access to the exterior historic grounds. Preservation and exhibition of artifacts was a key component and design challenge. A wooden hull of a vintage 1817 gunboat, was the main lighting feature. The combination of natural and artificial light were balanced via
controls, allowing the building to function as intended while highlighting and preserving irreplaceable historic elements. As the building is directly in the path of migratory birds, the lighting schedule and light pollution were critical design elements to consider. Lighting was an important design feature that highlighted the exceptional project design and the community’s history, while drawing in 30% more visitors.
A central control panel located within the exhibit space controls window shades and dimmable LED (non-UV) light fixtures. To protect against deterioration, it’s important that artifacts have no direct exposure to UV. Photo sensors are strategically placed near exhibits and window shades are set to automatically close when direct daylight crosses a certain threshold. The LED fixtures can be automatically controlled to compensate when the shades are drawn.
Due to the multiple display areas within the space, zoning was crucial for the controls. Designated display areas are separately zoned at the control panel, allowing for dimming and switching as displays change. Discrete lighting and control systems maintain focus on the exhibits.
Dimmable LED fixtures allow for variable lighting levels depending on the amount of daylight while high CRI lamps ensure textures and wood grains are visible from above and below the exhibit. The control panel is completely configurable, enabling the curators to adjust and set appropriate levels.
Energy Efficiency: Project was designed to meet LEED Gold levels.
Budget: Value engineering was completed at multiple stages. The project was ultimately finished on budget.