With a gigantic indoor marina/showroom, in-house production as well as storage, the Netherlands’ largest boat builder Aquatec Industries presented a great project in Woudsend so our lighting experts could do what they do best: engineer a customised lighting plan so that all spaces and their functions are provided with the optimum LED lighting. We have since succeeded in this, but our work does not end there.
Aquatec Industries, which is based in the northern province of Friesland, is the largest boat builder in the Netherlands. In the showroom cum production hall in Woudsend, the well-known Dutch boat brands Antaris, Maril and Makma are produced. From the polyester factory in Zwaag, the hulls of the boats are brought to Woudsend where construction is completed. The boats are also displayed in an indoor showroom of more than 1,500 m2 in their natural habitat – on the water. A wonderfully large space where (almost) all of Aquatec’s models are on display, from the higher-end Makma boats to the timeless Maril models. At Unique Lights, we enjoy taking on unique lighting challenges. And lighting an indoor marina is certainly a good example of that.
Starting at this unique showroom, problems with the existing lighting were soon exposed. The indoor marina was luminated with halogen spotlights, which quickly rose in temperature during use and only slowly cooled down again. In a hall of this size, with the amount of halogen spotlights required, this quickly translates into unnecessarily high energy consumption. So the first two LED lights were hung as replacements in this showroom. “We started with two LED lights in the showroom, just to test and see if they met the lighting requirements,” said Dirk Elgersma, Senior Account Manager.
However, it was soon discovered that the showroom was not the only space with lighting problems. “We always like to walk through the premises and the different rooms with the client. Together, we look at what each space needs and where the lighting is currently lacking. In other words: what issues are you encountering?”
This may seem like a simple question, but it often unearths problems that have been dormant for a long time.
The lighting in the polishing department in Woudsend where retouchings were carried out proved to be the perfect example of this. Polishing is detail work, and so good visibility and good lighting is key. “The inadequate lighting here had been compensated for some time by the employees themselves, who used extra lighting from phones or floor lamps to illuminate the poorly-lit areas.” So, although easily solved in the short term, the lighting in this space had clearly been unsatisfactory for some time. In the lighting plan, this space was therefore one of the main areas of attention.
The name says it all – a lighting plan is a drawing of the plans for lighting. Such a lighting plan records all rooms and their lighting requirements. Areas of special concern, such as in the polishing department, are scrutinised to determine the right amount of lighting. This considers not only how the space is used.
But it also factors in the needs and requirements of staff and the lighting-related requirements of the market sector. “Through experience, we are often able to estimate with the naked eye what the solution should be. By drawing up a lighting plan, we specify and confirm that estimate and present it clearly to the client.” Thus, in the case of the polishing department, 5 lighting strips were added to the plan, 2 of which could be switched off if necessary. “This way, polishers were never casting their own shade and could clearly see every detail.”
In the production and storage hall, the lighting plan also provided insight into the lighting challenges. “The shared space created two very different lighting requirements for one large hall.” The solution: lighting strips in which several lighting fixtures were hung together at one end of the room, with the same lighting strips on the other side of the hall actually providing a greater distance between each lamp. This not only optimised lighting levels, it also opened up possibilities for possible future expansion. “Should Aquatec decide to use the entire hall for production, in due course additional lighting fixtures can be hung in the lighting strips without too much rebuilding.” A future-proof lighting plan, with room for growth.
The lighting plan primarily involves an engineering function for Unique Lights. But even at Aquatec, the work goes beyond lighting design. “Once the lighting plan is approved, my position becomes more that of project manager.” Supervising installation and managing the contractors selected by the client is also within Unique Lights’ remit, provided the client so desires. Meanwhile, for Aquatec, this phase too has already been concluded. Still, we like to stay connected to our work. “Even well after the installation, I still drop in occasionally. This means we are always easily accessible to clients in case of problems, and we know that our work is functioning satisfactorily.”
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