Friday, 14 March 2014

Philips' LED downlighters transform Dartmoor Zoological Park’s restaurant and conference area

The incredible story of Dartmoor Zoo is the subject of the best-selling book and film ‘We Bought A Zoo’. In 2006, the Mee brothers took a leap of faith without any experience to fall back on, purchased a run down zoo. Thanks to the brothers' tireless efforts, the estate has now been bought back to its former glory and a number of facilities have been improved. After the renovation, a remaining area of concern was the restaurant which was illuminated by outdated 2 x 26w compact fluorescent down lights.

Alex Smale, the zoo’s Business Development Manager said: “We reached a stage where only 40% of the fittings were working and those that were on were not giving out much light. The fittings were also very unattractive and certainly didn’t create the right impression.”

Philips’ solution to this problem was to replace the existing fittings with 32w Luxspace LED recessed down lighters. The benefits of using these lamps include; improved lighting performance, minimal installation costs and energy savings. 

Divided into zones, the Luxspace fittings are controlled through Philips OccuSwitch DALI (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface) which delivers an enhanced level of control. Through this system, lighting is linked to photocells so that it can be automatically dimmed in relation to natural daylight. The system is also linked to the occupancy detectors; ensuring lighting in unoccupied areas of the restaurant is dimmed to around 20% of the full light output. 

Staff and visitors approve of the new lighting, Alex Smale enthused: “It has made a fantastic difference to the restaurant and we’ll be saving a massive amount on energy costs. There will also be big savings on maintenance, thanks to the long life of the LED lamps”.

Philips is also supplying new lighting in the zoo’s’ cat houses with the aim of creating a better environment for the keepers. This lighting upgrade is part of the zoo’s plan to reduce its environmental impact, the zoo works closely with Bicton College in Salterton to promote environmental awareness. Together, these two organisations are working towards creating an education centre within the zoo.