Case Study

Exterior Bi-directional Facade Lighting at Stanford Medicine

Meteor's Lance series was chosen to retrofit this uniquely challenging exterior facade retrofit project
The world-famous Stanford Medicine integrates a premier medical school with world-class hospitals to advance human health.

At the height of the pandemic in 2021, Meteor’s Lance series was chosen to retrofit this uniquely challenging project, which was designed and specified by Koltai Lighting Design, and supported by ALR and Pfeiffer Electric. We “virtually” sat down with Rita Koltai, Principal at Koltai Lighting Design, LLC to share with us some of the intricacies of the project.

The Stanford Medical Center at 300 Pasteur Drive is a truly historic building, having been opened in 1959. What type of lighting was used previously in the exteriors and why the need for an upgrade?
The original Stanford Medical Center buildings were designed by Edward Durell Stone. We were able to find copies of the original plans dated 1959. On these plans, the design of the 9’ diameter pendants had a 150W PAR-38 uplight to illuminate the underside of the roof overhang and a 200W incandescent downlight to illuminate the walkways.

Over the years, many retrofits changed the downlight component with a variety of lamp sources including High-Pressure Sodium, Compact Fluorescent, and LED retrofit lamps. The uplight component was somehow lost along the way, and most people were not aware that it ever existed. Of the (53) pendants we retrofitted with the Lance 6 luminaire, only (12) pendants at the front entrance still have plants in the 9’ diameter large dish.

The graceful Stanford Health building is covered in colonnades and geometric panels. What made you choose a direct/indirect luminaire?
The large pendants, hanging approximately 27’ below the roof overhang and 9’-6” above the ground are quite spectacular. Ever since I first saw these pendants, I felt that uplighting to feature the intricate facade and roof overhang as well as downlighting to improve the illuminance on the walkway would look wonderful. I had no idea that this was the original intent of the architect until we began to work on this project.

Mock Up Installation

Final Installation

What are just some of the technical / installation difficulties in retrofitting these 9′ diameter pendants?

The Meteor Lance 6 mock-up luminaire was a wall mount with an integral driver. One of the features of the Lance 6 is that this luminaire is available with different beam spreads for uplight/downlight illumination. We ran calculations to determine the optimal beam distribution for the uplight and wide beam spread for the downlight to balance the lighting effect. Obviously, the wall mount luminaire needed to be modified to a pendant with remote drivers for this application.

The engineers at Meteor were very helpful in modifying the product for us. I must also give credit to the creativity of Kyle Laine at Pfeiffer Electric who figured out how to secure the Meteor pendant in the central opening of the large dish using a ring clamp, L-brackets, and bolts to attach the luminaire to a variety of existing metal parts in the original dish.

The Lance luminaire used came with a RAL 8000 Green Brown custom color. The light is installed so inconspicuously that it seems to be invisible. How important was this to your design?
The custom color to match the existing decorative pendants as closely as possible was extremely important. The upper part of the Meteor pendant is clearly visible during the day, and blending the color with the underside of the pendant was critical in the aesthetics of the installation. I am pleased that Meteor painted the NEMA enclosures to match the luminaires as well.

Walk through the project spotlight

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