Skemersdale, West Lancashire, United Kingdom - Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE:PHG, AEX:PHI), has installed LED lighting at Skemersdale Library making it the first library in Lancashire to use an innovative colour-changing ceiling to encourage wider use of libraries by young people. The system uses iColor Cove LED light fittings from Philips, managed via a ToBeTouched controller, which enables library staff to quickly select different lighting scenes.
The project was part of a redesign of the library which has created a space to encourage 14 to 25 year olds to use the library. This includes an area where young people can access computers for gaming and other activities, and a ‘chill out’ space, designated ‘the crib’, where the colour-changing lighting has been installed. The work has been carried out in parallel with the Get it Loud in Libraries (GILIL) initiative being pioneered by Lancashire Libraries, which stages live musical performances in libraries.
One of the ways that architects Croft Goode made the crib different and interesting to young people was by designing a translucent barasol stretched ceiling. This provided consulting engineers Beech Jackson Partnership (BJP) with an interesting challenge. “We wanted to create a colour-changing effect on the ceiling and pelmet lighting would have created dark spaces at the centre of the space,” explained BJP’s Neil Cole. “So we opted to position the lighting behind the translucent ceiling. However, this meant that the lighting would be difficult to access for maintenance, so long-life LED lighting was the obvious choice.
“Having determined that Philips offered the most cost-effective solution we set up a test rig with a sample of the ceiling and carried out a number of trials and calculations to establish the best configuration for the luminaires. The Philips team was very helpful throughout the project,” he added.
Philips iColor Cove QLX compact, linear LED fixtures, able to generate saturated colour and dynamic effects, were selected for the lighting and installed behind the ceiling, using plug-in wiring for ease of installation. Control gear is housed in a remote cupboard for ease of access.
The ToBeTouched controller provides a number of different lighting scenes. “The lighting is fantastic and very easy to use, so we can change the mood of the lighting to suit the activities,” said Skemersdale Library’s Jane Berry. “Also, because the lighting in the chill out space is visible from the ground floor of the library it is able to influence the mood of the whole library. We’ve had lots of positive comments about it,” she added.
Stewart Parsons of Lancashire Libraries, the driving force behind the GILIL programme, added: “The aim of the crib is to engage the target age group through relevant design and content. The ceiling is an iconic branding message and works brilliantly in allowing us to do just that.”
Following the success of the Skemersdale project, Lancashire Libraries is considering similar projects in other libraries in the County, also using colour changing lighting.