Carved into a granite cliff in the North Okanagan in close proximity to Vernon, British Columbia, Sparkling Hill Resort is celebrated for its organic and modern flair—notably its creative use of $10 million in Swarovski Crystal elements that provide an atmosphere of calm and serenity. Setting its sights on newly engaging, more energy-efficient LED hotel lighting, the European-influenced resort and wellness center recently specified 2,500 GE LED replacement lamps for its award-winning facility. The switch means an annual 828,000 kilowatt hours (kWhs) energy reduction at Sparkling Hill that will equate to $1.3 million in lighting cost savings over 10 years.
Incorporated throughout Sparkling Hill, Swarovski Crystal creations—designed exclusively for Sparkling Hill by the famous Austrian crystal company—emulate the coolness of waterfalls and warmth of fireplaces, emanating light and vibrancy to spaces with their extraordinary brilliance, purity, and absolute precise cut. Optimizing this synergy of light, water and other decorative elements with the effects of new illumination was, according to chief engineer Wolfgang Hoppichler, the foremost concern of Swarovski Crystal.
“Sparkling Hill is the only place in the world outside of the Swarovski museum in Wattens, Austria where one can truly experience the remarkable ingenuity, creativity and technical ability of these magnificent crystals,” he said. “To make such a significant change to the lighting design, it has to be the absolute right thing for a resort as unique as ours.”
Sparkling Hill engaged GE and Brite-Lite, a British Columbia-based lighting and electrical wholesaler, to better understand the best way to showcase the crystals. It was recommended that 50-watt halogen bulbs be changed to 7-watt PAR20 LED and 12-watt PAR30 LED replacement lamps in guest suites, penthouses and dining venues as well as meeting and activity rooms, among other areas, throughout the resort.
“We never had a concern about the quality of the lighting because we knew who was behind the product,” added Hoppichler. “Having seen both, I can now say I prefer the whiter light of the LED lamps that better accentuate our three million adorning Swarovski crystals.”
Results & Benefits
Following the installation of 2,200 PAR20 LED and 300 PAR30 GE LED replacement lamps, Sparkling Hill reduced its annual electricity use by 828,000 kWhs. Maintenance expenses have also sharply fallen. The staff was replacing on average 2,500 halogen bulbs a year; since the swap, they have only had to replace five LED lamps in two years. Total lighting costs—including electricity, maintenance and related expenses—have fallen by $138,000 a year―a projected $1.3 million savings over 10 years thanks to GE ecomagination℠ technology. “Everything at Sparkling Hill has been designed to fit perfectly into the landscape, just as GE's proposed lighting solution perfectly fit our one-of-a-kind luxury environment,” Hoppichler said.
Since opening in the spring of 2010, Sparkling Hill has been recognized internationally for its location, design and unique offerings. It has earned the prestigious Senses Wellness Award for “Best Mountain Spa Resort” in 2011 as well as the Elite Traveler Award for “Top 101 Hotel Suites in the World” in 2012. Most recently, Sparkling Hill was named one of 11 “Trendsetting” hotels by Fodor's Travel in its 2012 “Top 100 Hotels in the World” rankings.