How Lighting Helped a Leopard Change Its Spots

home automation company Electronia

 When it comes to illuminating a statue in South Africa, the answer is “Yes, with the proper lighting!” 

ETC Source Four XT fixture

Before the ideal lighting solution was implemented, the bronze leopard statue did not stand out on its own. Thanks to ETC’s Source Four XT fixtures, the leopard statue takes center stage.

Part of what makes the entrance to the Lejwe la Metsi wildlife preserve in South Africa so visually striking is a certain life-size bronze leopard statue. Kobus van Rensburg, owner of the home automation company Electronia, which carried out the installation, explains, “The new villa at the farm, where visitors come to observe wild animals, has some amazing features. One of them is a bronze leopard that runs across the water at the western side of the house.”

Very high profile VIPs are regularly entertained at the game farm, so it was important to have the statue looking its best. “We tried various types of lights, but couldn’t get sufficient illumination on the statue,” says van Rensburg. “The problem was that when it was viewed from inside the villa at night, glare on the inside of the windows hid the outside water feature. By using ETC’s Source Four XT fixture, we were able to blast the leopard with enough light to make it clearly visible – even with all of the villa’s chandeliers on.” ETC’s South African dealer Prosound was responsible for supplying the Source Four XT external fixture.

Electronia ended up creating a gobo of the leopard’s silhouette so they could hide all unwanted light from around the leopard. This solution made good use of the fixtures’ high-powered optics.

Another concern was selecting fixtures that could hold up to the elements. Located in South Africa’s northernmost province of Limpopo – on the border with Botswana and Zimbabwe – the area where the Lejwe la Metsi farm is located has long, hot, dusty summer days with occasional heavy thunderstorms. Therefore, a rugged, weatherproof housing was needed. The fixtures that were selected are completely dustproof and have watertight housing that can stand up to all weather conditions.  The fixtures rely on a 12,000-hour, 150-watt HID lamp that is perfect for long-term use and requires little maintenance.

The property itself is undergoing a transformation. Co-Arc International is a new company established from the ranks of the former Meyer Pienaar Architects, which had a 40-year history as one of South Africa’s leading architectural and urban design firms. Co-Arc is responsible for converting the game farm into a private residential estate that incorporates an Ernie Els Signature Golf Course within the nature reserve.

As experts in environmentally sensitive projects, Co- Arc International was appointed to conceive the overall concept for the estate and to develop the master plan and guidelines for development. Extensive research of the market and analysis of the environment led to a scheme which allows the development to take place in a sensitive and sustainable manner. Each site in the residential development is integrated with the golf course into the bush and landscape in such a way as to maximize the dramatic views.



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