Dark Space Planetarium plunges guests into 360 immersive experience using BenQ LU9245 projectors

  • BenQ
  • 2022-06-28
The Issue

Galloway Forest Park, one of the only four Dark Sky Park in the western world is home to The Dark Space Planetarium. The 19th Century former school closed in 2010, unfortunately fell into disrepair, but with support from the Trust, restoration work of the building could commence in 2019.

The Solution

Set out to deliver an immersive experience that rivals those found at iconic science centres, the Dark Space Planetarium decided to bring the magical potential of their dome to life with eight LU9245 BenQ projectors.

The Result

In the summer of 2021, the Dark Space Planetarium opened its doors and now welcomes visitors with a full-immersion in the stars thanks to the full WUXGA resolution and 7,000 lumens of the LU9245 BenQ Projectors.

Facts at a Glance

Year of Completion



BenQ Solutions

8x WUXGA LU9245 Projectors




Museum and attractions



Kirkcudbright, Scotland




As part of the visionary ideas for the future of the school, a six metre planetarium was brought to life with LU9245 projectors as an exploration of astrobiology for all ages. With a plan to offer visitors the opportunity to learn how to stargaze, see the apollo mission and even watch movies at special events, this space really had something special.


Galloway Forest Park is one of the darkest places in the UK and has been awarded a Dark Sky Park designation, one of only four in the western world. The Dark Space Planetarium, developed by Kirkcudbright Development Trust, was created as part of a major capital project to fully renovate and reinvigorate the former, and much-loved, Johnston School building in Kirkcudbright.

The planetarium is a new state-of-the-art visitor attraction celebrating the majesty and infinity of space, the wonders of science, the thrill of space exploration, and the magic of the Dark Skies of Dumfries and Galloway.

Virtual reality-like immersive experience

The magical potential of the six metre diameter dome is brought to life with eight LU9245 BenQ projectors. Content is aligned and perfectly blended so that every inch of the hemisphere is illuminated with imagery. Creating a striking first impression for visitors, the ‘virtual reality-like’ immersive experience fully absorbs the peripheral vision and transports guests to outer space.

The vibrancy and quality of the imagery from the LU9245 projectors is enhanced through BenQ’s industry-leading BlueCore laser technology, which unleashes the full WUXGA resolution and creates an array of vivid rich colours and fine subtle details.

Optimal Chromatic Performance with Dual Colour Wheels

The Precision-Aligned High-Output Laser Source ensures superior brightness while the BlueCore laser diodes boost luminous flux into the light tunnel, improving light efficacy to 7,000 lumens. Our LumiExpertTM technology automatically detects the ambient light conditions of the space and adjusts the projector’s brightness to maximise clarity and comfort.

Performance is further enhanced with the secondary yellow-infused colour wheel, where dual synchronisation utilises an additive yellow segment, stimulating precise RGBY spectra for optimal chromatic performance.

“The final result of combining the 8x WUXGA 7,000 lumen projectors on the 5.35m diameter dome into one perfectly blended 360 image is 4k x 4k resolution at 60fps and one of the brightest dome displays in the UK!”

-Paul Mowbray, Director of NSC Creative

A 20,000 hour lifetime combined with the reliable laser light source ensures there is no colour degradation between the different projectors over time, making this model ideal for multiple blending projections without concern for adjacent projectors generating different levels of brightness after a period of operation. The laser light source also means that the projectors start up instantly with no lag time, ensuring a prompt start for events and shows taking place throughout the day.

Management and maintenance are simplified thanks to the IP5X certified dust proof mechanism and LAN control capability, so the projectors can be controlled with wireless devices to access the content and manage alignment; when the space is being used for bespoke events.

“We are so impressed by the exceptional image quality of the LU9245 projectors, particularly the high contrast blacks which really enhance the details within the content. That combined with the true to life colours in bright ambience create the truly immersive experience.”

-Frances Coombey, Dark Space Planetarium Manager