Bustling commuters soothed with welcoming light
Newmarket Railway Station is one of the busiest stations in Auckland, New Zealand, conducting thousands of people in and out of Newmarket's bustling commercial center daily. With all this traffic, the historic site, erected in 1873, needed some revitalization. After a two-year re-build project, Opus Architecture electrical engineer Simon Fong set to work illuminating the striking three-story lantern box that now marks the station's entrance, and the wall of the staff room accommodation pod inside the station. To achieve the vibrant multi-colored look for the lantern box and to accentuate the unique map graphic on the wall of the accommodation pod, Fong and his team turned to LED lighting solutions from Color Kinetics.
Fong's team had to bring to life an envisioned multi-colored "glowing" effect for the lantern box and simultaneously forge a strategy for illuminating the freshly built accommodation pod. The pod's glazed panels are adorned with a map graphic of the Newmarket area in the late 1800s. Fong's team had to carefully select a shade and intensity of white light that would highlight the distinct colors of the map graphic without oversaturating its textures.
A pair of highly versatile LED luminaires from Color Kinetics proved the prime option for fulfilling these very specific requirements. The lantern box is lit from the interior with iColor Flex SLX LED strands (now specificed with Flex Compact gen3, RGB). The strands, which consist of 50 individually controllable LED nodes, strategically sweep the structure's glazed panels in a pattern that maximizes light level uniformity and combats shadowing. The color-changing LED nodes, controlled by a Color Kinetics Light System Manager lighting controller, can generate myriad pre-programmed light shows and unlimited color displays for heralding the refurbished site.
For the accommodation pod, Fong used eW Graze Powercore luminaires, which produce the high-quality white light needed to bring out the map graphic's color scheme and enliven the rest of the room. "The staff room accommodation pod is not just a breakout room but a bold and distinct feature that brings warmth into the station and can be enjoyed by everyone," Fergus Gammie, Auckland Regional Transport Authority Chief Executive, said.
The luminaires' durability was an added bonus. The long useful life of the LED lights—50,000 hours or more under normal operation—requires little maintenance and results in a virtually uninterrupted traffic flow, as the hectic station won't require frequent shutdowns for relamping and other maintenance tasks.
The station's new signature illumination was unveiled to mass acclaim, with the lantern box winning several awards, including a Lighting Design Excellence Award, and the accommodation pod wall earning a Lighting Design Commendation Award, both courtesy of the Illuminating Engineering Society. "We wanted a significant entrance feature that would draw people into the station and establish a clearly identifiable landmark for Newmarket. This was certainly achieved," Gammie said.