Project details

Market: Arts + Culture
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland
Client: St. Bernadette’s Church
Lighting Design: Chroma Lighting
Engineer: Integrated Services Design (ISD)
Architect: Kennedy Fitzgerald Architects
Photographer: Chroma Lighting


A mid-century landmark church in South Belfast uses Lumenpulse Cylinders and Spots to rejuvenate the interior and Lumenfacade luminaires to set its exterior aglow in the local nightscape. 

St-Bernadettes Church

St. Bernadette's Church is located in Knockbreda, South Belfast, Northern Ireland. The church was completed by the architects P & B Gregory in 1966. Kennedy FitzGerald Architects' recent refurbishment/restoration of the church required the replacement of all the old luminaires. Gary McElkerney, Lead Design Consultant at Chroma Lighting, undertook the new lighting design.

To replace the stem-mounted 6000K industrial metal-halide fittings and ceiling-mounted downlights, Chroma has employed 26 Lumenpulse Cylinders Large Pendants (3000K with 60º optics). This optic allows for complete coverage of the congregational area, removing any dark spots, and has allowed for the removal of all previously used downlights. Each new luminaire has been mounted at the existing wiring points to protect the integrity of the original architecture. The congregational area is now warmer and far less washed out than previously and any glare from the previously installed metal-halides has been removed. The removal of the old downlights also gives the high ceiling more depth, texture, and warmth.

Discrete Exenia Pluriel Wall 2X spotlights now provide lighting for the altar area. Two rows of five, track-mounted spotlights (3000K) are mounted on the side walls of the apse, thoroughly accentuate and highlight the altar area.

The narthex area is lit using adjustable, high-level Exenia M3 spotlights (3000K) with adapters for installation on a mains voltage track. The previous lighting scheme had left this area darkened.

The overall effect of the new interior lighting not only dramatically reduces the number of luminaires needed as well as energy consumption, it has also created a much more welcoming space for parishioners. The minimalist aesthetics of the new luminaires, as well as their optics, placement, and outputs, are harmonious with the minimalist interior of the church so as not to deter from the original architectural vision. The lighting design subtly increases drama while providing a more user-friendly space.

The exterior of St. Bernadette's Church uses 11 linear, Lumenpulse Lumenfacade luminaires (4000K). A single 1.2m luminaire uplights from the bottom of each shallow alcove, washing the entirety of the stained-glass exterior while illuminating each alcove's rim.

The effect is one that has drawn attention and turned St. Bernadette's Church into an even more iconic and singular architectural highlight of the area. The church is now elevated from the night and can be seen from the surrounding motorway, increasing civilian and parishioner pride in the community.

Lumenpulse Lumenfacade (4000K, 10° x 90°)
Lumenpulse Cylinders Large Pendant
Lumenpulse Spot Small
Exenia M3
Exenia Pluriel Wall 2X

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