Harrods Aviation appoints Inspyer Lighting to replace departure lounge lighting
Inspyer Lighting was recently commissioned by Harrods Aviation for a major project at their departure lounge at Luton airport. Harrods are clearly a well-known luxury goods brand, but their aviation business isn’t so well known, can you tell me a bit about it?
Harrods Aviation, part of the Harrods group, is the leading London-based business aviation service for private aircraft, with FBO centres at both London Luton and Stansted airports.
At Luton airport the Harrods lounge is based in the airport’s Business Centre, away from the bustle and congestion of the main terminal and offers a totally bespoke experience for fast, effortless and discreet arrivals and departures. Needless to say that the VIP business lounge is luxuriously appointed and the epitome of exclusive travel.
What were they looking to do and why?
Harrods were looking to refresh both the lights and the lighting control systems in their Luton departure lounge as the 26 existing pendant lights and 8 wall lights were, whilst beautifully designed, using old metal halide lamps and were now inefficient and approaching their end of life.
Harrods also wanted to increase efficiency with LED technology that would be compatible with a system that allowed them to dim the lights depending on weather conditions, time of year and what time of day it was. They also specified that the pendants should offer a very similar indirect lighting output to the incumbent lights, all whilst retaining the style and quality that would properly reflect the Harrods brand.
So what did you propose?
We proposed three different fittings from three leading designers, one from Vibia, one from Flos and one from Artemide. The one that we chose to mock up, and latterly install, for the client was the Flamingo light from Vibia.
What stood out about the Flamingo light?
Well, first and foremost, what struck me about the Flamingo was their aesthetic quality. They appear to float in mid-air, and as such are perfectly suited to the environment of an aviation lounge. Secondly, they are designed and manufactured by one of the world’s best lighting companies and definitely reflect beautifully on the Harrods brand. Add to that, they’re LED and dimmable, and almost all the boxes were ticked for me.
In terms of light distribution, the Flamingos are almost entirely indirect. Three LED light sources, two uplights and one downlight. The uplights catch the discs above them and, in turn both illuminate the discs and reflect light off them, back into the room. The third light source, the downlight, offers a discreet amount of direct light which works very well in a lounge environment.
What control system did you use?
We used an intelligent lighting control system from Rako Lighting Control. A British manufacturer, we felt this also reflected the tradition and history associated with such an iconic British brand.
The system combines the five individual circuits in the lounge to provide a practical and versatile lit environment. We were able to set up various “scenes” which can easily be recalled depending on the time of day, and offering the operations team at Harrods Aviation greater control and convenience.
What other challenges did you have to overcome?
Harrods is such an illustrious brand and synonymous with excellence, so there was real pressure to ensure that the style of lights we proposed reflected the brand, that the light distribution was appropriate for the nature of the lounge users and that there was minimal disruption to the clients, quite a challenge for a 24/7 departure lounge!
Additionally, it was a very large space, over 400 square metres with a barrel-vaulted ceiling which extended to nearly 7 metres in places. Our installers had to bring in cherry picker platforms and, as we were not able to bring ceilings down, we had to work within the confines of existing ceilings and existing cabling, which was also quite challenging.
Why do you think Harrods chose Inspyer Lighting for the project?
Well, we’ve been doing these kinds of projects for nearly 10 years now and we’ve become a well-known and award-winning brand ourselves, with excellent supplier and client relationships alike. Historically our engagements tended to be high-end private residential projects, however, in the last couple of years we’ve seen significant growth in commercial projects of this nature, particularly in the Hospitality sector.
Harrods also liked our ethos that every project is a partnership and every project is bespoke. Our design team works in close consultation with our client at every stage, from concept to completion, to ensure our installations deliver both the unique personality and style of the client as well as the functionality and efficiency required of high-quality lighting systems.
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