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Bandit Lites Supplies Canto USA’s Retro Fit Series for Town Chamber

USA – The Town of Cary, a diverse and thriving community in the heart of North Carolina, had a dilemma. The ambient lighting in the Town Council Chambers was in dire need of renovation, but LED retrofit solutions were not lining up with their Mission Statement for cost-conscious growth with comprehensive planning for the future. LED retrofits were either too costly, or they offered inferior performance to the existing luminaires and could not be considered a long-term solution. Furthermore, the existing luminaire layout with wide spacing and mini-candelabra lamps was presenting a logistical challenge: any LED retrofit would need to have wide optics, high output, and either replace the entire luminaire or screw into a mini-candelabra base.

Cailen Waddell (programme supervisor of technical operations for the Town of Cary) was charged with finding a solution for the chamber. Cailen’s extensive background in audio, visual, and lighting production made him keenly aware of the Town of Cary’s challenge to find a quality retrofit that would dim smoothly on camera, operate at precise low levels without flickering during council meetings, and integrate with the current lighting controls. Adding to the pressure, the town had recently identified lamp replacements in the Council Chambers as high-risk and potentially hazardous. Maintenance staff were having to change lamps over seating risers, and the slope of the riser system complicated maintenance. The town needed to act quickly, but it also needed to be the right long-term solution.

To explore fixture, control, and logistical options, Cailen called on Bandit Lites’ Andrew Fisher with the Charlotte office. Cailen and Andrew explored replacing luminaires with wireless, wired, and line-voltage dimming options; however, the labour to install new luminaires and costs to update the architectural control system were quickly adding up to put the project over budget. The Town of Cary needed an LED screw-in retrofit that would outperform their current Halogen lamps while offering the same line-voltage dimming curve and light quality.

Luckily, the team at Canto USA had been steadily working in the background towards the exact solution Cary needed. The initial line of Canto RLED lamps had always offered mini-candelabra sockets, high CRI tungsten performance, wide optics, and smooth, reliable dimming performance, so when Cailen and Andrew reached out to Shawn Harmon of Canto USA, they were surprised to find out that their new RETRO line of fixtures had more than doubled in output. The newer, high output fixtures would allow Cailen to achieve the lighting levels needed for video production, and the wide optics ensured that the council would be evenly lit, even with the current luminaire spacing. Canto USA offered a solution that was as simple as screwing in a light bulb.

With the lamp replacement dilemma solved, the Town of Cary issued a procurement request for the RETRO-Classics. Once in-hand, the maintenance staff climbed their ladders for the last time and were able to complete the retrofit in-house in half a day. The labour costs were minimal, the energy savings were appealing, and the RETRO-Classic cost was exactly what was needed for the high output, high quality retrofit the town needed.

Ultimately, the Town of Cary utilised 20 RETRO-Classic’s, all at a tungsten-perfect 2700 Kelvin CCT. The RETRO series worked flawlessly with their current dimming system, installed in the existing mini-candelabra sockets, and offered a variety of lenses and lamp extensions to make sure that the beam spreads were spot-on and the lamp fit perfectly in the luminaire and minimised glare. “Not only did the lighting look perfect, Canto USA went above and beyond on this project,” said Andrew, “They worked with Cary to send out lamp and lens samples, they swapped out lensing as-needed, and they supported the project at every step of the process. I can’t say enough about the customer service at Canto USA.”

“It worked and was really easy to complete the project and get back to production right away,” said Cailen Waddell. “We’re extremely happy with the house lights and considering the RETRO-HPL for our stage lights.”

14th October 2020

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