A new building for Auckland’s Mini dealership presents the iconic little vehicles in their trendiest form thanks to a sophisticated showroom lighting system.

The recently-completed building has become instantly recognisable in Auckland’s Newmarket suburb because it features two Minis hanging off its outside walls – a feature that underscores the vehicle’s “fun” reputation.

While the impact of the wall-hanging cars is accentuated by imaginative illumination at night, the real lighting smarts are inside, where the entire facility is equipped with LEDs controlled by a Schneider Electric C-Bus system.

It was installed by Auckland’s Akon Electrical Solutions – one of Schneider Electric’s approved systems integrators – and owner Steve Coombes says energy efficiency and flexibility were the major drivers for the lighting system.

“The building’s leased by Team McMillan BMW (which also operates the Mini brand) and while a low energy footprint motivated the decision to go with C-Bus, it was supported by the need to accommodate lighting changes quickly and easily.”

Because the showroom is regularly reconfigured with new models and different displays, the staff wanted to be able to tweak the lighting with minimal fuss. If the building had been wired conventionally, says Coombes, it wouldn’t have had anywhere near the required flexibility.

“C-Bus allows every light fitting in the building to be controlled independently, and uses a DALI gateway for the dimming functions. It even controls associated technology such as electric blinds for creating the ideal showroom ambience.”

To provide a truly seamless installation Coombes integrated C-Bus with Control 4 – an independent platform that takes care of the building’s other systems such as the large-format video screens, audio, CCTV as well as security and alarms.

“The integration has resulted in the staff being able to control all of this technology – as well as the building’s lighting system – from an iPad anywhere in the world. It enables them to instantly modify the lighting displays, their schedules and the timers via a discreet, touch-screen device.”

Team McMillan’s satisfaction with the Mini installation is reflected in Akon Electrical Solutions being commissioned to tackle an even bigger lighting job across the road, in the BMW building.