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The Lighting System of the Cave of Bad Segeberg Based on Power LEDs

At the beginning of 2008, the project team received an absolutely unexpected inquiry from the Geological Bureau of Reinhard Voelker concerning the lighting of a famous cave in the town of Bad Segeberg situated about 50 km to the north of Hamburg.

This cave is quite a well-known one, and not only among professionals. More details about the cave you can find on the following websites:

  1. www.showcaves.com/german - a German version
  2. www.showcaves.com/english - an English version
  3. www.de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalkbergh
  4. www.noctalis.de

...etc.

As it has turned out, the inquiry received from Mr. Volker was very urgent. The thing was that from June till September there were held annual theatrical show events in Bad Segeberg dedicated to the famous German writer Karl May and his characters (http://www.karl-may-spiele.de). During the time when no performances are held the visitors have an opportunity to visit an extraordinary Museum of bats “Noctalis” housed near the amphitheatre as well as the cave situated directly under it.

The cave of Bad Segeberg consists of plaster stone and is unique not only from the geological point of view. Especially in winter, the cave houses many thousands of bats that come from all over the northern regions of Germany. Besides, there lives a bug that feeds on the excrement of bats and is a neo-endemic.

In our case the problem was not the unique character of the cave, but the state of its lighting system which simply became obsolete. In 2007 the lighting has failed during the technical check-up. So the work of the cave during the season of 2008 was in danger. The loss of this object even for a short period of time would mean considerable economic damages for the town of Bad Segeberg as well as for the company “Noctalis”, which was unacceptable.

The engineers of the project “Cave Lighting™” have created a cave lighting system within an unprecedentedly short period of time. It was decided that for the lighting predominantly the lamps of the type „Q“ with the capacity of 3 watts, equipped with narrow optics will be used. After some considerations the preferences of the customer were given to our light operating system including an individual control of each lamp as well as assembly units and remote controls.

The basic designing, modelling, the dismantling of the old system as well as the installation of the new one were to be carried out by the Bureau of Mr. Voelker. Our project team was responsible for the timely delivery of the equipment, the final software configuration after the assembly, as well as for the start of the lighting system.

The conduction of the work was complicated by the fact that there was no access to the cave during the winter period because it served as a hibernacle for a several thousand strong bat colony. Only in the middle of April the Geological Bureau has got a permission for the beginning of the work. The day of the official opening of the cave was determined – the 28th of June. Not earlier and not later!

Frankly speaking, we still cannot grasp how Reinhard Voelker, Kristel Voelker and their team members have managed to conduct such enormous amount of work during such a short time period. Many people considered it to be absolutely impossible!

But the fact remains! Actually, we have also fulfilled our task well and have delivered the equipment in time. The whole system consists of 70 lamps of the type „Q“, 5 lamps of the type “QP“, 9 controllers as well as 3 platform controllers. The overall power of the system makes about 270 watts, which is an equivalent of 5 lamps of 60 watts each. The system scheme and the graphical display you can find with the help of the following links ....?

In the middle of June the project manager Alexander Chrapko and the senior project engineer Vladimir Vashkevich went to the cave Bad Segeberg in order to carry out the final lighting system configuration. To tell the truth, we did not count how many kilometers we had gone adjusting the lighting in the cave labyrinths. All in all, it took us three days to fulfil the task. In the course of our work there were certainly some mistakes, but the result has turned out to be much more than simply satisfactory.

It is no good to praise our own achievements, that’s why it is up to you to judge about the fruits of our work.

The photos of the cave with the new lighting you can find in the gallery section. But the best thing would be to visit the cave yourself!!!

We wish you a good time there and a lot of fun!

 The project team

Translation : Viktoria Yusuf