Project Location: Ashford in the Water, Peak District
Project Background Brief
When the buyer of a watermill in the Peak District was looking for a wireless lighting control system to retrofit into an historic building as part of a transformation into luxury accommodation, Rako Controls was top of the list.
Dating back to before 1086, Ashford Mills is a Grade II listed building that rests on a tranquil riverbank in the picture-perfect village of Bakewell. The property was purchased by Dr. Robert W. Griffiths in the late 1990s and it took him seven years to be granted planning permission to restore the water mill and convert it into self-catering accommodation.
As the mill is almost 1,000 years old, it only included a few windows which offer little natural daylight into the building. Lighting, therefore, was of huge importance for this project. As Robert took to the internet to search for lighting options, he kept coming across Rako Controls as the best and most innovative state of the art lighting control system company, especially for this type of retrofit project.
Having decided that Rako was going to be the brand to achieve his vision for the property, Robert and his electrician began working on a lighting design. Due to the nature of the building, it was impossible to have a centrally wired location and also very difficult – sometimes impossible – to get wires to switched positions.
Favourite Project Features
The Rako wireless solution worked perfectly as it has allowed for these challenges to be overcome. Wireless dimmers are mounted in small recesses around the building but provide a reliable and flexible whole house control system that would be expected of a wired system.
The Rako set up contains individual wireless dimmer modules, including the RMT500 for mains dimmable LEDs, RLED modules for colour change, wireless keypads and an RTC-Bridge, which provides app control and a timeclock for event/timed commands, holiday mode and custom macro programming. Rako’s RGBW LED colour change controls are used throughout the project to showcase the impressive interior and the mill’s original features. They also ensure the perfect scene and mood lighting for different tasks and occasions.
“The mill is a very successful holiday home,” comments Robert. “Guests invariably ask about the lighting and comment on how great it is. It sets the mood for a range of guests, from newlyweds through to those older guests who just want to see what they are reading.”
The end result combines industrial heritage with contemporary living. The building was awarded Best Conservation Project in the Peak District National Park by the Planning Authority in 2018, competing against much better known, local historic homes.
Robert has recently completed the purchase of the last property that he did not own on the estate. Unlike the mill, the character has been stripped out of it by the previous owner. The team will have to recreate the character by sourcing ancient beams, fireplaces, flooring, lighting, and other materials. The Rako system has been so successful in the Mill, that Robert has already decided that it is a must for this new project too.