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Candela Controls Completes Major Florida Aquarium Lighting Upgrade
Candela Controls, Inc., of Winter Garden, Florida, is proud to announce the completion of the integrated lighting control system upgrade at The Florida Aquarium in Tampa, which includes the control, programming, custom fixtures and LED's.
By: Eric Zink
The Florida Aquarium is raising the bar on the guest experience in order to convey the incredible sights, sound and action found in the world’s oceans. Candela Controls is doing the same, with the installation of the custom-designed lighting system. This installation includes the visual experience, “Ocean Commotion”, a multi-sensory, high-tech aquarium gallery.
“Ocean Commotion” is a technology gallery unlike anything ever experienced at any aquarium in this country. The guests become engulfed in smart Wi-Fi, special effects and interactive virtual animals, along with some of the most exotic and colorful live creatures ever found in our oceans. The focused effect of the lighting allows the guests to become part of the expansive reality of the depths of the ocean. Recently, after its scheduled 5-year accreditation inspection by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), The Florida Aquarium received high praise from the team of inspectors. They noted that the newest exhibit, "Ocean Commotion" and its youth-engaging, interactive, and innovative experiences, should serve as a model for all zoos and aquaria to emulate. "The Florida Aquarium is an excellent example of best practices for our industry," said the reviewers.
Additionally, in a rather unique approach to this project, Candela Controls assisted the Florida Aquarium in saving a portion of their project budget. During the initial walk-through, the Candela team identified many fixtures (previously installed LED and track lighting) that could be re-used to light other areas of the aquarium that were in need of the additional lighting. This allowed the Florida Aquarium to recycle these fixtures in a way they hadn’t planned on, thus allowing them to use monies that may have been earmarked for lighting, on other areas of the aquarium. Candela Controls consistently addresses value in every job and this is another method of achieving those goals, by re-tasking, when and if it is appropriate.
“This system, like most, was not without challenges, but that’s one reason they chose to work with us;” according to Steve Lamppin, Candela Controls Project Manager, “In this case, the Aquarium wanted the lighting control system to be designed with future expansion in mind. The system is ready right now to handle the increased demand of lighting additional venues.”
The work of Candela can be found throughout the entire gallery, including the Florida Aquarium’s popular guest dive experience, Dive with the Sharks. This is where certified SCUBA divers can come face-to-face with live sharks from around the world. Candela assisted the aquarium in making it possible to see the sharks better by positioning custom exterior grade fixtures above the tank. These new sources of light also had an unexpected and rather pleasant result; a new swimming pattern for the sharks. It made them more visible and accessible to the guests as the sharks now seek out the light and swim along the full length of the glass.
“This was a showcase project for us,” stated Steve Arnold, Candela Controls System Specialist. “In order to maximize their budget, they needed us to step in and bring together all the discipline’s that we do best.” “Someone that could design the lighting system, do all the engineering, provide installation, focus and programming, all for one flat fee. Essentially, they needed a turnkey solution and that’s what we provided, and from the initial feedback we received, we did an outstanding job of not only giving them just that, but also in delivering the message the Florida Aquarium is trying to convey to its audience. I truly look forward to the next project that requires this level of integration since it is what we do best!”
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Candela Controls has been providing excellence in lighting system engineering, integration, installation and service for 10 years. They have projects in 28 states and 4 countries & have received numerous awards for their lighting control installations.
Page Updated Last on: May 12, 2009