Going Off the Grid in the Rockies

Oct. 22, 2020

Lighting fixtures match mountain complex’ power and aesthetic needs.

Challenge: Identify energy-efficient lighting fixtures that would suit the plans of officials at the Headwaters Center in Winter Park, Colo., to get off the grid.

Influence: The center, a “first of its kind” facility, is a nonprofit hub for mountain entertainment, events, higher education and water education. Peter and Lucy Van Dusen of Peter Van Dusen Project Management and Design provided the architectural creativity behind the highly innovative project.

Sustainability was their main focus, as they wished to use materials from the past and incorporate an energy system of the future. For example, since it was to be an “off-the-power-grid” facility, center officials wished to derive the majority of the building’s energy from the sun.

This, however, meant solar energy would need to be stored in, and used from, batteries on site. In the event solar is not available, natural gas prime power generators, equipped with pollution and efficiency controls, would run long enough to charge battery systems. Power would be transmitted by direct current (DC) and never converted to alternating current (AC) for maximum efficiency.

Solution: Not only did the fixtures need to be compatible with the technology of the energy system, they also needed to complement the facility’s signature reclaimed Civil War-era barn. ANP Lighting’s RLM fixtures were selected for this task. The Warehouse rlm series in 14-in., 16-in. and 18-in. diameters combined with a gooseneck or 90-degree arm mount, were specified throughout the facility, both indoors and out. A mini wall-mount version of this shade is used to illuminate the stone façade of the building and on short wooden poles in the egress and parking areas.

On the power side, ANP’s engineering team worked with Joe Fisher of Fisher Lighting and Controls to provide the proper DC powered LED drivers and ensure compatibility with the centralized DC power system.

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