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 brief

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”

The products

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.