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Case Studies

Case Study – Byron Bay Backpackers, Byron Bay

By January 15, 2020 January 29th, 2020 No Comments
Solar powered lighting for split level buildings

Providing efficient lighting to high-traffic, common spaces has proven simple for a split-level accommodation building in Byron Bay.

Redilight’s innovative solar-powered skylight alternative is proving a continuing success for the Byron Bay Backpackers building in the far northern New South Wales tourist mecca.

The split-level complex has used Redilight Skyfixtures to provide day-long lighting in the hallways and communal bathroom spaces of the hostel to stunning effect for its short-stay guests.

Installed by David Julian from The Skylight Man, the project encompassed 11 strategically-positioned Redilight Skyfixtures powered by two roof-mounted solar panels.

Julian said he believes more accommodation businesses – such as hotels, apartments or hostels – should consider Redilight’s solar-powered skylight alternative as a practical and efficient lighting solution.

250 watt solar panel 75 watt solar panel 24 watt surface led lights

How it works

Redilight’s solar-powered skylight alternative powers LED light fittings via strategically positioned solar panels on the building roof.

This simple, yet innovative technology, delivers solar powered lighting throughout the day without the complications and intrusiveness of traditional skylights.

The efficient design means there is no impact on the floor plan and cluttered roof spaces that come with a traditional skylight tube.

The adaptability of installation – with varying light positions and user demands – makes Redilight perfect for structures such as the Byron Bay Backpackers seeking to light common areas like hallways and bathrooms.

The range of lighting hues also ensure Redilight Skyfixtures complement the look and feel of any building style – be it a crisp and modern feel of cool white light, or a more homely, traditional touch of warm white light.

Julian said, “You can see from the pictures of the finished job not only how great it looks but also that it has delivered for the needs of the people using the building.”

Efficient Lighting for High Traffic, Common Areas

Like all accommodation buildings, the Byron Bay Backpackers building experiences high traffic in common areas as tourists depart and return from enjoying the town’s beaches, shops and nightlife.

Keeping these spaces well lit, without drawing on increasingly expensive electricity from the grid, was one motivation behind installing Redilight’s solar-powered skylight alternative.

In total, 11 24-watt surface-mounted SkyFixtures were installed in the building’s hallways and bathroom facilities – all simply powered by two solar panels (a 250 watt and a 75 watt) on the roof.

Julian explained, “Obviously in a town like Byron Bay environmental considerations are very important for the council and the residents and Redilight’s solar-powered lighting certainly ticked those boxes in this case.”

Market leading warranty on solar power skylight alternatives

A Simple, Low-Cost Alternative To Other Skylights

Being a split-level building, Julian said the planning required for a traditional, tubular skylight would likely have resulted in significantly higher design and installation costs to the client.

“It would have taken significantly more design work in the initial stages to be able to install a tubular skylight into the lower levels of the building compared to Redilight,” he explained.

“The skylight tubes would’ve had to be considered in all areas of planning, including the air-conditioning systems, the pipes and even the beams and general structure.”

He added that level of complication in construction can result in unexpected and unwanted costs.

“I have worked plenty of smaller, domestic jobs where different trades don’t take into account the path of the skylight tube and it has meant significant delays with reinstallations and redesigns.”

“Any time you have to alter a design, call a supervisor or reinstall that obviously adds cost to the job – that could really blow out with a larger building like this.”

“But with Redilight it simply is not an issue. The footprint is low and the installation so flexible that I just go about my installation and very little gets in the way of that.”

48 watt surface mounted led solar light

No Challenge Is Insurmountable With Redilight

Not all buildings are designed the same, so there is always at least one challenge to overcome in any Redilight installation – in the case of the Byron Bay Backpackers it was a near flat roof surface that limited the available sunlight.

However, due to the simple and innovative design features of Redilight’s solar-powered skylight alternative, Julian explained how he quickly overcame that challenge.

He said, “To have the best angle to draw on the sunlight, we used tilt legs that ensured the solar panel was directed to face in a northerly direction to capture the most sunlight possible.”

“It didn’t take any longer than a normal installation but, obviously, in that situation it means the light output is ultimately greater.”

“With a traditional skylight it would be very challenging and costly – if not just outright impossible  – to tilt it towards the sun like that.

“It would take up significantly more space on the roof itself to do that and, even if you managed to do it, I don’t think you would be able to achieve the same light output in that situation.”

The Burning Need To Comply With Safety Codes

It goes without saying that safety is a crucial consideration with accommodation buildings, especially when it comes to mitigating the risks to guests and potential structural damage in the event of fire.

The Byron Bay Backpackers was very conscious of these requirements when opting for Redilight’s solar-powered skylight alternative.

Julian explained the wide range of Redilight SkyFixtures – that include surface-mounted and recessed LED lights – ensures there is always an option available to comply with building codes.

“To meet the fire safety standards on this job we used surface mounted SkyFixtures rather than recessed because this required the smallest ceiling penetration possible for the cabling.”

“That hole was then covered with fire-proofing to maintain the integrity of the fire-proof rated ceiling.”

“I doubt a tubular skylight could comply with the fire safety standards due to the size of the hole required for the tube – it would possibly act as an unacceptable conduit for flame, smoke and oxygen to the roof.”

In addition to meeting the fire safety requirements for the ceiling penetration, Redilight also meets the highest safety controls within the roof and ceiling cavities.

Redilight is the only solar-powered skylight in Australia with an IC4 rating making it the safest option for spaces containing a range of insulation types.

24 watt surface mount led lighting for hallways and common areas

Quick, Easy and Hassle-Free Installation On Building Sites

The construction of any building is often a complicated ballet of various tradespersons, deliveries, and equipment resulting in complicated coordination of all the moving parts.

The Byron Bay Backpackers project was certainly no different, however, Julian explained that his installation of the Redilight solar-powered skylight alternative provided very little additional complication to this process.

He said, “There was certainly a lot happening on-site with the different trades but Redilight is simple to install so my job was done pretty quickly.”

“Once the roof structure was in place I installed the solar panels and ran the cables and then, a few weeks later as the interiors were nearing their finalisations, I connected up the lights.”

“There is next-to-no impact on other tradespersons on the site because Redilight has a fraction of the footprint compared to installing traditional tubular skylights or window skylights.”

“All told I spent I would have spent only part of two days on site – there is no impact on the structure, no need for cranes or hoists, and no conflicts with the other trades.

“That obviously makes Redilight a very easy option for the client and a very simple installation for myself as well.”

Discover How Redilight Can Work For Your Next Project

Interested in finding out more about how Redilight can be used in your next project or build?

The Redilight team is available to discuss project specifics and tailor custom solutions.

Get in touch with the Redilight team via our Contacts page.

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