St Conan's Kirk is a Grade 1 listed church in the village of Lochawe on the road to Oban. The building was started as a labour of love by self-taught architect Walter Campbell to save his mother travelling six miles to the nearest church! Designed in a variety of styles from ancient Roman to Norman, it was started in 1881 but was not consecrated until 1930, long after Campbell’s death.
St Conan’s now attracts over 8,000 visitors a year, and in 2016 was voted one of the top 10 Scottish buildings of the last 100 years in a Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland public poll.
Involvement: Design of full interior lighting scheme, although the initial installation is limited to the nave and south aisle.
When the scheme was started, apart from some recent electric lights built into the chancel stalls, the only existing lighting in its main worship areas were four chandeliers fitted with candle lamps and suspended above the nave. These were re-wired and re-hung as part of the new lighting scheme.
Powerful long-life LED spotlights were installed on the roof beams above the nave and south aisle. These were supplemented with smaller spotlights on tracks on each side of the nave and aisle to provide roof lighting. The chancel step and front of the nave are highlighted by further track mounted spots, as are the carved timber wall posts in the aisle (see pic). Emergency lighting was also installed in these areas.
The installation is remotely controlled from the vestry by a master panel programmed with visitor and various service and concert light settings, and from the nave using a small repeater panel which can be disabled when not required.
In April 2019 - before the new lighting was installed - St Conan's was ranked the number 1 Church and Cathedral in Scotland on Tripadvisor
Photos © Paul Covell Consultants