Built between 1861 and 1869, the National Wallace Monument is located on a volcanic crag overlooking Stirling Castle and Stirling Bridge, site of one of the most famous battles of 1297. Among Scotland’s most celebrated landmarks, the stunning, 67-meter tower is instantly recognizable and attracts more than 100,000 visitors each year.
With the tower’s 150th anniversary approaching in 2019, the Stirling District Tourism wanted to invest in new and modern lighting technology that would decrease running costs while providing fully flexible and dynamic lighting for various events held at the monument throughout the year. The existing lighting installation was outdated, expensive to maintain and operate, and required the use of colored gels to celebrate events.
Historic Scotland approached Color Kinetics Certified System Integrator, LITE Ltd., to assist with the design and installation of the new lighting system. Restrictions imposed by the monument’s Category A listing required the positions of all existing fixtures and cabling to be reused by any new fixtures and cabling. Existing fixture locations included four clusters at the base (2 pits at the front and 2 columns at the rear) and 16 at the crown of the tower. A Data Over Power system was needed to enable reuse of the existing cables; IntelliPower was successfully tested to address this challenge.
The fixtures at the base of the tower were replaced with 12 Color Kinetics ColorReach Powercore gen2, RGBW (3 at each cluster, now specified with ReachElite). The rear columns were refitted with custom cages designed to accommodate 3 ColorReach Powercore gen 2, RGBW luminaires and protect against potential damage from vandalism and area wildlife. These ground-mounted cages also allowed for easier maintenance. Color Kinetics Blast Powercore, RGBA luminaires replaced the crown fixtures. This LED mix provided the warm glow requested by the client. Color Kinetics eW Blast Powercore was installed to illuminate a bronze sculpture of William Wallace located at the corner of the tower. All controls were placed in the base of the tower with a 3G remote access router to provide easy access to the programming the system at any time.
Despite the installation challenges posed by the regular 246-step climb to the tower crown, the result is a fully dynamic lighting solution that enables the client to respond quickly to event requests, minimize maintenance, and reduce costs while respecting the historic fabric of the structure.