Lighting Reformation

Italy’s Cathedral of Siena wanted to highlight its visible treasures with powerful lighting fixtures.

The Cathedral of Siena is one of Italy’s most important Gothic buildings. Inside, visitors are amazed by the unique mosaic floor consisting of more than 50 ornately decorated marble surfaces. In this new century, the church wished to highlight these treasures with more modern technology, specifically discreet, but powerful lighting fixtures that could throw light from distances more than 80 ft.—and be controlled in a more user-friendly fashion. Lighting designer Marco Nereo Rotelli was awarded the task and specified high-precision ERCO lighting tools for the purpose. The latter, in turn, employed Bluetooth Casambi technology to enable the lights to be simply controlled wirelessly via smartphone or tablet.

The special challenge of the project lay in the installation height of the luminaires. For such long distances, luminaires with high luminous flux and precise projecting optics are required. Erco’s Stella 2972-lm., 3000K spotlights, with narrow spotlight distribution of less than 10 degrees, were specified to crisply and precisely illuminate the marble features with high contrast. Elsewhere, Parscan spotlights, with either 2149 lm. or 4198 lm. outputs, and 10-degree to 20-degree distribution, complete Rotelli’s concept.

In such a historic structure, the use of wireless controls averted complicated wiring issues. Because the luminaires themselves form a Bluetooth mesh, even the distances in the central nave pose no problem. The control signal is transmitted to the nearest luminaire in the network and communicated further via this luminaire. Programming can be carried out from a central point, as well as from the actual position of the observer.

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