En La Parra, based in Salamanca, Spain, decided to expand and improve its facilities in order to debut its recent award: the Michelin Star 2022. Placing the customer experience at the heart of their concept is one of the many reasons for implementing a new lighting system, along with our intelligent control system, OCTO.
Rocío Parra Haro, executive chef, and Alberto Rodriguez, sommelier and head waiter, take the time to tell us how they use this smart control and what it does for them.
Alberto Rodriguez highlights the visual comfort and intelligent control that allows the creation of different dynamic environments: “We play with the light depending on the state of the gastronomic experience; the light is dimmed at the beginning of the process; when the dishes come out, the intensity is increased and when dinner is finished, it is dimmed again,” he says. Rocío Parra adds: “the client is surprised; they have told us so. Although it is not a radical change, it is much more comfortable and provides a different dimension
They emphasize the ease of use; Alberto and Rocío have installed the OCTO app on their mobile devices and tablet, which integrates and groups all the lighting fixtures in the venue. “The tables are staggered, so when one of them is occupied, I can create the experience with it and so on with the rest of the tables; I control them one by one to only modify the table and keep the rest of the room as it is”.
They also have a smart switch with four pre-set buttons, where you set up the preferred scenes or the one you will most often want to utilise in the room. “The good thing we have and I find it super comfortable” says Rocío, “is that everything was adapted to our desire; in this way when we arrive in the morning we give to 1 and all the lights are turned on in a first certain environment; when the service arrives they give to 2 and the room is changed with the necessary work lighting; 4 is a total shutdown, etc., creating experience not only for customer but for ourselves“. Alberto adds at this point “we have the remote control with the different scenes that seemed most important to us or that we use the most, and it is on the tablet where we control all of them”.
They also talk about how they differentiate themselves from their competition thanks to the smart lighting control: “It is certainly a system that no one else has here in Salamanca; it is very exclusive. There are locals with a great atmosphere and good lighting that lack the possibility of creating scenes, changing colours or colour temperatures, intensities…”
Different luminaires have been installed in the room: the EAVES linear recessed luminaire, with UGR<16 and a black polycarbonate optic that provides a very high level of visual comfort. To illuminate tables or details such as the Michelin award, the PRISM PRO GIMBAL has been used, which, being tilting, can be oriented according to the desired focus.
“The luminaires are not invasive; to create an elegant space, the luminaires used can barely be glimpsed in the space; giving relevance to the lighting they create, and not to their appearance or position” indicates Luis Felipe Esteban, commercial director of Ansell Lighting. In the entrance area, the PRISM PRO MINI from the Prism Pro family was used, as it did not require a large amount of light, but rather to go unnoticed. Also, to illuminate and highlight the logo, the luminaire installed is the UNITY MINI 24V, a very small 10cm track spotlight, whose aperture angle can be adjusted from 5 to 30º and can be adjusted from 5 to 100% as standard. The RUBY pendant in black is added for ambient lighting.
Of course, the energy savings are also noteworthy. Although in this case “it is difficult to calculate exactly the energy savings; we had a 70m² room and we have doubled the space and the machinery. Both because of the added space and the current price increase, we are naturally paying more, but with the light we are noticing considerable energy savings,” they say. “In addition, there are certain actions that are key at this point; this system allows us not to leave lights on and to be much more efficient”.
With a product as well cared for as that of the En la Parra restaurant, lighting is needed in accordance with the scope of the business. One of the key elements of this installation has been the BOA LED strip, which being RGB or warm white, the colour temperature can be regulated; Rocío and Alberto keep it in a warm tone very much in line with the wood tones they have. “We don’t play with colours; we really liked this warm colour that combines very well with the wood and is very elegant,” they say. “Which does not detract from the fact that, on certain occasions, such as an event, for example, we choose the colour of the visiting brand; it has many options.”
Finally, the product used for bathrooms and kitchen has been installed PRISM PRO ANTIGLARE, IP65, with a very low glare, creating a high comfort in these areas.
The project was always adapted to the restaurant’s wishes: “It’s funny, because I give a lot of importance to light, but I really like darkness; we have everything decorated in a range of dark colours,” says Alberto. “The tables have nothing; the importance is in the dishes. That’s why the table should be illuminated but the rest should not, to create a more intimate atmosphere.”
Ansell Lighting has accompanied the client throughout the process, creating renderings of the entire venue to imagine the final result. “The Ansell team has been very attentive for as long as it took to explain everything, and now I handle it as if I were an expert; I could work at Ansell Lighting,” Alberto says with a laugh.
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