State-of-the-art LED lighting brings new life to The Lowry’s high-profile auditoriums. The major upgrade shows Dextra Lighting’s edge over competitors by offering the theatre venue both quality and modern functionality, without compromising on affordability.
About the Project
The Lowry is the fruit of decades of continuous efforts to regenerate the local docklands. The magnificent architectural landmark is more than just an arts centre, it is a bustling tourist destination, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors every year to the Greater Manchester region. Since opening in April 2000, the flagship building has been raising the cultural profile of the North West and boosting the regional economy. The centre now offers a number of facilities including two high-profile theatre halls – the Lyric, with a capacity of 1,730 and the Quays theatre, offering up to 430 seats.
The complex is situated in the heart of Salford’s thriving MediaCityUK; a creative hub for the digital and media industries. In 2007, the BBC relocated five of its major departments from London and its existing Manchester offices to the
redeveloped Salford Quays, using The Lowry’s theatres and studio spaces for a number of productions and events.
Launched as a National Millennium project, The Lowry has been financed through British and European public sector programmes and patrons from the private sector. As a cultural attraction of national and regional importance, the project’s procurement and design process have always been to the highest standards, with periodic renovations aimed at improving the financial and environmental sustainability of the building. With this in mind, Dextra Lighting were approached by AA Projects’ experienced team of low carbon consultants, to provide a modern lighting solution balancing quality with cost-effectiveness, using its vast range of precision-engineered LED luminaires to enhance the theatre’s facilities.
The lighting upgrade targeted both the main auditoriums and backstage areas. The theatre’s existing lighting needed to be replaced with cutting-edge LED alternatives, offering today’s standards of energy-efficiency and flexible controls, whilst creating a suggestive atmosphere for theatre-goers. For the back-of-house areas, energy-saving, low-maintenance lighting was required abiding by all health and safety regulations. Dimmable front-of-house lighting was required to allow The Lowry’s technicians to easily and accurately dim the lights from the audio-visual control rooms. Overall, the LED upgrade’s aim was to save The Lowry more money on the installation through reducing electrical consumption, installation and maintenance costs.
“Pro-light Mini – The Lowry saved money on installation with this product, as prewired leads and simple retractive spring clips helped minimise fitting times”
Theatre Main Lighting – Protec LED
The highly popular Protec LED downlight was supplied in a range of lumen outputs to act as primary lighting for both the theatre halls. Using the latest Lumileds LEDs and efficient anodised aluminium reflectors, the luminaire offers impressive energy savings with short payback periods over fluorescent equivalents. The combination of high-quality LED sources and advanced optics allow the Protec LED to offer LORs in excess of 90% in lumen outputs of up to 3000lm to allow The Lowry to comfortably meet its energy targets whilst giving designers the flexibility to tailor the installations to suit the hall’s architectural design.
The Protec LED’s appealing contemporary construction is ideal for high-end specifications and can be customised with a wide selection of options including,
interchangeable reflectors and colour attachments, and custom bezels (for retrofit applications), to suit a host of interiors and adapt to future changes in decor.
From a range of dimming options, the luminaire was supplied with High-Frequency dimming drivers and was commissioned to give AV technicians full access from the halls’ control rooms.
The Protec LED is also designed to offer flexible and cost-effective installation, with a four-point, self-clamping bracket making the job quicker and easier for appointed electrical installers, AMEON Ltd, whilst being suitable for plaster, mineral fibre and metal tile in thicknesses between 3mm and 30mm.
Accent Lighting, Front of House & Box Office – Pro-Light Mini
The Pro-Light Mini high-quality LED spotlight was chosen to replace the existing accent lighting for the theatre hall, to safely guide patrons to their seats and add to the inviting atmosphere. The spotlights also helped welcome theatre-goers to the theatre with a controlled and elegant lighting effect. The luminaire is a highly-efficient replacement for fluorescent equivalents, offering the durability, reliability and energy-efficiency of the latest Tridonic COB modules combined with advanced aluminium faceted reflectors, to cut The Lowry’s electricity bills and maintenance costs (e.g., avoiding frequent lamp changes) whilst offering premium performance.
Like the Protec LED, versatility and quality define this range. Offering a number of body styles (Fixed, Gimbal, Wallwash and Scoop), coloured bezels, three beam angles and a range of replaceable twist-lock reflectors, the luminaire can be fashioned to suit the aesthetic and practical needs of a host applications whilst offering flexibility to adjust to changes to the interior. The
luminaire is also available in colour temperatures of 3000k or 4000k in a colour rendering index of 80+.
For the theatre halls and box-office, the Pro-Light Mini was provided in a round Fixed body, providing an unobtrusive yet elegant look. The luminaire was angled at 40°, with an efficient specular reflector to direct the lighting in key areas. Centralised High-Frequency dimming controls and integrated 3 hour maintained emergency functions were also provided as per The Lowry’s specific safety and technical requirements.
The Lowry saved money on installation with this product, as prewired leads and simple retractive spring clips helped minimise fitting times. Dextra Lighting also supplied made-to-measure infill rings for both the Pro-Light Mini and Protec LED to assist with installation into the ceiling’s existing cut-outs.
Dressing Rooms & BOH – AMED LED & Hydra LED
Although BOH areas are often neglected in lighting designs, huge savings can be made by simply upgrading to high-efficiency, low-maintenance LED luminaires, helping improve returns on investment further. The Amenity Decorative LED bulkhead not only lowered energy consumption by approximately 60% compared to the existing lighting without compromising on performance; it also added an appealing decorative touch to the performer’s dressing rooms. Available in a number of options including lumen outputs of up to 3000lm, a range of integral sensor and dimming controls to maximise energy savings, and self-test or auto-test 3-hour maintained emergency functions, the luminaire comfortably fulfilled The Lowry’s practical and safety requirements whilst tying in with its sustainability goals.
The IP65-rated Hydra LED offered an efficient, hassle-free, low-maintenance solution for the remaining back-of-house, such as store rooms and back stage
circulation areas. Available in of lumen outputs ranging from 2200lm to as high as 12,600lm across 4 body sizes, with LORs of over 90%, the luminaire combines flexibility and efficiency in a practical and affordable package. A number of dimming options (High-Frequency, Switch, DALI, DSI and Corridor Mode) and emergency functions are also available with this range to suit a host of applications. The durable luminaire also offers protection to dirt and dust ingress, water and light impact, as well as resistance to temperatures between -20℃ and +25℃. The Hydra LED is also designed to offer tooled access in compliance to current regulations .
Upon special request, all LED products were provided in a warmer C83 colour temperature to suit The Lowry’s desired aesthetic and were offered with Dextra Group’s comprehensive 5-year warranty for additional peace of mind.