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In particular, the lighting project was to create a sense of security for users of the garden during the night, illuminating the paved areas of the garden and the sculpture of Shakespeare at the center and creating a “light scene” that did not conflict with police CCTV systems monitoring the square.
Due to the potential visual impact of lighting columns by day, the number of lighting poles was limited to just three within the central rotunda area, with four smaller lighting columns, one at each entrance to the garden. From these points both the paved areas, fountain and sculpture (the centre piece of the garden) needed to be illuminated. A bespoke lighting column system was designed utilising a series of 12watt neutral white LED projectors, housed in groups within the confines of a lighting column shaft. Thus an elegant solution was found that by day appears minimal and does not conflict with the garden like setting, yet by night satisfies both functional and aesthetic requirements. Clusters of luminaires were housed at various heights behind clear polycarbonate screens which allowed the light to pass through and individual adjustment of each optical assembly to be obtained. DALI dimmable LED drivers for each luminaire cluster were housed at the base of each lighting column behind the column access door and controlled by a remote control system allowing the lights to be dimmed and energised when required by the end user.
By night an ‘avenue of light’ illuminating the paved area was achieved by aiming individual optics within the cluster to a specific point on the ground. The lighting successfully delivers a contrast in horizontal illumination between the pavement and the surrounding soft landscape and therefore obtains the level of visual interest desired whilst also providing excellent vertical lighting required for the successful use of CCTV equipment. The vertical illuminance also adds to the sense of safety and security found in what could be generally described as a well lit area, without losing visual interest and definition on the sculpture.
The larger lighting columns located around the central statue housed a total of 20 optical assemblies arranged in 4 clusters. One cluster from each column was dedicated to the task of illuminating the fountain and sculpture of Shakespeare. Additional accent lighting was utilised in the form of LED buried up lights which illuminate the canopies London Plain trees, located around the perimeter of the gardens. These help to form a back drop to the gardens by night.