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What happens when you have a yacht owner unhappy with how a very complicated and expensive cascading chandelier aboard his yacht works? According to the owner’s representative, the owner thought the chandelier was missing the play of brilliance between the crystals, the reflections of the polished stainless steel and the surrounding space.

We are not talking about any chandelier. The waterfall chandelier aboard the 280-foot/85.6-meter motoryacht Aquila is the focal point of the yacht’s central lobby. It extends 36-feet/11.2 meters in height. It cascades down four levels from the sun deck down to the lower deck. It is made of 38 polished stainless steel rods. On every rod, there are an average of 40 handmade crystal glass components, which means 1520 pieces of crystal. Aquila’s chandelier, also is comprised of a set of bearing plates at the base and top with a plastic filler to hold the rods and to compensate for the yacht’s micro-vibration when in movement. An average of 11 struts with absorption strips hold the 38 polish rods together. This means that there is a total of 51 components on every rod.


So, do you scrap the chandelier and start over again with a new one? Or do you try and find a solution? Temeloy Lighting, based in London in the UK, was called in to consult/ and execute a solution. Temeloy prides itself on designing eco-solutions. Integral to its eco-approach to lighting design is the ethos not to be wasteful. “We aim to reduce the environmental impact of the lighting schemes and the lighting fittings that we specify, ” says Tiphaine Treins, founder of Temeloy. “We are committed to creating zero-waste lighting schemes by applying eco-lighting innovation, research and intelligence to designing with light.” Temeloy did not design Aquila’s chandelier so fixing it required research and patience.

“We first started to research the best way to light the crystal to create the most mesmerizing effect,” says Treins. “Because the stairs were integrated around the chandelier, we knew that we had to find a solution that would give a consistent lighting effect at any point of view—top, the bottom of the stairs or from the corridor or landing area.” 


“We proposed that we integrate light inside the crystals. That was the safest way to assure the desired light effect,” Treins continues. “The first difficulty came from the absence of plans and drawings. The chandelier was mounted manually, and no drawings were available. It took us three days of intensive work to measure the position of all the components on every rod. Once the information was processed, we reproduced the chandelier in 3D. This step was essential to be able to discuss with the client the final design of the chandelier.”

The second challenge was to design a lighting solution that could be accessible for maintenance. The double-sided PCB integrated into the long crystal needed to be accessible and easily dismountable.

The third problem was deciding if Temeloy should rebuild the chandelier integrally or try to keep as many pieces as possible. The benefit of rebuilding it integrally offered significant advantages: integral custom solution pre-assembly at the workshop. Still, it was accepting a considerable amount of waste without considering the environmental impact. 


Treins continues, “We decided to shift our approach toward a circular design to re-use as many components as possible. However, we knew that the counterpart of this approach was that we would have less control over the installation time. And that every component could create a problem during the assembly process onsite.”

Smart Life Cycle Assessment and the direct gain in terms of energy

The direct gain in term of environmental impacts is that the design process developed saved around 150lbs (68kgs) of stainless steel and 893lbs (405kgs) of glass. Producing 150lbs (68kgs) of stainless steel creates a Co2 emission of 1096lbs (497kgs) of Co2 while 893lbs (405kgs) of glass creates an extra 1069lbs (485kgs) of Co2. The other interesting figure is that to create 2.2lbs (1kgs) of stainless steel it requires more 90gal (340 liters) of water. So, re-using 150lbs (68kgs) of stainless saved more than 6,108 gal (23,120 liters) of water. 


Those impacts were assessed and calculated with the Smart Life Cycle assessment calculator that Temeloy developed.

Temeloy likes to work in partnership with its clients from the onset of each project through to completion to ensure the intentions of each project is realized with the minimum environmental impact. As the Aquila chandelier was not originally a Temeloy installation, the goal was to be creative about solutions to save a very stunning crystal lighting object and to do so as efficiently as possible.

For the last five years, Temeloy has extensively developed lighting eco-innovation and has co-founded ‘Lighting for Good,’ along with the LVMH group and its lighting suppliers. The chandelier was the first opportunity for Temeloy to apply circular design by remanufacturing and re-using an existing lighting installation. This spring, Temeloy is officially launching the Smart Life Cycle Calculator to be able to scientifically assess the impact of any lighting scheme.

Note: M/Y Aquila was originally built at Derecktor Shipyard in Bridgeport Connecticut under the name Cakewalk in 2010. She was the largest yacht ever built in the USA. She was subsequently sold in 2014 and underwent a major refit at Pendennis Shipyard in 2016. RWD was contracted for exterior styling and Susan Young Interiors created a new interior. She is available for charter via Burgess Yachts.