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Scolmore Group looked close to home when considering the product requirements for the expansion and total redesign of the Visitor Centre at its Staffordshire headquarters.

Originally opened in January 2009, Scolmore’s Visitor Centre was designed to cater for groups of up to 24 people and act as a facility to showcase and demonstrate the growing range of products to customers, as well as serving as a venue to host internal meetings and presentations.

As the business has developed and continues to enjoy tremendous success over the last nine years – significantly growing its customer base and the number of employees as well vastly expanding the product ranges offered - the requirement to invest in the Visitor Centre and showroom facilities became a high priority.

With the aim to now accommodate up to 60 guests at any one time, the new facility, which at 180 square metres, is double the size of the original space and is designed to host a range of events including product launches and demonstrations, training session for customers, as well as corporate and industry events.

Representing a huge blank canvas, one of the key considerations for the refurbishment of the visitor centre was the lighting and in particular the ability to control the lighting – from an energy efficiency point of view, as well as to offer ease and flexibility of control to reflect the variety of lighting function and scenes required, depending on the particular event or activity taking place.  

Products from across the Scolmore Group of companies were brought together to bring about a smart solution that would stand the test of time. These included Scolmore’s lighting and wiring accessories, as well as CCTV and emergency lighting products from group company, ESP.

To begin with the vast ceiling space was divided up into 9 main sections to allow for banks of lighting to be installed and controlled - with downlights taking up the centre space along the length of the ceiling and also as spotlights around the edges. This means that various areas of the room can be lit as required e.g. the front part with the screen can be dimmed during a presentation with the back area lit for candidates’ comfort.

For the lighting, Scolmore opted for the Inceptor Omni fire-rated, integrated LED downlight with pre-wired driver and flow connector, and a total of 40 Omnis were installed for the project. As well as in the ceiling, they were fitted in pairs across the top of the display pods which are used to group the various products ranges together.

Flexibility and ease of installation are vital attributes of the Inceptor Omni and key features are an adjustable colour temperature switch - allowing the selection of colour temperatures to suit the installation; interchangeable fixed and adjustable bezels; and an insulation support clip for use when insulation is present.

Helping to attain the quick and easy installation of the lighting products was Scolmore’s Flow lighting management system which was incorporated into the ceiling space. A number of 8-way distribution boxes were used to provide the means to make multiple connections from one box, via a plug and play operation. As well as adding to the speed of installation, it will also assist when any future maintenance testing is required.

When it came to control of the lighting throughout the visitor centre Scolmore’s Click Smart system provided an ideal solution, offering both simple and flexible installation and easy programming. Total control of the lighting is achievable via the Click Smart RF touch control panel, as well as on a mobile phone or tablet via the Click Smart App. Having control of the lighting contributes to significant energy saving, with energy only consumed when needed. Installation was simple and flexible. No additional cables or wall cutting were required to install the system as the receivers can be installed behind light fittings or into suitable installation boxes and the transmitters are powered by battery, so there was no need for any wiring or additional power supply.

The Click Smart controls make it easier to switch and dim wirelessly from preferred locations without the use of switch drops. Each of the pods that houses the various product collections has a dimmer receiver installed, which means the individual pods can be lit up or dimmed as required, for example when a particular range is being showcased during a presentation.

Scolmore looked to the very latest additions to its wiring accessories ranges to provide the switches and sockets that are seen throughout the visitor centre. From the GridPro collection, two, 24-gang plates have been fitted - one at either end of the visitor centre - bringing together all the lighting control components. GridPro was launched last year to bring to market an extensive range of interchangeable mounting plates and modules, available in the most comprehensive choice of finishes, to offer the ultimate in flexible, modular grid solutions.  

GridPro builds on the company’s hugely successful MiniGrid® range, and was been developed with speed and ease of installation as its key attributes. It offers installers the flexibility to create multi-function, 1 to 24 gang plates which are styled to seamlessly integrate with Scolmore’s vast range of Click wiring accessories and are designed to complement any existing wiring installation.  With a number of unique features to set it apart in the marketplace, it offers an unrivalled modular wiring solution, allowing contractors to take on a variety of projects from domestic through to bigger and more complex commercial installations.  

The 24-gang plates used in this project are in the Mode white finish. All white moulded products in the GridPro® range are Anti-Microbial Certified and have been independently tested and achieved a 99.9% kill rate across all four types of the strains of bacteria - MRSA, E-Coli, Salmonella, and Klebsiella Pneumoniae.

The rest of the switches and sockets fitted are from the Deco Plus collection, another extensive new range that was introduced in 2017. Deco Plus is a premium decorative metal wiring accessories range that builds on the huge success of the classic Deco range - first launched in 2003 - and introduces smooth, contemporary curves. This collection of high-end products is designed to provide a solution when a more contemporary look is desired. It also offers the same exceptional degree of flexibility that installers have come to expect from our modular switch plates which allow them to create bespoke solutions quickly and easily while on the job.   As is befitting a working environment, USB sockets have been included as part of the install to ensure laptops, tablets and mobiles are kept charged when the visitor centre is being used.

For the security part of the project, products from ESP’s CCTV and emergency lighting ranges have been selected. A number of CCTV dome cameras have been fitted into the ceiling. The white 1080p HD cameras feature a 3.6mm fixed lens and built-in 10m infrared LED illumination. The cameras are linked to the Scolmore network and remote viewing and monitoring is achieved via ESPs own CMS software,

Completing the line-up of products for installation are wall mounted, 3W LED maintained emergency exit signs from ESP’s Duceri collection. All Duceri products have been independently tested by established photometric data test house, LUX-TSI, and comply with the latest industry standards and regulations.

With the restyling and modification of the visitor centre complete, the results are now being enjoyed. Comments Marie Parry group marketing director for Scolmore: “What this project demonstrates is the ease and relatively inexpensive way we have been able to transform the configuration of the lighting in the visitor centre not just to control when the lights come on and off, but giving us the ability to bring together groups of lighting and incorporate dimming capabilities in any combination to really add a bespoke element to whatever function the room is being used for.”

Article can be found on Pages 22 and 23: