Raytec SPARTAN LED luminaires have been chosen to illuminate an iconic distillery on the Isle of Skye, Scotland.
Torabhaig is one of Scotland’s many new farm steadings turned distillery projects located on the Isle of Skye. The concept of Torabhaig was first developed by Sir Ian Noble who despite obtaining planning permission in 2002, never actually got to see his vision completed. After sadly passing away in 2010, the property was left as little more than a ruin.
Around this time, Mossburn Distillers were also looking for a site on the island to build their own distillery. Torabhaig proved to be the perfect location, and after a further three years of rebuilding the first production of whisky commenced back in early 2017, with the distillery opening in October that year.
The project at Torabhaig had several requirements and challenges which effected the choice of lighting. Given the distillery would be open to the public for organised tours, this added greater significance to the safety and aesthetics of the installation.
Hazardous Area Classification.
Interestingly, a number of different levels of explosion protection was required on-site. The production of alcohol, and the vapour it gives off, meant that the main distillation areas around the stills were designated as a Zone 1 hazardous area. Meanwhile, vapour was also present (albeit to a lesser degree) in the barrel store area, where the whisky was being stored and allowed to mature; this was designated as a Zone 2 hazardous area. Finally, lighting was also required for the grain warehouse, where dust from the grain (also an explosion hazard) was present, therefore it was designated as a Zone 21 hazardous area. All luminaires installed on site would have to comply to the classification of each area.
With all Raytec SPARTAN LED luminaires available as Zone 1/21 or Zone 2/22 certified variants, the products complied with the hazardous area requirements of the site. The fact that all Raytec products are designed, manufactured, and certified in the UK, also provided the distillery with greater assurances regarding the quality of the products. Furthermore, unlike some manufacturers who self-certify Zone 2 equipment, all Raytec Zone 2 products are third-party tested.
Reliability & Emergency Back-Up.
In order to maintain production, and since the distillery would also be open to members of the public, a reliable lighting solution was critical. Any unexpected outages could cause significant problems in production and may also affect the distillery tours which are booked well in advance. The distillery’s remote location also makes obtaining spare parts more difficult.
Access from the public during the tours meant safety criteria around emergency lighting was more stringent. A proportion of the new luminaires would have to provide back-up illumination in the event of a power outage, while exit signs were also required to illuminate evacuation routes to visitors using LED luminaires.
LEDs naturally provide longer life with less need for maintenance and were therefore the natural choice for the distillery’s lighting. However, this lifetime can only be achieved when the LEDs have proper thermal management and are kept cool. Raytec LED luminaires are all designed with a bespoke housing made from a marine grade aluminium (a good conductor of heat) and use a special thermal management design to draw heat away from the LED’s, keeping them cool and maximising lifetime and reliability. The fact that all Raytec products are supplied with a 5-year warranty also provided the distillery with peace of mind.
With industry leading Emergency performance, Raytec SPARTAN luminaires provided the performance the distillery required in emergency conditions. With 25% lumen output for 3 hours in emergency conditions (and up to 100% if required), a higher output than other luminaires the distillery considered, the required lux levels could be achieved using fewer emergency fittings which reduced the overall cost of the installation.
As well as being a fully functioning distillery, the site also acts as showcase of the Torabhaig brand and the whisky they produce. Torabhaig’s impressive copper stills are a standout feature, but the choice of lighting was also important in contributing to the overall look and feel. Lighting with a warmer colour temperature would create a more appealing result, while the distillery also wanted the physical appearance of the light fittings to fit in with the rest of the distillery.
Crucially, Raytec were able to offer bespoke luminaires which would fit with the aesthetics of the distillery. As standard, most SPARTAN products are supplied with 6000K LEDs, but Raytec were able to supply Torabhaig with products using 4000K LEDs to give the installation the warmer effect they were looking for. Furthermore, with the walls and ceilings painted white, Raytec were also able to paint the luminaires to match which helped the lighting blend in with the rest of the building. Overall this provided the distillery with the ideal solution, both in the quality of illumination and in the physical look and feel of the installation.
Which Raytec Products Were Installed?
SPARTAN Linear WL84s were used to light general areas between the spirit tanks and malt hoppers, providing high performance white light illumination. This was key throughout the corridor areas for both the safety of the workers and the general public. A Zone 2 variant of the Linear was also used in the barrel store area; as Zone 1, Zone 2 and Industrial SPARTAN Linears are based on the same overall design, it meant the appearance of luminaires in different areas were consistent across the entire distillery, enhancing the overall look and feel.
SPARTAN Floods were also installed and mounted in the pagoda (still tower) to enhance the illumination around the still from a higher level. This allows visitors to enter the still house and look down towards the still without their view being blocked by any of the luminaires. With the Floods providing more power, it also meant the stills were bathed in pools of light, immediately capturing the visitor’s attention. Also installed in the grain house, the dual gas (Zone 1) and dust (Zone 21) certification of the floodlights meant they were the perfect product for the job.
SPARTAN Bulkheads were used to highlight the emergency exit routes in the event of an incident. With a compact design thanks to the emergency batteries being contained inside the unit’s housing, the Bulkhead was the ideal product to fit above doorways and exits around the distillery.
The ability to satisfy all safety and performance requirements but also be flexible in being to offer a bespoke solution, served as a huge contributor in the distillery’s decision to choose Raytec. Furthermore, this project helped establish Raytec as the go-to lighting manufacturer for a number of other distillery projects, such as Clynelish distillery and Hendricks Gin Palace.