Penn Elcom makes waves with LED lighting installation aboard MS Braemar cruise ship

Feb. 13, 2017
Penn Elcom, working closely with EW Production Services, has specified and supplied over 2500 Osram, Comus LED and Integral LED lighting fixtures and lamps plus around 250 metres of LED Flex as part of a fully retro-fittable LED lighting solution for a number of different areas aboard the Fred Olsen Cruise Lines ship, MS Braemar.

Eight areas – including the Neptune Lounge main entertainment space and adjacent Morning Light pub as well as the vessel’s engine room – have now been switched over from energy-hungry tungsten and fluorescent lights to cleaner, greener and hugely more cost efficient lighting sources … which has also vastly improved the quality of the lighting for all aboard – guests and staff - to enjoy.

EW Production Services’ operations manager Paul Byrne has a long standing relationship with Penn whose Nigel Howse and Razvan Vasiliu co-ordinated the supply. The process started with a comprehensive site survey that included a detailed ROI schedule showing the payback period and the resultant savings to be made in electricity consumption.

One of the key parameters – given the scale of the project - was that the new lighting scheme had to utilize the existing wiring infrastructure and be quick, practical and straightforward to install.

Braemar is the youngest ship in the current Norwegian owned UK based Fred Olsen Cruise Lines’ fleet, which dates back to 1848, and is still a family-run business.

Offering a stylish and more intimate experience for up to 929 guests. Braemar’s smaller size also means it can access some of the more interesting and unusual ports and destinations worldwide enabling more unique and discerning itineraries.

The LED lights supplied by Penn are a mixture of Comus 2ft and 4ft tubes along with single or twin IP battens, Integral LED panels and Osram E27, E14, GU10 lamps plus LED Flex with the appropriate dimmable drivers.

The Neptune Lounge on deck 5 at the front of the ship with its cabaret stage featuring live music dance and comedy performances is at the hub of the on-board entertainment schedule.

The general lighting in this area has been replaced with a selection of dimmable LED lamps installed in the ceiling and wall luminaires, with LED flex now highlighting the two circular ceiling coves … which replaced the old 2ft fluorescent tubes.

E14 LED Candle bulbs now graze up the pillars, and being dimmable allows the new and added adaptability of being able to change the mood of the environment.

The fluorescent tubes used in the Coral Lounge for ambient lighting have also been replaced with LED flex tape – a practical and robust solution which creates a far superior effect.

The deco lamps in this area have been replaced with E14 LED candle bulbs, and the lighting is now all dimmable. The pillar lights are fitted with E27 LED bulbs and the MR16s in the false celling were swapped out with equivalent GU10 LEDs, allowing the removal of all the pre-existing transformers.
In the Morning Light pub, the 40w halogen candle lamps have been switched to Osram candle lamps, with GU10 LEDs in the ceiling.

More lights have been replaced in the main reception area and the Palms Café which has nearly 200 x LEDs.

Penn’s team recommended Osram LED floods for the main engine room while Integral LED panels and Comus LED tubes (both 2 and 4ft) have been fitted throughout the engine control room (ECR) and the management offices.

Outside, around 30 dimmable marine grade submersible GU10 housings were fabricated to hold GU10 lamps that are up-lighting glass panels on Decks 8 and 6. Sixteen warm white down-lighters in custom marine grade housings on Deck 6 highlight the outdoor Grill restaurant.

All the areas are lit much better in terms of lux coverage and the quality of the light output from the new sources benefits all working and vacationing on the Braemar. In addition to the immediate electricity savings, the lower maintenance needed across the entire vessel will be another long term advantage and particularly significant as the majority of ship lighting is running 24/7.

“This project has been a challenge and has taken a lot of time and effort, but as always we seem to work with some amazing people in this industry,” says Paul Byrne.

EWPSL’s background is predominantly in supplying stage sound and lighting equipment for the entertainment industry and with that in mind, they appreciate the importance of lighting in all scenarios – from a stage to a café.

“It was evident we could make a huge improvement both financially and environmental on this project and after many years working with Penn I asked them to get involved, knowing that this project would be challenging but exciting! Penn is now our preferred supplier of LED for any cruise / marine orientated work.”

“They were a valuable asset to EWPSL throughout the process and by joining forces, combining ideas, experiences and great support from Nigel and Razvan, we delivered a very successful installation”.

Razvan and Nigel from Penn Elcom specialist lighting division agreed with Paul on how the challenges and complexity of the Braemar project galvanised everyone.

“We invested considerable time and effort before the project commenced engaging in energy assessments, technical support and supplying samples for testing, and this was basically to overcome the reticence of some staff due to their earlier experiences with unreliable unbranded LED!”

Having worked with EWPSL on other projects, Razvan and Nigel understood the importance of specifying the most suitable LED products. This, along with the request from Braemar to use the existing wiring infrastructure and lighting dimmers in order to be able to create a cosy atmosphere and reduce ambient temperature, meant that all the LEDs had to be mains dimmable and provide smooth and hassle-free dimming. The equipment also had to be capable of operating at 60 Hz.

“We’re all proud of the end results,” concluded Razvan.


Penn Elcom
+44 1424 722944