A retrofit LED scheme at Heathrow’s Cathay Pacific lounge has cut energy use by 63 per cent and improved the lit environment for the airline’s first and business class customers. Mark Burgess reports

First and business class passengers flying with Cathay Pacific from London can now enjoy the airline’s hospitality at a pair of lounges at the central concourse at London Heathrow Airport.

Philippe de Gentile-Williams, the company’s general manager for Europe, says: ‘The opening of our lounges in London will further enhance the Cathay Pacific experience. The new facilities reflect the airline’s commitment to offering quality service both in the air and on the ground.’

First class facilites

The 923m2 lounges feature Cathay Pacific’s signature Noodle Bar, a popular feature at the airline’s lounges at Hong Kong International Airport. They will serve a selection of authentic noodle dishes.

CeilingStar Trimless fittings above the departure board

CeilingStar Trimless fittings above the departure board

A high-ceiling window wall at the new Heathrow lounges looks out over the airport apron area. The design of the lounges, again inspired by the airline’s lounges in Hong Kong, allows passengers more personal space and services including desktop computers with internet access and Wi-Fi connections, local and international newspapers, and five shower suites for each lounge.

The facilities for first class passengers include sofa seating, plasma screen televisions with news, comedy and movie channels; and the business class lounge has four distinct zones for passengers to relax or work and eight ‘personal living spaces’ with sofa seating.

PhotonStar’s challenge

PhotonStar was invited to supply low-energy lighting for the lounges. The brief demanded high efficiency, low maintenance and, in particular, LED luminaires, all designed to be suitable for the premium location. With the room in use 19 hours a day, there was an urgent need to cut down on visits from maintenance staff to replace lamps – a staggering 927 lamps were replaced every year before the installation of LEDs. This would cause disruption and health and safety risks for passengers.

Lightslot is a double gimbal fixture for use in a slot

Lightslot is a double gimbal fixture for use in a slot

The original installation included a combination of halogen, CDM discharge and fluorescent luminaires with Luxmate dimming controls. The total load was 26kW on an approximate floor area of 977m2, giving light levels of approximately 250 lux. A few quick calculations reveals that the efficacy of the scheme was 10.6W/m2/100lx.

PhotonStar supplied a combination of CeilingStar trimless, Laser trimless, Lightslot and Cordus fittings to replace the original luminaires, along with a new control system. The new installation cut the load by 60 per cent – to 10.5kW – on an approximate gross floor area of 931m2.

Added benefits

An added benefit was the improved light levels of approximately 286 lux, giving an efficacy improvement of 63 per cent at 3.94W/m2/100lx.

Costly and disruptive lamp changes have been all but eliminated

Costly and disruptive lamp changes have been all but eliminated

With a projected life expectancy of 50,000 hours (when lumen levels will be at 70 per cent of their initial values) the costly and disruptive maintenance and lamp changes have been eliminated for longer than Cathay’s standard refurbishment period of five years. The annual maintenance bill will fall from about £9,000 (231 man-hours to replace 927 lamps at £40/hour for labour) to zero over the same period.

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