Pro-Light-News Architectural Lighting

See the night through ambient lighting at Camden Waterfront

Camden Waterfron SyklineLocated along the scenic Delaware River across from Philadelphia, the Camden Waterfront in New Jersey is a scenic stretch of urban river shoreline that abounds with cultural and historical attractions. An important part of the Waterfront is Wiggins Park, a popular area that features a marina, promenade and outdoor concert venue, Riverstage. The Park serves as the perfect summer outing with views of the Delaware River and Philadelphia skyline. In late 2005, a Martin color changing system of 91 Inground 200 luminaires was installed in Wiggins Park by Parsons Electric of Magnolia, New Jersey to uplight trees along the promenade walkway and around the Riverstage area. Lighting design was handled by Grenald Waldron Associates, an architectural lighting design firm based in Philadelphia. Principal on the project was Sandra M. Stashik with William M. Kader project manager and lighting designer.
Grenald worked closely with client Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) throughout the project. “The DRPA sent out an RFP for the lighting of the Camden Waterfront which also included lighting of the DRPA building in Camden,” William Kader commented. “The object was to create a vibrant, safe environment which involved the entire waterfront along Camden, which is a long stretch. One of the client’s main requests for the tree lighting was to create a visual interest from Philadelphia across the river.”
Grenald went through an extensive mock up process in which they lit the trees using a variety of sources - LED, incandescent, HID - and ultimately went with the Martin Inground 200. Ambient light levels around the Camden Waterfront area proved to be a determining factor. William explains, “One problem is that the type of fixture that Camden has chosen as their typical street lighting pole is an Acorn type luminaire with a 250W high pressure sodium lamp which spreads light 360 degrees. Subsequently, your eye ends up focusing on this big ball of light. The contrasts were bad and it took away from the lit environment we were trying to create. We tried LED lights in trees, and different LED uplights which worked well except when dealing with the ambient lighting. We found that the most brilliant, and the fixture that did cut through the ambient light levels was the Martin Inground 200. That was a major part of the criteria – to be able to be seen at night through the existing ambient lighting and the Martin fixtures do it well.”
Grenald was very cognizant of the fact that going with a metal halide fixture with stepper motors and moving parts was an additional maintenance concern for the owner “but ultimately in a side by side comparison it was the metal halide that performed so much better than the LED in that environment,” William states. “What we liked about the Inground 200 is its simplicity - it’s CMY with dimming. We also like the modular aspect. In case something fails, that component can be replaced easily. We have a regular maintenance schedule set up with DRPA which is important with any color changing install but especially with metal halide with stepper motors.”
That ‘show’ involves an automated control system with the ability to color change. The system runs automatically via a Martin Maxxyz PC system with astronomical time clock. Control is wireless from the DRPA building to the ferry booth and stage. Artnet and DMX distribution are incorporated as well. Located in the adjacent DRPA building, the Maxxyz PC runs a daily show as well as color changing shows on holidays or for local sports teams. The design team was challenged by the extensive area of the waterfront and developed a unique wireless communication system. In addition, with the flip of a switch, the system can be manually overridden by show operators down at the Riverstage. “Wiggins Park is a performance based area with a stage that is used during the summer,” states William. “Another part of the color changing scheme was to allow the trees to be integrated into the live events so that it is an overall experience for those attending. The color changing fixtures uplight the trees surrounding the seating area and allow show designers to manually integrate the colors on the trees into their show.”
Wiggins Park sits adjacent to another color changing project that Grenald completed several years ago, the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, which connects Camden to Philadelphia. “All along we looked at the entire environment in order to tie it all together, from the Benjamin Franklin Bridge to the USS New Jersey,” Sandra states. “The Wiggins Park lighting is designed to be integrated into the Bridge lighting but that connection has not yet been made due to budget constraints, but the possibility is there and ultimately that is the intent.”
The Martin gear was supplied by local Martin sales rep Penn Lighting of Pennsylvania through Turtle & Hughes electric supply. Installers and electrical contractors were Parson Electric who is commended for an outstanding installation. Service maintenance is handled by Starlite Productions of Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Starlite also handles the shows at the Park during the summer season. Control specialist and integrator was Bruno Silva of Martin US.
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