GDS ArcLamp pioneers the way forward at the Savoy Theatre

Date Posted: 2/11/2015

Savoy Theatre in London

The venue

In 1881, the Savoy Theatre in London's West End opened its doors for the first time. Regarded as the most beautifully outfitted theater in Europe, the Savoy Theatre was also the first public building in the world to be fully equipped with electric light.

The Savoy Theatre needed to replace its existing houselight system, made of 40- to 60-watt tungsten candle-shaped bulbs, with a more energy-efficient solution that would not detract from the historic architecture. In order to complement the interior features of the venue, the ideal lighting solution also had to match the way the venue had been illuminated when it opened its doors in the 19th century. And the ideal solution needed to be completely wireless and controllable from the venue's stage-door area and auditorium.

ArcLamp LED lamps

After a number of tests with different fixtures, he decided on Desire D22 Lustr+ arrays, which produces a wide range of colors, from deeply saturated hues, to subtle pastels and whites. Setup was made easy by the fact that the luminaires can be programmed at the touch of a button on the back of each lamp.

The project

Savoy Theatre

The solution

To meet the venue's requirements, GDS replaced the tungsten bulbs with 269 clear and frosted four-watt ArcLamp LED lamps, which combine the ArcSystem's smooth, uniform dimming with the sophistication of a chandelier candle bulb. Wireless control of the luminaires was facilitated with 52 D4 ArcMesh Drivers, as well as two wireless ArcMesh Transmitters. Matt Lloyd, managing director at GDS says" "To our knowledge, ArcLamp is the world's first low-voltage candle-lamp that dims from 100 to zero absolutely smoothly. The results at the Savoy Theatre speak for themselves, and it is fitting that our latest innovation should find a home in a venue of such historical magnitude." Additionally, three eight-button preset panels were installed and modified in order to achieve wireless control from the stage door and auditorium.


After installation, the Savoy Theatre reported a nearly immediate 90-percent savings in energy costs! Additionally, the warm light provided by the ArcLamp beautifully highlighted the gold trim and painted ceiling of the historic theater, replicating almost perfectly the original illumination as it was in the 19th Century, but with 21st Century expectations of reliability, quality and energy efficiency. Simon Needle, special projects director at systems integrator White Light Ltd, says: "The ArcLamp fixtures are show stealers. To have created a low-voltage LED luminaire that can be retrofitted somewhere like the Savoy Theatre, quickly and easily installed, and offers smooth dimming, is an achievement. The ArcLamp enables the theater to stay true to the intentions of its original interior designers, while the warmth of the light enhances the outcomes they were seeking. Energy costs are reduced to a fraction without compromising any aspects of the theater's wonderful character. A win-win if ever there was one."

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Products used in this project

ArcMesh TransmitterArcMesh Drivers