Summerlee Historical Visitors Centre
Summerlee was formerly one of Scotland's most important ironworks. Opened in 1836, it used an innovative 'hot blast' process, which blew hot gasses from the production process through the furnaces. However, iron was superseded by steel and the furnaces went out for the last time in 1926.
In 1987, the site was turned into a museum. Recently, the main exhibition hall was redeveloped to recreate the furnace process as an interactive visitor attraction demonstrating how the smelting process worked.
Control Lighting Ltd were brought in to recreate the smelting process using very clever lighting control solutions to replicate molten iron ore in a furnace.
As visitors crank the levers either to charge the furnace, to change the air mixture, to "remove the slag", or to "tap the furnace", they are rewarded with gold, silver, bronze, or blackout, lighting effects to indicate how well they performed each task.
When the furnace empties, the molten iron ore flows out of the furnace and into the "pig beds".
As iron ore cools, it changes colour, so a very sophisticated lighting control solution is needed to create the movement of molten iron AND with colour changing effects to show the metal cooling as it flows out.
Summerlee were delighted with the amazing effects that Control Lighting were able to produce in replicating the lifelike flow of metal. Different lighting effects that we have replicated for our other clients include the effect of fire, the soothing flow of a river, and even extreme weather conditions!