The Project

The historic Usher Hall has been the subject of a multi-million pound redevelopment programme since 2000. The new lighting system we installed was part of the final step of Phase Three of this development programme. The key project requirement was that all aspects of the scheme should be hidden from view when not in use. Using out-of-the-box thinking and state-of-the-art automation technology, we solved this challenge to produce a bespoke solution that fitted the clients’ brief exactly.

The system we designed and installed comprises 14 light fittings mounted on self-erecting masts. The masts are deployed using a pneumatic system similar to that used by American fire and rescue trucks.

Key Project Steps

  • Design and Consultancy – the project involved a number of unique challenges which required extensive research and feasibility studies. Key technology was sourced from the USA.
  • Installation – the installation of the new lighting system involved the set-up of custom mountings on the roof of the Usher Hall. We also installed control cabling, a weather -monitoring- station and other associated systems and interfaces.
  • Commissioning – the system was carefully tested and programmed and then handed over to the client.

The Results

We met and exceeded all project goals. The system is fully autonomous and has a manual override and emergency functions built in. The 14 masts each occupy no more than 0.5m x 1.8m of roof space. When deployed the lights rise 5m above roof level and create a stunning spectacle out of the high-level rooftop and copper dome.

The system deploys automatically at dusk and turns off again at two in the morning. The turn-off is designed to save money and reduce the carbon footprint of the scheme. The system is also protected by a monitoring system that shuts it down if the weather exceeds safety levels.

Usher Hall

Service: Installations
Sector: Architectural

Completion: October 2010
Location: Edinburgh
Client: City of Edinburgh Council

Kit List:

  • Mosaic Control System – overall operation of the scheme and interfacing
  • 14no custom pneumatic masts with control units and power supplies
  • 14no Erco Super-wide architectural light fittings with CDM250 colour-referenced lamp to Consultant Specification
  • Weather station with alarm interface and serial control
  • POE switch for data and control routing to masts