Commissioning lighting systems at the Laira Bridge

Our intrepid Technical Sales Engineer, Phil Grice has been out and about doing what he does best – programming and commissioning lighting systems.

On this occasion, Phil was accompanied by one of our other Technical Sales Engineers – Steve Goodyear. They both travelled to Plymouth to commission the new dynamic coloured lighting solution for the re furbished Laira Bridge.

The Laira Bridge had previously been out of use as a railway bridge for many years, but it has been given a new lease of life as a cycling route and pedestrian walkway. To celebrate the re birth of this Victorian bridge and its amazing ironwork, an architectural lighting solution has been installed that turns the bridge into a visual delight at night.

Philips Color Kinetics ColorGraze QLX Powercore and ColorBlast12 Powercore luminaires have been installed by the electrical contractor across the whole span of the bridge. This includes the Kingsbridge and Plymouth ends.

Each bridge pillar has been fitted with four ColorGraze QLX Powercore units. This ensures that all the horizontal lattice ironwork is grazed with light. The pillars themselves are washed with light from two ColorBlast Powercore units.

Once the lighting fixtures are in place, the next challenge is how to control them. Phil explains “ We chose the Pharos LPC1 controller since it is completely flexible,  easy to use and ideal for commissioning lighting systems. It also allows us to communicate with it via a wireless connection. This means that the client can use a smartphone to utilise pre set lighting sequences. They can also independently configure the dynamic lighting to cater for special occasions and events”

Behind the scenes

Phil gives us a further insight into what’s involved when commissioning lighting systems.

“Prior to attending site we designed and built a custom web interface using HTML and jQuery. This was loaded onto the Pharos controller to enable control via a smart phone or tablet.

Pharos Web App

Due to the individual nature of projects, the web interface that we use is custom built on a project-by-project basis.

Upon arrival, we walked the site to check the quality of the installation. We then checked if the electrical contractor had any questions, and assisted them to make the final data connections in the control cabinet.

Next we ran some functionality tests to see if all the fittings were working properly.

We made some rough layout drawings of where all the fittings were, so that we could then map and plan our DMX assignments.

We then worked our way across the bridge one data enabler at a time. We patched into each data enabler with my laptop. Utilising Color Kinetics software, we interrogated them to discover the serial numbers of each fitting, and assigned each unit a DMX address.

Once we completed addressing all the fittings, we proceeded to map out the fixtures within Pharos Designer. We then patched the fittings according to the DMX addresses, and then created a selection of different lighting states and some triggers to activate the shows.

We then had to wait until it was dark before we could progress. Once the sun had set, we returned to test the lighting scenes and make adjustments according to the client’s requirements.”

“Commissioning lighting systems is a rewarding role, since we get to see the finished project” says Phil.

The finished result at the Laira Bridge is a visual delight on the Plymouth skyline that can be seen for miles around.

If you would like to discuss commissioning lighting systems in more detail, please contact our Technical Services Team.