Case study: Chandelier ballroom lighting conversion in Hopetoun House, Edinburgh

Case study: Chandelier ballroom lighting conversion in Hopetoun House, Edinburgh

Faced with an awkward lighting project in one of Scotland’s greatest ballrooms, electrician, Del Campbell, was in for a challenge. He had no idea how complex the job would turn out – and more so, how simple the solution would be.
We all know that great LED lighting effect and dimming capability is essential to a perfect finish in a commercial venue; it sets the mood, enhances appearance and significantly reduces overhead costs. But the big question is, how can you achieve this with 90 LEDs across three 18th-century chandeliers without the need for an expensive, bespoke dimming pack?
Recommended by his local wholesaler – YESSS Electrical, Livingston branch – Del was appointed to undertake a complex LED upgrade at Hopetoun House in Edinburgh, ‘Scotland’s finest stately home’. Hopetoun House was one of YESSS Electricals’ new key customers, and after months (if not years) of frustration with the lighting set up in the ballroom the general manager knew something had to be done. He was desperate for a simple, effective, and maintenance-free solution to lighting the ballroom at Hopetoun, a highly sought-after wedding venue with a high-end vintage aesthetic.

The planning phase

Del soon discovered there was far more to the job than simply replacing the lamps with vintage-looking LEDs. The existing system used to control the lighting level in the ballroom was headache-inducing. Flicker and buzz were a nasty by-product of an outdated lighting control panel, and the maintenance team were deeply frustrated with constantly replacing the chandeliers’ lamps – sometimes changing as many as 20 a week.
Fed up with flickering, buzzing lamps, the client required a simple, maintenance-free solution to lighting that would finally bring to life the magnificence of Hopetoun’s grand ballroom.
They needed their upgraded chandelier system to be:
  • Maintenance-free
  • Dimmable from one single point
  • Completely silent
  • 100% flicker-free
  • Styled with vintage-aesthetic LED lamps
  • Able to cope with large load of 90 LED lamps

The project scope

With the project requiring 90 LEDs that needed to be connected to existing wiring, finding a dimming solution to cope with a load of that size without an expensive bespoke dimming system would be a challenge. Aware of the issues associated with pairing LED and TRIAC dimmers, finding a solution to cope with such a load would be tough – so, Del asked YESSS Electrical for some product advice.
The team at YESSS Electrical immediately recommended Zano Controls, and within a few minutes Del was on the phone to a member of Zano’s technical team. Del had heard about Zano’s problem-solving products prior to this project, but had not previously tried and tested their LED dimmers himself.
Zano took no time in finding the solution: to cope with the number of LEDs required and the large inrush current, the chandeliers required the ZBARLED1000, an off-the-shelf remote dimming pack that was easy to install.
Zano frequently test lamps for compatibility with their dimmers, which meant they could advise on a specific brand of dimmable vintage aesthetic LEDs too. The three chandeliers in the ballroom required a total of 90 LEDs all at a wattage of roughly 4W per lamp. With the inrush current accounted for, Del was looking at a total load size of just under 700W/VA.

Fantastic results

Impressed by how straight-forward the ZBARLED1000 was to install, Del got straight to work fitting the 90 LEDs - soft LED uplighting around the ballroom perimeter and connecting the lighting control solution up to the chandeliers from one central point in the room.
Despite a minor hold up in the form of an ITV drama being filmed at Hopetoun (which in-turn meant the ballroom was out of action for a solid 24 hours being used as a dressing room), the process went smoothly. Del was able to return the following day to program the dimmer using Zano’s exclusive Smart Settings in time for a wedding taking place in the ballroom that weekend.
By adding a specifically designed controller for the ZBARLED remote dimmer (one that’s ideal for multiple control points and large loads), Del enabled rotary dimming control of the three chandeliers from one point in the ballroom. This finally gave Hopetoun House’s management team lighting control in the ballroom that produced spectacular results without compromising on the light output of the LEDs.
“After months, if not years’ worth of frustration with the old setup, I cannot express how relieved, pleased and impressed I am with what you have done for us. Thanks Del.”

Project summary

Location: Hopetoun House, Edinburgh, Scotland
Contractor: Del Campbell, Westrigg Electrical Services
Bio: An electrician since leaving school at seventeen, Del knew from an early age he wanted to be an electrician. The best parts of being an electrician for Del are learning new things, and the technical side of all aspects of the job.
Wholesaler: YESSS Electrical Livingston
Total number of circuits: 6 (3 chandeliers, 2 circuits on each)
Products installed: ZBARLED1000
Lamps: x90 BELL LED 4W LED 35mm Dimmable Candle Clear - SBC, 2700K full load is 648 W/VA
Lamps/wattage per dimmer: Up to 1000W/VA per ZBARLED1000 dimmer
Wiring: SWA cable

About the ZBARLED1000

A powerful solution to dimming LED, the ZBARLED1000 dims between 0-1000W/VA LED, with up to 32 rotary controllers on a single circuit. Our ZBARLED remote dimming packs are our most versatile yet. Our award-winning technology delivers flicker-free and silent dimming for all good quality dimmable LED, tungsten, low-voltage or CFL lamps. 0-300W/VA and 1-10V versions are also available.
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