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Sweden’s Åre ski resort runs with Pharos lighting control

The newly installed lighting system at the 1080 acre resort features 240 luminaires controlled by Pharos LPC1s, which monitor the devices allowing quick resolutions to issues.

Covering 1080 acres across four adjacent skiing areas, Sweden’s Åre ski resort is not just one of the largest in Scandinavia, but in 2009 was judged the best in the world by Conde Nast Traveller magazine. A recently completed major upgrade of the resort included the installation of some 240 luminaires with control from Pharos LPC1s. The new lighting system on the 3.5km ski run was designed to attract more visitors, creating an memorable experience and appealing to skiers of all ages and abilities. Controlled via DMX by a network of six Pharos LPC1s and a Touch Panel Controller, the light intensities and colours of the IP-66 rated Lumenbeam family luminaires can be modified along the route of the ski slope. Both the luminaires and the control system had to be rugged enough to withstand the tough weather conditions and freezing temperatures associated with such a resort, but there was also the requirement for a reporting function in case of system failures. Ian Fanning of Stockholm Lighting Company, which supplied all hardware, commissioning and programming to the project, explained: “The Pharos LPC1s are located in heated cabinets along the ski run, but we had no way of knowing if the heating had failed or whether there had been a power out, so we needed a feedback system. “Pharos equipment can be programmed to accept data from a range of external devices, so we use a temperature sensor via the LPC analog inputs. As soon as the temperature drops below a certain temperature – we selected 5ºC – it triggers a message to our email server, which in turn sends an email or text message to our technical staff.”

The Pharos controllers alerts users of drops in power so a technician can be quickly contacted should there be a problem. “Being able to provide that level of fault reporting builds a really strong client/supplier relationship, because we know about problems before they do,” commented Fanning. What’s more each of the controllers sends an email each morning reporting on its status. The Pharos controllers proved so efficient at monitoring the system as well as doing their main job of lighting control that Fanning alocated several other fault reporting functions to them, so he can now monitor and control the ski run’s entire system from his office in Stockholm. “All that I am doing is taking the logic that is built into the Pharos equipment and putting it to use in a different way. And having developed the system for Åre, I’m now applying it to Stockholm Lighting projects in other parts of the world. It’s all about giving the client peace of mind.”