The award-winning lighting at a luxury apartment building on the Isle of Man has become a key part of the developer’s sales patter. Pennie Varvarides reports

Luminaires has installed energy-efficient luxury lighting at Coutts House apartments at Onchan on the Isle of Man, and has secured an Energy Champions award for best practice in the private sector at the Energy Expo exhibition in Douglas.

Coutts House is a luxury apartment building that was once the headquarters of Coutts. The aim of the project was to deliver lighting for the apartments, exceeding the energy efficiency demands of the Isle of Man building regulations.

Luxury apartments merge with efficiency

Luxury apartments merge with efficiency

Luminaires’ Ralph Peake says: ‘The lighting design and specification had to effectively illuminate while enhancing the luxurious and generous proportions.

‘Cutting corners was not an option. The benefits of a sustainable lighting installation formed a key part in the marketing strategy for the future sales of the apartments.’

Exceeding regulations

Under current Isle of Man regulations, dwellings must have a at least one energy-efficient lamp installed in at least one in three rooms. Each lamp must emit more than 40 lumens per watt of energy consumed. Luminaires exceeded these requirements, installing more efficient lighting than the government suggests.

On average, traditional lighting produces 12 lumens per watt, but the lighting installed by Luminaires in Coutts has over 50 lumens per watt – more than four times as much light.

Each apartment has an iLight control system with up to four controllers and about 20 control panels. The controls are integrated with the Bang and Olufsen audiovisual system. Lighting scenes can be edited using the touch screen.

The control system cuts energy use by a further 20 per cent.

Control system reduces energy use

In the stars

Peake says: ‘One of the most interesting requests from the building owner was to produce a starry sky effect in the main entrance area. This evolved into reproduction of the constellations of the southern hemisphere for the swimming pool and the northern hemisphere for the entrance area.’

Luminaires transferred constellation start charts to AutoCAD and printed off sections of the sky, creating holes in the ceiling for fibre optic strands — supplied by UFO — to be passed through.

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Most of the light fittings are concealed, and have little visual impact. As a result, the client has been able to choose the style of the decoration.

Peake says: ‘I think luxury and low energy are more compatible now than they ever have been, because a lot of energy-efficient products are minimalist.

‘Leading designers are really embracing energy efficiency and designing around energy-efficient lamps.’

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