Project Story: L’Aristocrate Condominiums
Next to Lac Saint-Louis in Pointe Claire, Quebec sits L’Aristocrate, a prestigious condominium complex built in 1982 comprised of 133 units. The complex offers a wide variety of facilities including indoor and outdoor pools; a sauna and jacuzzi; outdoor barbecue area with tables; library; exercise room and more.
With the original outdoor light fixtures and structures aging and becoming more costly to operate, the condo board decided to update the lighting system, and approved replacing and repairing the existing poles and bases.
“It took several months to decide on the location of the lights, the style, and we had to wait for the weather to cooperate,” says Lorraine Montpetit, the L’Aristocrate condo board association president
The biggest drivers for replacing and repairing the existing lighting system included electrical and maintenance savings, as well as improved visibility, security and curb appeal for current owners and prospective buyers.
“Our lights were over 40 years old and needed to be modernized,” Montpetit says.
After meeting with several companies, the condo board decided to retain Concept Illumination for the project.
“Concept Illumination had the best presentation, took the time to visit the property numerous times, and reviewed the lighting plan with us on several occasions, they were very professional,” Montpetit says.
The project was rolled out in two phases with Phase I taking place in the fall of 2020 and Phase II in the summer of 2021.
The first phase of the project included the repair of three concrete bases; the painting of three existing poles; replacement of four existing pole-mounted fixtures with four new LED fixtures; and the replacement of three pole-top caps.
“Phase I was more urgent, considering the concrete bases were in very bad shape. The intention was always to complete the project the following year,” Herz explains.
The second phase of the project included repairing eight concrete bases; the replacement of one concrete base; eliminating one pole and base; the painting of 34 existing poles; the replacement of existing pole-mounted fixtures with 35 new LED fixtures; the replacement of 34 pole-top caps; replacement of two fixtures at the building entrance for improved visibility; replacement of four wall packs around the building perimeter; and the replacement of three flood lights at the rear of the building.
While lighting projects at big multi-residential buildings may appear similar to those at large commercial properties, the challenges are very different.
“The light levels we were aiming for here are not the same as the ones we would expect to see at shopping malls,” explains Daniel Herz, director of sales for Concept Illumination. “Seeing as though this is a residential property, tremendous effort was put in to making sure that there would be no light trespass and no glare, 3000K fixtures were used throughout,” Herz says. “The main goal for us was to optimize the results while keeping the costs reasonable.”
Making a splash
One of the places where the condo board wanted to improve the lighting was the pool area.
“It’s an area where safety is a key concern and trespassing is a key concern, so the pool area is brighter than the rest of the areas around the building,” Herz says. “Luckily for us, there were already quite a few fixtures already set up there, so we were able to use the existing placement to achieve that result.”
The condo board also wanted the lighting in the parking area improved to enhance safety and security.
“They’re a little bit brighter, a little bit further away from the building and it was treated more like a traditional parking lot while keeping the lighting levels appropriate for a residential setting,” Herz says.
Not only were the new pole-mounted fixtures designed to minimize light pollution and glare, but special attention was also made to ensure that the right optics were used, and that the fixtures were oriented correctly.
“With all of the fixtures we chose, we made sure there would be no light going into windows,” Herz says. “3000K is a softer, warmer light. It’s a little more welcoming, a little bit less commercial. All the fixtures we put in have that characteristic.”
Overall, the project went smoothly except for some electrical repairs that were performed to ensure the new lighting functions properly.
“We had some wiring issues, but they were brought to our attention immediately, explained in detail, and we came up with a joint plan to address them in a very timely fashion,” Montpetit says.
Now that the project is complete, residents at the condominium are thrilled with the results.
“They absolutely love the lighting on the property. It is very aesthetically pleasing, and the lights are no longer shining into people’s windows,” Montpetit says. “Daniel Herz was an absolute gem to work with, very professional and knowledgeable. His customer service was exceptional and his attention to detail was phenomenal.”