The Café Royal — pre-programmed lighting scenes

London, United Kingdom

The site of London’s Café Royal has recently undergone radical restoration and redevelopment under the direction of David Chipperfield Architects.

The development is part of Crown Estates wider remodelling of Regent’s Streets southern end. The reopened site now has 159 guestrooms and a selection of bars and restaurants, all of which incorporate Helvar lighting controls. This huge hotel (25000m² floor space in total) works with a variety of control gear and lighting scenes to suit different environments and lighting requirements.

The lighting control element of the project is split into two sections and each presented its own set of challenges. The first section looks after the public areas, namely the restaurant, bar and the lobby area. The second covers the bedrooms and provides adaptable lighting presets for day and night.

All 159 guest suites are fitted out with eleven lighting control channels and contain a combination of LED and halogen light sources. Due to the historic nature of the hotel, Café Royal did not want modern control elements to be visible on the user interface. A special design was created to fit in with the traditionally decorated suites. To meet the aesthetic needs, custom DIN Rail arrangements were supplied with Helvar dimming and switching modules mounted onto them. These were prewired and ready for installation inside an enclosure, which also houses the guestroom distribution board, heating and air conditioning controls, and room management system.

Staff at the hotel need full access to the public lighting and this was required from day one of the handover. Helvar’s uSee interface has been integrated with an iPad to offer the staff a solution that allows for both central control over the lighting, and added benefit of mobile control so scenes can be deployed and altered locally.

The uSee software automatically generates HTML pages of the system which can now be viewed on any device with a web browser. Café Royal staff now enjoy access to all pre-programmed lighting scenes in each area and have the ability to control each lighting channel using the sliders created by the uSee program. This gives a great deal of control back to the staff, allowing them to take charge of the lighting without needing to bring the programmers back for assistance.

London, United Kingdom