‘It must have been beautiful,’ said managing director Marc Largent, ‘being lit by gas flames in light spheres that are still there today. We wanted to recreate that warm glow while having the tools to change and control it, to create something exciting and dynamic, and to create all kinds of scenarios.’
Magic Monkey chose the Philips IntelliHue LED lighting systems because they offer a range of colors and white hues. ‘It could do a very finely tuned white,’ Largent said. ‘This was essential because the façade has a special plinth that has to be lit. It’s a beige-pink flushed color, and we wanted to create the warm glow of a gas flame.’
The daily lighting uses this warm white glow, and there is a weekly light show with optical effects, music and dramatic color-changes. These changes are controlled by a Pharos LPC X, which has extreme power and integration, suiting it to landmark lighting installations with significant channel counts.
‘What we like,’ said Largent, ‘is the possibility of having variability of control and color in the same fittings. We can control what happens every 30cm, and that allows us to create crazy optical effects.’ Maintenance is also easy, as the long lifespan of the LED fittings will keep the glow going for years to come.
The project has fulfilled its commercial aim of revitalizing the Galeries. ‘The shop owners and restaurant owners say that it has increased the number of visitors,’ Largent said.
This surge in custom may be due to the warm welcome visitors are given. Upon entering, they’re greeted by a light show synchronized with Liszt’s 2nd Hungarian Rhapsody, which was composed in 1847 - the same year the Galeries opened. Tradition and history has been preserved perfectly, and it’s all thanks to modern lighting.