Peter Broome, Director at Rako Controls talks us through the acoustic choices Rako made in its new training room….

We recently completely renovated our training facility in Rochester, Kent to provide a high-quality learning environment, equipped with the latest Rako technology and innovations.

Previously, the space was a boardroom that we had been using for training but was completely unsuitable for its purpose. It was a bland room with a hard table, uncomfortable furniture and distracting noise reflections which made training tiring and more difficult for those participating and our trainers. The sound reverberated around the room, which was especially hard in our advanced course as the students are split into groups to work on practical elements of lighting control. 

In overhauling the space, we wanted to provide attendees with a more comfortable and inviting training experience, so acoustics became a key consideration.

We chose the Acupanel noise-reducing wood panelling solution in contemporary walnut for the training room, which promised to lower the reverberation time of noise. The acoustic panels obtain an absorption coefficient of 0.97 at a frequency of 1,000 Hz with them being efficient between 500 – 2,000 Hz, meaning they are well suited to this type of application.

They have been installed in 60% of the training room, notably in the pod areas to help with noise levels when groups are undergoing the practical aspects of the course. With the media wall, Cinema Build Systems installed a fabric wall to help with the acoustics.

The environment has noticeably improved with many of our trainees commenting on how comfortable the environment is and returning attendees remarking on the improvements we have made. The noise now no longer reverberates around the room and combined with the new premium quality lighting, air-conditioning and high-res in-wall loudspeakers, the space has been softened.

The specially designed pods allow delegates to get hands on with Rako technology, software and programming. Each training pod features Orluna light fittings, RGBW and CCW LED tape, along with an automated blind which can be integrated and controlled using Rako controllers.  Delegates can see demonstrations of Rako’s full product range, including wired and wireless systems, extensive keypad options and the feature rich Rako Hub.

Rako provides free, one day Foundation and Advanced training courses in lighting control from the new experience centre. The Foundation Course allows delegates to get to grips with the topology of a Rako wired and wireless system, how the Rako equipment integrates together, and what’s needed for different lighting, curtain and blind control applications. The Advanced Course is specifically aimed at installers with previous Rako programming knowledge and enables delegates to get hands on with Rako products and software. The course looks at the “Theory” of Rako as a modular system and goes into greater depth on Rako’s Wired, Wireless and hybrid systems, keypad mapping and the programming skills required. It also looks extensively at the Rako Hub, the features and benefits it provides and its role within a Rako system

The Rako training room was built with the support of Cinema Build Systems, Meridian Audio, Orluna Illuma Lighting, Future Automation, HD Anywhere, Buster and Punch, Kordz Global, Sonos and Sony UK.  The technology system was installed by CEDIA member, Louise Tarling Electrical.

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