Jan 24, 2022 IN Case Study / Connected Lighting

From darkness to light on a cold December night

Outdoor lighting control often comes with challenges related to distance or line of sight between luminaires and how to most effectively connect the control units. This was the situation for the municipality of Rotterdam in the Boijmans van Beuningen Depot project, where they needed a wireless solution. LumenRadio was just as happy as proud to be able to offer the only solution on the market – the wireless mesh outdoor lighting control AirGlow. 

Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is the world’s first publicly accessible art storage facility. The depot is located next to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Museumpark in Rotterdam. Here, visitors can see the result of 172 years of collecting – more than 151,000 objects housed together, arranged in fourteen storage compartments with five different climates. Museumpark is a contemporary garden where creative forces come together through the representation of six different museums. The park is laid out in five different zones, each designed to give a specific impression to its visitors. This is an area where nothing is left to chance – impression and experience is everything. That includes lighting – and lighting control.

The municipality of Rotterdam contacted lighting control consultant LRS B.V. to get their help with the lighting of the Boijmans van Beuningen Depot and Museumpark street. Meet the owner of LRS B.V., Jimmy van Bemmel, his Technician colleague Michiel Pronk and the International Sales Manager of LumenRadio, Jens Markebjer, as they tell the story about the project.

Jimmy van Bemmel gives a background to the scope

We were contacted by the municipality of Rotterdam that we have been working with for a long time on high end projects. They needed help with the wireless lighting control of the project, since there was no opportunity to run new control cables to the poles. Digging up the streets in such a delicate location is not an option.

Our first step was to contact the lighting supplier, GHM Eclatec, to see what luminaire they were going to use. The product that had been quoted and selected was GHM Eclatec Xeon RGBW with DMX. Since the luminaires were DMX and needed to be controlled wirelessly, we contacted Jens Markebjer at LumenRadio to help out with the placement of the CRMX transmitters and receivers.

Jens Markebjer from LumenRadio fills in

When Jimmy sent me the drawings of the project I realized that our CRMX Outdoor units, as good as they are, would probably not be the right solution here. Why? Since there would be many parts of the installation that does not provide a free line of sight, using a mesh based solution would make installation easier and flexible. At LumenRadio we want to provide the customer with a solution that just works – which might not be the one they are asking for. Luckily, we had another one. At this time, back in January/February 2021, we had just launched our new product AirGlow. Since AirGlow is an advanced wireless outdoor lighting control including ultra-reliable mesh technology, I felt confident this could be the right solution for this project and asked Jimmy to recommend it to Rotterdam Municipality. 

Jimmy goes from disappointment to excitement

When Jens got back to me saying that wireless DMX was not an option for this specific installation I was a bit disappointed at first, knowing that LumenRadio is the definite go-to partner for that. Then he told me about AirGlow and that it works with 6 channel DALI DT6 as RGBW luminaires were to be used and I started to feel optimistic again.

Jens, about matchmaking…

To make the installation work, the lighting manufacturer needed to convert the fixtures from DMX to DALI and also put a Zhaga Book 18 socket on top of them. Jimmy and I contacted GHM Eclatec and they were positive about it! Since AirGlow is D4i certified and GHM Eclatec uses D4i certified drivers it turned out to be a match made in… the Netherlands.

Jimmy, about working with LumenRadio

It’s great fun to work with Jens and LumenRadio – commitment is high and there’s no doubt about how eager he was to see this solution installed and in action. Due to lack of components for the drivers the project was unfortunately a bit delayed. By early autumn, I told Jens that we are getting close to installation at the end of November. He’d already been breathing down my neck since summer about it!

Finally on December 10 we completed the first part of the project. Guess how happy we were to install 29 luminaires with one AirGlow on each for individual control. Jens and Niclas Norlén, the founder of LumenRadio and Product Manager of AirGlow, traveled from Sweden to the Netherlands to support us.

Commissioning of the 29 AirGlows and scene settings were done by my colleague and first time AirGlow app user, Michiel Pronk, with Niclas Norlén looking over his shoulder.

Michiel Pronk remembers a December day that went from darkness to light

With +3 degrees, storm and rain coming sideways I must admit I was not super happy doing the installation that evening. But together with representatives from Rotterdam municipality who were also joining, we stood strong and defied the weather. The AirGlows were already attached to the luminaires so the only thing I had to do was to commission and set the scenes. It was all done from my phone with the AirGlow App, no dongles or interfaces necessary.

Jens explains more about AirGlow

It feels really good that LumenRadio and AirGlow are the only ones being able to solve this wireless lighting control challenge. Our MiraMesh with the patented cognitive coexistence technology, together with top of the line hardware design, makes AirGlow an ultra-reliable Zhaga Book 18 node. In line of sight we reach 1500 meters between 2 AirGlows, which is pretty outstanding.

With AirGlow we are able to make life easier for specifiers, lighting designers, installers and end users. Both DALI and DMX have their natural part of the architectural lighting industry and for me and LumenRadio it’s great to be able to offer the one that best suits the specific needs of the installation. With market leading wireless DMX products and AirGlow, we see ourselves as the go to supplier in wireless lighting controls. 

Project name: Boijmans van Beuningen Depot
Location: Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Number or AirGlows: 29 (a total of 140 when finalized)
Type of luminaires used: GHM Eclatec Xeon RGBW – custom made for this project. Originally a DMX luminaire converted to DALI2/D4i drivers.

If you also need #wirelesswithoutworries, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Jens or any of his colleagues.


Contact Jens

Want to know more about this project or discuss a project of your own? Please reach out, we love to hear about your challenges.

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