The Building that Never Sleeps

    150 150 Daniel Fountain
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    There’s a series of famous scenes in the iconic Sofia Coppola movie Lost in Translation where Bill Murray – playing a sell-out actor Bob Harris – and Scarlett Johansson – playing young philosophy graduate Charlotte – bump into each other in various parts of a large, luxury Tokyo hotel. Suffering from acute jetlag, the characters meet by chance in the small hours of the morning outside the hotel’s plush swimming pool and its beautiful sky bar. It’s the perfect illustration of the challenge facing hoteliers today; namely, hotels are buildings that never sleep.The Money
    It sounds romantic, and to an extent it is. However, ensuring an ‘always-on’ building like a hotel is adequately lit 24/7/365 can be an expensive undertaking. Statistics published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change show that across a broad selection of non-domestic applications, lighting represents on average 21 per cent of a building’s total energy consumption. That’s a lot of energy, and with UK power prices on the rise, it’s also potentially plenty of pound coins.

    For hotels across the country that are trying to light a range of different types of space – bars, bedrooms, bathrooms, restaurants, bars, stairwells – cost effectively, combining LED lighting with the MK LED Dimmer can significantly reduce energy bills. However, not all hotels have yet embraced LED lighting, much less LED dimming. With energy prices at such high levels, now is the perfect time for hotels to take the plunge.

    The Ambience
    Hotels pride themselves on creating an ambience that embodies their brand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A sleek, white, minimalist reception area with flat screen TVs and built-in check in terminals. A grand, imposing mahogany and brass lobby with wood panelled walls and luxurious leather armchairs. But décor aside, lighting is arguably the most important tool for creating – or indeed ruining – ambience. Low lights in the honeymoon suite, bright lights in the stairwells, soft lights in the bar. Visually impactful, sure, but hotels must have the right technology to make it happen.

    Again, that’s why an essential investment for hotels is the MK Elements LED dimmer; taken from Honeywell’s design-led Elements Collection of wiring accessories. These products are aesthetically stylish in addition to allowing hospitality professionals to adjust light levels to achieve the perfect ambience for their target guests. Examples include a warm and intimate for a candle-lit dinner in the dining room or a lobby bathed in bright, bold light as guests check in or check out. LED dimming allows hoteliers to achieve these high-impact aesthetic and lighting effects without spending a fortune on inefficient bulbs and missing out on the energy savings offered by LED lighting. No compromises.

    An exciting innovation for hoteliers is the emergence of wireless, batteryless and self-powered light switches and controls which use ambient energy in the room to operate. This is particularly useful when it comes to serving multi-purpose spaces like conference or function rooms. Normally hoteliers would need to compromise between unsightly extension cables or extended wiring and having the space poorly lit during certain usage calibrations. With Echo, a light switch can be added just about anywhere without damaging any aesthetic impact. Indeed, with the Elements Collection frontplates, Echo can actually add to the overall ambience. It is also capable of driving significant energy savings.

    Another way hoteliers can rise to the challenge of using lighting to create ambience in different ways across different parts of their building is investing in a wireless lighting control system. MK astral™ , the advanced lighting system from MK Electric, brings out the best in your environment and is the ideal lighting control solution if you are looking to enhance the ambience and atmosphere in any room or residence. It works with a smart interface that allows guests and staff to control lights via the simplicity and intuitiveness of the iPod, iPod touch and iPhone with a new application which is free to download.

    The power of lighting
    In summary, hotels – in some ways, more than any other type of building – must provide services for their guests hour after hour, day after day, month after month. This puts incredible strain on lighting, both in terms of managing energy efficiency to keep bills low and in creating and sustaining an appropriate ambience. Investing in LED dimming and lighting controls from a trusted manufacturer is one of the best decisions hoteliers can make.

    Daniel Fountain / 24.06.2014

    Editor, Hotel Designs


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