Curating sound with light at the Carillon

Canberra, ACT

  • Completed2021
  • Sales PartnerIntegral Lighting
  • ClientNational Capital Authority
  • Electrical EngineerD&C project
  • Electrical ContractorEcowise Services (Australia) Pty Ltd
  • Lighting DesignAndrew Richardson, WE-EF
  • Photography and VideographyIP Media for WE-EF

The National Carillon is a heritage-listed Carillon located on Aspen Island on Lake Burley Griffin and managed by the National Capital Authority (NCA) on behalf of the Commonwealth of Australia, from which the sounds of its chiming every quarter-hour and playing a short tune on the hour can usually be heard much further away in the Parliamentary Triangle, Kingston and Civic in ACT.

In recent years, renovations to the Carillon saw the requirement for wireless colour changing projectors to be installed to illuminate the exterior of the Carillon façade and enable the NCA to change the colours and scenes themselves for special events and occasions.

However, with a number of stakeholders and challenges involved in the Design and Construct project for the renovations and an initial installation that utilised budget option products, a suboptimal result was deployed within which flickering of luminaires and a lack of saturation of colour caused disappointment for the NCA and required immediate rectification, with an upcoming event three weeks away creating an urgent deadline.

Ecowise Services (Australia) Pty Ltd, the electrical contractors brought onto the project, needed to find a solution quickly and engaged Integral Lighting who worked together with the WE-EF LIGHTING team. Here, WE-EF’s Lighting Designer Andrew Richardson prepared lighting designs recommending the FLC260-CC DMX Wireless (Colour Changing Projector), due to the luminaire’s ‘high output in conjunction with the linear spread lens which enabled us to illuminate the full height of the Carillon with a minimal amount of luminaires’, Andrew Richardson, lighting designer, WE-EF LIGHTING.

Understanding that the site already had three poles and an existing wireless transceiver installed from the previous installation, the WE-EF Technical team needed to review the site and understand the challenges in mitigating obstruction challenges with wireless DMX, to ensure that the new WE-EF solution would perform optimally.

According to Daniel Clayton, Sales Manager for Integral Lighting, WE-EF were selected for the project due to the known luminaire ‘quality, high output and the intense colour saturation that can be achieved with colour boost technology’ as well as for the ‘technical team back-end help to ensure that there would be no future flickering issues with the WE-EF installation’.

In delivering the project, Drew Salzke, Ecowise Services electrical contractor advised ‘this is a very prominent building in Canberra, we were having trouble with flickering and we were under immense time pressure. Dan from Integral came to site really quickly and the WE-EF LIGHTING designs were also turned around super-fast. The new projectors illuminate it beautifully and Integral and WE-EF were great at pulling together to deliver amazing turnaround and fantastic result’.

The National Carillon continues to be played on a regular basis during the year by both local and visiting carillonists. It is often used to celebrate national days, mark occasions and is played in conjunction with other events such as Australia Day. On these special occasions, the NCA masterfully curates a combination of the chimes of the carillon’s 57 bells together with changing the colours and scenes of the luminaires to the exterior façade to befit the occasion, with the most recent scenes of blue and yellow being a show of support to the people of Ukraine.

“The new projectors illuminate it beautifully and Integral and WE-EF were great at pulling together to deliver amazing turnaround and fantastic result”

Drew Salzke, Ecowise Services (Australia) Pty Ltd
Portland CBD, street and area ASP530
March, 2022