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Case Study: Basilica Nuestra Senora Del Socorro, Buenos Aires

Case Study: Basilica Nuestra Senora Del Socorro, Buenos Aires

When Basilica Nuestra Senora Del Socorro (Basilica of Our Lady of Help), Buenos Aires, Argentina needed a lighting refurbishment, internationally renowned lighting designer, Ernesto Diz, founder of Estudio Diz, was called in to advise on the scheme. As well as bringing a new vibrancy to the rich religious history displayed throughout the Basilica, Ernesto had to ensure that the lighting met the daily needs of the Basilica’s congregation. Following the installation of over 270 MEGAMAN® LED lamps, the end result is both beautiful and energy efficient, with savings of €1,882 in electricity costs and 28,977 kg in CO2 emissions per year compared to halogen equivalents*.

Ernesto Diz, renowned for his lighting of Teatro Colón, the main opera house in Buenos Aires and previously a professor of lighting design at the Buenos Aires University, comments: “I wanted the majesty of the interior of the Basilica to really stand out. The aim was to light the masterpieces discretely, yet lead the worshipper’s eye up the aisle to the central altar. With this in mind I used tight angles to spotlight key pieces and then wider angled warm colours to wash the columns with light, framing the altar and its magnificent sculptures. It is the first time that I have used MEGAMAN® LED lamps and I have to say that the results I had with using them exceeded all of my expectations.”

As well as providing superior spotlighting and colour rendering, the latest in LED lamp technology needed to also ensure that the ancient masterpieces were not damaged by heat or light radiation. With high quality light intensity and colour rendering, but with no UV and negligible IR light radiation or residual glare, MEGAMAN®’s LED AR111 and PAR30L lamps were the ideal 21st Century solution for lighting a space of such historic, as well as spiritual value, as the Basilica Nuestra Senora Del Socorro.

Mr Sebastian Serra from Artelum S.A, leading provider of professional lighting solutions across Argentina and a distributor of MEGAMAN® LED lamps, supported Ernesto Diz on the project and comments: “the Basilica’s halogen and metal halide light sources were replaced with MEGAMAN®’s AR111 and PAR30L LED lamp technology. Thanks to the variety of beam angles available in MEGAMAN®’s LED Reflector Series, Ernesto Diz was able to use the lamps to ‘paint with light’ throughout the Basilica.”

Built on land donated by a Spanish devotee of ‘Our Lady of Mercy’ in 1750, the Basilica has a long and rich history. From the marble onyx baptismal font, frescoes on the ceilings and gold leaf on the altars, to the sculptures of the patron saint of Buenos Aires, San Martín de Tours, the Basilica Nuestra Senora Del Socorro is a place of both beauty for visitors and worship for the local community.

Father Gustavo Boquin, Basilica Nuestra Senora Del Socorro comments: “We have been following a programme of refurbishment at the Basilica for many years and the lighting was an area that needed an upgrade. We have many works of art, frescoes and sculptures within the walls of the Basilica and we wanted to bring out the beauty of the individual pieces, as well as reduce the yearly cost of lighting the space.”

Part of MEGAMAN®’s LED Reflector Series, MEGAMAN®’s LED AR111 range lasts up to eight times longer and uses 80% less power than halogen equivalents. Within Basilica Nuestra Senora Del Socorro, 244 of MEGAMAN®’s AR111 10W, 2800K LEDs were used in a range of 8°, 24° and 45° beam angles, for spotlighting as well as wall washing key areas. In addition 28 MEGAMAN® PAR30L 15W, 4000K 25° and 45° LEDs were used to light the ceiling frescoes.

The end result is such a dramatic improvement on the original that worshippers at Basilica Nuestra Senora Del Socorro initially thought that the sculptures and frescoes had been repainted, rather than just re-lit.

As well as the dramatic visual improvement of the scheme, the use of MEGAMAN®’s AR111 LED low energy replacements for halogen reflectors has pleased the Basilica’s administration office. Father Gustavo Boquin comments: “As well as improving the aesthetics with new lighting, we have also made the church office administrators very happy! Running costs have been significantly reduced with regards to the lighting and all for €1,888 a year less in energy costs than the halogen alternative.”

*Based on calculation of:

244 x LED 10W AR111 (running 12 hours/day, 7 days/week) compared to 50W halogen lamps
28 x LED 15W PAR30L (running 12 hours/day, 7 days/week) compared to 50W halogen lamps