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 18,000 sq.ft Glasshouse in the heart of an urban arts district offers a thrilling year-round escape to the fantastic spiny desert of Madagascar, and the butterfly-filled rain forest of Costa Rica. The Glasshouse was originally constructed in 2003, and this recent lighting renovation included replacement of existing 1000 watt metal halide luminaires to a fully LED lighting system.
The new system incorporates: upper level color-changing luminaires as well as new midlevel and low level LED accent lighting. The space includes two other-worldly landscapes featuring 350 species of exotic plants and 50 different types of butterflies, birds, reptiles and amphibians through naturalistic habitats. The Glasshouse is considered unique among conservatories because it displays how plants, animals, geology and climate interact in delicate balance.
Ensuring the eco-system could safely co-exist with the new lighting required coordination with the facility staff on all lighting types, locations and controls. Timeclock functions were critical in regards to both plant and animal life in the biomes. A simple touchscreen features 25 different scenes, both dynamic color-changing and static color, as well as the ability to log-in remotely to change scenes. Additional challenges included careful fixture selection that could withstand the corrosive reverse osmosis system built into the Costa Rican biome. The new system has a connected load of only 0.41 watts/sq. ft., far below the allowed 1.06 watts/sq.ft. per the current energy standard for museum and exhibit spaces.
The design team worked with the Owner to create and establish a budget for the project that was within their means and met the design objectives. The project was completed within a 6 month time frame to allow continuing operation within the space and completion by the Holiday tree lighting event.
The new lighting system creates a series of visual “moments” that begin upon entering the tropical Costa Rican biome.
The RGBW LED luminaires mounted high on the truss disappear and create a moonlight effect while the discrete low level 2700K LED provide accent lighting.
DMX controls provide multiple scene options with full color changing effects for specific staged events as well as timeclock control throughout the space.
The density and varied foliage types required multiple walk-throws to fully layout the landscape luminaires within acceptable limits based on anticipated growth of the plants.
Accent Lighting was attached via 24” ground spike or to existing architecture like the catwalk structure or bridge fencing. Custom details provided a smooth installation.
A mosaic of leaf patterns creates visual interest along the pathways and enhances the lush jungle atmosphere.
After nightfall, the arid Madagascar Biome becomes a surreal world of spiky plant life and rock lit with a multilayer strategy creating unique viewing moments.
Installation and aiming was a bit precarious as the succulents included spikes and spines. But their sculptural appearance provided the perfect canvas.
An uplight glow within the cavern stimulates the visitor’s imagination on the journey through the biome, the illuminated trees ahead maintain their path of travel.
In conjunction with the upper level RGBW luminaires, 2700K spotlights illuminate the large baobob tree, creating a display of patterns that becomes enchanting after dark.