Iglesia de la Merced is dressed in lights that highlight its architecture.

Passers-by who wander through the Temple’s surroundings at night, “La Merced”, you will be able to admire this building in a different way thanks to the maintenance works such as the resane of walls and the general painting of its exterior carried out by the Catholic Church and with the permission of the Center for Research and Conservation Costa Rica’s Cultural Heritage stand out with the new lighting system implemented.

The works made correspond to the project “Replacement of the electrical system and lighting of the Catholic temple Our Lady of the Mercedes”, which was submitted for approval to the Centro de Patrimonio Cultural por Temporalidades de la Arquidiócesis de San José and the engineer in charge.

According to the priest Fernando Muñoz, in charge of this temple, on a previous trip to Germany he took a train, was asleep and woke up at night in a station. Saw that exceptionally illuminated Gothic church, I said to myself: how come in Costa Rica they never did this? Some time later Muñoz arrived in La Merced. “A neo-Gothic like this, which stands out for the features of that architectural style, would make this church stand out in an impressive manner, he initially thought. Then he noticed that it is the first church to be found by a tourist or anyone when he enters San Jose. Finally, he considered that the new lighting would give greater security to the building, and so started the idea.

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Lighting highlights beauty with low energy cost.

This project contemplated the total remodelling of the electrical system to comply with the standards established by the [ Costa Rica Electrical Code for the Safety of Life and Property{ Costa Rica Electrical Code for Security of Life and Property}.

The works included the installation of new electrical panels, earth mesh, new sound system and alarms, as well as the internal and external lighting of the heritage building, which is managed with centralized control. The electrical engineer Marisela Marín was hired by the owner to design the new lighting, who used the LED system.

“It is totally friendly to the environment and with reduced energy consumption, such that with less than 5 KVA a a building the size of a block is illuminated. It consumes more a common house than the whole block of the church, this being LED lighting. The largest lamp installed consumes 80 watts, which had a great impact on the receipt of electricity consumption from the temple”, said Marín

The above was corroborated by the priest Muñoz, who indicated that the saving in payment of the receipt, with all that lighting, fell between 150 thousand and 200 thousand colones.

Recessed lamps were also installed in the beams between the columns of the central nave, in addition to LED light hoses and indirect lights. Externally floor lighting was used with a linear lamp embedded between columns throughout the perimeter of the temple walls, in addition, searchlights and swimwear of closed beam light and internal lights in the windows of the tower.

The Cultural Heritage Center considered among the criteria for granting the permit that these works respond to the need for conservation of the building and that they would be executed respecting the materials, reversible and non-invasive techniques that highlight with indirect lighting the architectural beauty of the building, without detracting from its prominence. In addition, the new lighting would bring greater security to the temple.

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