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Old Government Buildings, New Zealand

  • Old Government Buildings, New Zealand
  • Old Government Buildings, New Zealand
  • Old Government Buildings, New Zealand
  • Lamp efficacy

    Lamp efficacy

    Replacing less efficient compact fluorescent lamp technology with LED light sources ensures optimum conversion of electricity into light, producing equivalent levels of illuminance while using less energy.

  • Ballast classification

    Ballast classification

    Removing magnetic control gear and installing electronic drivers reduces electrical losses within the control circuit and ensures the electrical power usage is controlled more effectively, using less energy more efficiently.

  • Luminaire distribution

    Luminaire distribution

    Controlling light emission using optics which bend and shape the light to the correct location.

  • System efficacy

    System efficacy

    Combining optical and thermal control within the luminaire (luminaire lm/W).

  • Presence/absence detection

    Presence/absence detection

    Presence: Lights automatically turn on/off with movement. Absence: Lights automatically turn off and must be manually switched on.

  • Daylight detection

    Daylight detection

    Artificial lighting which responds to the natural light conditions.

  • Constant illuminance

    Constant illuminance

    A function designed to produce correct light levels for the duration of the maintenance period.

  • Task-scene setting

    Task-scene setting

    Allowing the user to set scenes and adapt the lighting to different tasks.

  • Timed off

    Timed off

    Automatic cut-off can be installed to turn all lights off during unoccupied hours.

  • Task lighting

    Task lighting

    Lighting task areas with the correct amount of light.

  • Zoning of lighting

    Zoning of lighting

    Lighting is zoned according to area use.

  • Maintenance schedule

    Maintenance schedule

    Maintenance must be performed in response to product age, performance and environment.

  • Waste light

    Waste light

    Eliminating waste light which does not hit the intended target.

  • Reflectance


    Taking advantage of light which is reflected from the surface within the space.

  • Visible smart metering

    Visible smart metering

    Results of actions can be quickly seen as increased or decreased energy use to encourage responsible energy consumption.

LED retrofit transforms efficiency at New Zealand's Government Buildings

The Government Buildings Historic Reserve, more commonly referred to as the Old Government Buildings, was commissioned in the early 1870s to house New Zealand’s civil service. It was constructed to resemble an Italian stone palace built almost entirely out of the now protected native kauri timber.

Situated on Lambton Quay in Wellington, it was completed in 1876 and is one of the world’s largest wooden buildings. The building now houses the Victoria University of Wellington's Law School, and is classified as Category I by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. Its rich heritage makes it one of New Zealand’s most important historical buildings.

Retrofit needed for ageing pendants

Thorn was given a brief to provide an LED retrofit for 322 ageing pendants equipped with twin Dulux F type lamps with wire wound ballasts near the end of their economic life.

The solution was to therefore remove all lamps, lamp holders and ballasts. These were replaced with Tridonic 34W LED panels and drivers. In turn, the character of this historically important building is preserved while delivering significant energy savings.

Energy comparison

Existing luminaire with 2x36W TC-FEL lamps
on wire wound control gear
New Tridonic
LED Panel
Total Load (A) kW28.65810.9802
Average burning hours/week7070
Average burning hours/year (B)36403640
kWhr/annum (AxB)104,315.1239,967.93
Electricity $0.12/kWhr$12,517.81$4,796.15
Savings per annum$7,721.663

The above calculations do not take into account annual maintenance savings of approximately $10,000.

Key facts

  • One of New Zealand's most important historical buildings
  • 62% reduction in annual energy consumption
  • Existing pendants retained for character
  • 4.7 years payback


  • Tridonic 34W LED panels and drivers