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LED illumination of a church

We were approached by the company Riverstone - Gloria Dei to participate in the reconstruction of the interior of the Roman Catholic church in the village of Dlhé Pole. It was an initial challenge for us, but due to the complete reconstruction of the interior and the associated reconstruction of the electrical installation, the preparation of the lighting project could start fully without any restrictions. As part of the lighting design and improvement of the user comfort, we designed a made-to-measure DALI control with default light scenes.

  • Implementing body: LEDCO s.r.o.
  • Date of implementation: 2017

The course of the project

Before starting the designing, we had a series of meetings with Riverstone. We fine-tuned every detail of the vaulted ceiling, the functional lighting of the nave, the direct illumination of the sanctuary, the liturgical backlighting of the altar and the steering itself. The strict criterion was not to suppress the geometry of the building, to evenly illuminate the newly carried out wall paintings and to achieve at least the required average lighting of the space.

At the same time, we should not forget about colour rendering, i.e. the colour rendering index and choosing the right chromaticity temperature – the white colour temperature. The final application of colours was very varied and it was locally complemented by gilded elements. After a physical test of the lighting, we chose custom-made lights with a CRI> 95, with a chromaticity temperature of 3400K. With this combination, we did not suppress any shade of colour and the interior of the church looks very fresh and believable. During the production of the lights, we also thought about the fact that their aluminum body would disappear in the space, and therefore we supplied them with the final surface treatment according to the exact RAL colour of the supporting base of the paintings.

To calculate the lighting, we used a 3D model of the interior and inserted it into the Dialux software. Using precise eulumdata, we simulated the uniformity of the ceiling lighting, but also the required average intensity at the height of the benches, i.e. in the user perspective of the church visitor. We made three designs for the layout of the lights and their exact orientation, from which one was selected, which was also applied. We decided to place the lights on the ledges of the supporting columns and behind the triumphal arch. The lights thus escape the attention of the ordinary visitor, they do not spoil the overall impression and only the essential, which is also illuminated, is highlighted.

DALI control

Another inseparable part of the reconstruction was the electrical installation and the way of controlling the lighting in the church. As is the rule from old electrical connections and control principles, there are a lot of control elements (mostly switches) on the distribution box. Turning on the lighting itself is often a difficult task for the authorized person. The lighting of the church is also adapted to the individual liturgical holidays, which adds even more to the complexity. After analyzing the connection options and control requirements, we and our technical team designed a tailor-made DALI control with programmed light scenes.

The result of the simplification of operation was eight simple buttons with a description of a specific light scene. With this solution, it is possible to directly select a suitable lighting by simply pressing for the period before the Holy Mass, during the Mass and, of course, after it. We set a special light scene for the period during Easter, the Feast of the Sacrifice of the Lord – Candlemass but also for individual liturgical colours. We also played effectively with turning off the lights by time-delayed light switch-off.

We also played effectively with turning off the lights by gradually turning off the lights.We believe that we have partially contributed to the festive atmosphere and light comfort of this beautiful shrine, which partially convinced us also when seeing the first glance of the visitors of the church.