Newcastle Theatre Royal – LED House Lighting

LED House Lighting

Newcastle Theatre Royal was one of the first auditoriums in the country to install LED technology as part of a £5m refurbishment in celebration of their 175th Birthday in 2011.  

Unfortunately, as early adopters of this technology over the years following the project they found the system installed was failing due to fundamental design floors that would ultimately end up with the complete and total failure of the house lighting fixtures and therefore had to be addressed. So began their hunt for a contractor to design a working solution and undertake the job of correcting the design issues from 2011. 

The complications were added to because Newcastle Theatre Royal is one of only nine Grade I listed Theatres in England and has considerable historical importance following it’s re-designed by Eminent Theatre Architect, Frank Matcham, following a fire in 1899. To overcome this Newcastle Theatre Royal turned to leading historic theatre consultants Theatresearch to design a Tender Package and lead the hunt for a contractor to work with on the project.  

Push The Button were approached to tender. Having also been involved with LED House Lighting installations in Auditoriums since 2013, Push The Button have a strong understanding of the products and solutions that work and the approaches and methodology to get it right. Push The Button identified several key weaknesses in the existing installation and put together a proposal to install bespoke solutions to put it right. 

Push The Button worked to install a solution which met the very clear and detailed functional requirements of Nathan Reynard, Chief Electrician and Head of Building Maintenance at the Theatre Royal, whilst also meeting the historical requirements of Theatresearch. The installation saw Push The Button use LED Downlights and Drivers from GDS with a Bespoke LED Fibreoptic retrofit to the ceiling lights also coming from GDS. Push The Button then used their own designed solution of LED Filament lamps in all other fittings powered by ETC Sensor Dimmers. The use of different manufacturers product and dimming curves meant custom programming by Push The Button to ensure the correct dimming response and performance was achieved.   

A further complication present by this project came from the fact that the existing installation had all been wired in extra low voltage cable and the new products required low voltage cable. This meant the entire installation had to be re-wired with only a three week closure period allocated for the project to take place. Push The Button overcame this by working a period of night shifts in the three weeks leading up to the project taking place and then alternating onto day shifts for the closure period. This meant that by the time the closure period started the team were sufficiently ahead.

The project was then completed ahead of schedule delivering a system with the ease of maintenance and reliability the 2011 solution failed to.