Old Bank Hotel fitted with a new lighting control system from Carlo Gavazzi

old bank hotel

Diners at Oxford’s largest and most successful restaurant, Quod Brasserie, can now enjoy their food in style thanks to the installation of a new lighting control system from Carlo Gavazzi.

A vibrant and bustling space, Quod Brasserie forms the hub of the Old Bank Hotel which is surrounded by the famous colleges of Merton, All Souls, Christ Church and University. The building was a former banking hall before it was transformed by owner Jeremy Mogford into a stylish and contemporary space which houses an amazing collection of young British art.

The relaxed atmosphere and pleasant ambiance is one of the many reasons why Quod Brasserie is renowned as a meeting place for locals and visitors alike, but to continue to achieve this a new lighting control system was required to allow staff to create a number of lighting scenes which could be easily changed throughout the day.

Challenges & Actions

Ben Truesdale, General Manager of The Old Bank Hotel & Quod Brasserie says:

Lighting is at the top of the list of our design priorities because it creates the mood and defines the type of restaurant which we are. We want our customers to go away thinking about the food which they have eaten and we want our team to concentrate on providing the best level of service to our customers. Simplicity was therefore essential with our new system but energy efficiency was also a key concern and it was important to us that the two worked in parallel.”

Meeting both of these objectives proved to be a fairly straightforward task through the installation of a Carlo Gavazzi smart building system which not only provides the brasserie with the ability to pre-define set scenes which can be changed throughout the day but it does so in an energy efficient manner through the integration of lux sensors and dimmers.

A smart building Controller forms the central hub of the new system. Specially designed for building automation applications, it is based on the robust Linux platform and contains the core programme to provide the necessary control of the lighting throughout the brasserie.

Programming is achieved using the pre-defined functions contained within the configurator software and thanks to the 2-wire bus concept there is always the potential to expand the system in the future by adding further components to the existing bus cable.

Installer Nathan Bayliss of Simply Advanced says:

“The smart building Controller is an extremely robust and versatile solution which is perfect for this type of application. For example, it allows the setting of pre-defined functions which in this case is different lighting scenes which can be used at different times of the day to create the right ambience within the dining area. Once these are created within the central controller, the scenes can be changed by staff at the touch of a button using one of the seven Aurora light switches which have been installed throughout the brasserie.”

Creating the right ambience was clearly a major concern which was addressed through the installation of the smart building system however the benefits are not purely aesthetic because energy efficiency also plays a key role in this installation.

Nathan says:

“The ability of a lighting control system to eliminate the unnecessary use of lighting is well documented but it can be quite difficult to get it absolutely right in a restaurant which needs to cater for the needs of a wide range of customers at all different times of day. The use of LED lighting can also prove to be problematic because although LEDs are more efficient to run there can often be compatibility issues which leads to flickering and poor dimming performance.


In order to meet the requirement for energy efficiency we therefore installed a lux sensor which controls the interior lighting in relation to daylight levels and ensures that lighting is only switched on when it is required. We also installed fifteen SH2 500W dimmer modules which have been specifically designed to function with LED lamps. The additional benefit of these modules is that they were small enough to allow the existing control panel to be re-used which saved on the cost of building a new one.”

Lessons & Results

One of the key elements throughout this installation was creating the right ambience for Quod Brasserie but it was also imperative that this wasn’t created at the expense of energy efficiency.

The resultant installation of the smart building system is proof that the two can work together and the exceptional results have led to it being rolled out across the hotel to provide lighting control in all of the bedrooms.

The smart-house Dupline controller in each room is programmed to send hourly updated to the Web service ensuring comprehensive dashboard reporting and efficient Management.

The distributed architecture means that the lighting control is not dependent on external servers. Any problems are easily contained in the room’s autonomous network which ensures multiple rooms are not affected.

Public areas of the hotel such as lobbies and dining areas are also easily managed via the app.

Achieved benefits:

  • Installation and wiring costs are dramatically reduced
  • Un-intrusive maintenance
  • A reduction in energy usage and carbon footprint
  • Superb luxury guest experience
  • Seamless integration with hotel’s management system

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