The White Company – calm and welcoming lighting

Norwich, United Kingdom

Helvar lights up the The White Company, one of the UK’s fastest growing multi-channel retailers.

The White Company’s new concept store in Norwich has been fitted with a series of Helvar 910 router system. The new system offers control over each individual luminaire to create a calm and welcoming ambience for customers over the course of the day, ideal when shopping for home wares. It also enables staff to highlight certain items of furniture around the store to coincide with promotions.

Having begun life as a 12-page mail order brochure, The White Company has become one of the UK’s fastest growing multi-channel retailers, with more than 50 UK stores. Company founder Chrissie Rucker created the firm in 1994 after struggling to find good quality white bed linen at a reasonable price.

The firm – who has been making elegant and stylish products, primarily in white, for more than 20 years – was seeking a holistic lighting system in alignment with their brand image.

Working closely with LED luminaire specialist Reggiani, Helvar delivered a fully controllable lighting system that was in tune with The White Company’s needs, supporting the store’s ambience. In order to do this, Helvar provided a 910 router system, allowing the user to connect up to 64 DALI devices to each subnet, delivering control over each individual fitting. The element of unique control was made possible by the identification of each fitting via the Helvar Designer software. A pre-set level was then programmed into an automated scene recall function. The program was concisely configured so that the lighting designer and client could request a fitting, out of around 250, and Helvar could point towards that particular device within the software and set the required level accordingly.

This individual control was of primary importance to the project, as a lighting solution was required to take the lighting from ‘bright and fresh’ in the morning through to ‘softer, more relaxing’ tones during the afternoon and evening. As such, Helvar implemented an auto schedule lighting system to meet these flexible needs whilst providing the store with a local override facility should the lighting need to be manually altered at any point. The stair case area was fitted with tunable white lighting, with the remainder of the installation was lit with dimmable 3000 K high cri luminaires.

With exacting lighting needs, Helvar had to ensure that the system would be able to meet changing demands for years to come. Stuart Gaunt, Head of Technical Specification for Reggiani Lighting was tasked with implementing the precise specification, commenting: “In order to create a calm and inviting environment in which shoppers could browse the store at their leisure, it was decided that the lighting should match that of the home as closely as possible.

“Four lighting scenes were created – two automatic and two manually selectable. This was made simple due to the ease with which the perimeter lighting could be turned down whilst the more central lighting could be increased, simulating the natural lighting experienced at home. For a retailer, using a ‘reverse’ lighting system is quite unusual but in this instance, met the brief perfectly.”

He continued: “Both the installation and programming stages ran incredibly smoothly – the controls were easy to integrate and Helvar was on hand at every step of the way ensuring the client was provided with all the training required to use the new lighting system effectively.”

Steve Andrews, Project Manager at Helvar commented: “In order to help eliminate any issues prior to the commissioning stage, we provided Reggiani with training on the user friendly ‘Toolbox’ software system, which enabled them to easily connect to the DALI circuits, ensuring correct installation without a hitch. Our aftercare package combined with excellent customer service provides The White Company with long-term peace of mind.”

SOLUTIONS: Tunable White, 910 Router System, Designer Software, DALI, Toolbox System

Norwich, United Kingdom