The location of 1st Choice Savings & Credit Union in Alberta, Canada, was designed to be a bright and inviting facility with an open lobby, featuring a high ceiling and glass façades that allow plenty of sunlight.
While the architect had the best of intentions, the lighting of the credit unions’ lobby became an issue as unforeseen circumstances came to fruition. One of those issues had to do with the physical position of the building itself. Facing north, the large windows offered plenty of daylight on sunny days, which is always welcome in a commercial space. This caused a tremendous amount of glare, however, during prime working hours that made it difficult for staff members to do their jobs. To rectify this issue, the maintenance team applied a tint to the windows.
The tinting strategy amplified the illumination issues in the facility on overcast days. The 22 legacy 150W indirect/direct metal halide fixtures provided inadequate illumination for the lobby and many of the members visiting the facility were compelled to comment on how dark it felt, especially the high number of elderly members. The fixtures were doing a poor job of throwing light out across the space and instead light would puddle on the floor and ceiling, which resulted in poor illumination levels as both the teller and the customer were blocking the light from each side. Staff frequently found it difficult to perform critical tasks.
Additionally, the metal halide fixtures’ recurrent maintenance issues were becoming cost prohibitive. Lamp and ballast failures were prevalent every week or two and a quick fix upgrade to Medium Base MH lamps proved to be unsuccessful when the burn-outs continued.
The team at 1st Choice called in Optics Lighting, and they evaluated a number of lighting solutions. The team realized LED technology would most certainly solve the maintenance issues, but noted performance would still be challenging due to the unique dimensions of the room and ceiling.
After a thorough evaluation, the team decided it would be beneficial to pilot KIM Lighting’s innovative ArcheType X luminaire. It has the ability to precisely place light where it is needed most with higher target efficiency. In ArcheType X, LEAR modules are individually controlled to provide custom adjustable light distributions. Each optical assembly accommodates 359-degree rotation and tilts between zero and 70 degrees.
The lighting is evenly illuminated across the entire ceiling and the required footcandles are being met on the floor. In fact, the custom distributions of the ArcheType X presented the opportunity to reduce the number of fixtures needed to light the space from 22 to 14 while achieving greater uniformity and efficacy over anything with a standard IES distribution. Less luminaires are needed to do the job, and 1st Choice is now using 57% less wattage. The legacy fixtures, in total, operated at 3300W. The new ArcheType X fixtures operate at 1414W.