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A Taste of Spain

Las Ramblas, a new Spanish style tapas bar and restaurant in Bearsden, on the north side of Glasgow, has featured Hamilton Litestat’s Digital Mercury lighting control system to provide an effective scene setting solution that is designed to enhance the whole dining experience.

This is one of the latest restaurants to be opened by the Harlequin Leisure Group, which is one of Europe’s largest chains of indian restaurants. The group’s managing director, Sanjay Majhu said, “Having acquired restaurants next to busy units which we already owned, we needed a new cuisine that would not compete with these existing businesses. As tapas has become an exotic, versatile and popular way to enjoy a meal, we decided to develop a new arm to our restaurant business with the inclusion of this Spanish style restaurant and tapas bar.To suit the type of foods being served within this restaurant, our architect designed the interior so that it provided a flavour of Spanish culture.”

According to Bruce Nelson of Hamilton Litestat. “ Digital Mercury has been used throughout the building to highlight the various design features within this themed restaurant. This system has been used to dim the low voltage, LED and decorative luminaires which have been featured within the lighting scheme to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. It has also been used for general switching of non dimmable products.”

This system was specified by the Harlequin Leisure Group’s architect, due to its simple design which has made it easy to use, thereby enabling the client to alter the set scenes to suit their changing requirements. The control panels for the dimming system have featured Hamilton’s Hartland plates in a chrome finish in order to complement the interior finishes. To maintain the integrity of the architect’s design theme, all the other wiring accessories within the restaurant have also utilised the Hartland plate.

This simplified lighting control solution is able to create a limited number of scenes which are set, stored and recalled, all at the touch of a button. The programmable controllers, for this application, have used 4 buttons which are used to recall the set scenes along with six other buttons that are used to program the scenes by simply raising and lowering the level of lighting on each of the individual circuits. Once a scene is stored it can be recalled each time the required button is pressed. To create an attractive and yet practical feature these Digital Mercury wall plates have incorporated blue LED’s to backlight the control buttons.

To suit the specific requirements of this restaurant, the system has been programmed to feature a choice of four different settings. The first provides a cleaning/maintenance setting, which brings the lighting up to full power. The second offers a day time setting, which dims the lighting level by 15% to 20% to counteract the effect of the natural daylight that comes in through the large restaurant windows. The third button lowers the lighting level by 50% to create a pleasing ambience which is just right for romantic evening meals. The fourth button has been left free for future use. A single switch socket has been provided to turn on and off the non dimmable light sources.

To create wall wash colour variants utilizing the LEDs, the dimming system has been used to sequence through the Red, Green, Blue to produce the required variant of colour combinations from these light sources. These colour blends have been programmed into the system to enable the restaurant to recall the required scene for the appropriate time of day.

“ We are are very pleased with this lighting control system”, said Sanjay, “ It’s a great mood tool and our customers love the way that its adds atmosphere to the interior design.”

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