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Taking the LED

But it’s not just about energy savings. High-quality LED lighting has the potential to dramatically improve user comfort. As Nick Farraway points out: “Well-designed lighting drives accuracy, energy and productivity that enhance the efficiency of businesses themselves. Whether in a factory, office or a small retail space, it is broadly recognised that unpleasant or bad lighting can affect people’s moods, reduce productivity and even represent a safety risk to staff. On the other hand, good lighting is known to improve quality of life at work, contributing to the wellbeing of staff. It reduces fatigue and improves worker morale, concentration and productivity, as well as ensuring a safe working environment with optimal visibility.”

Kevin Stubbs agrees that user wellbeing is an important consideration when planning a new lighting scheme. “It’s important to discuss whether your business and lighting needs have changed since the current lighting was installed. You should explore whether you are keeping pace with modern lighting technology and work-life developments. It is worthwhile considering whether tasks have changed over time. Would more flexibility help in the future? Can you improve the environment for your revenue generators (staff)?

“Review your needs and consider the developments made in modern lighting technology and industry guidelines. This will help create a solid business case based on energy reduction and resolve practical requirements for your building and people. Building these elements in early could mean that a few per cent more spent on lighting could, for instance, improve colour rendering, reduce flicker and improve comfort. This will make a tired workspace become a desirable, comfortable and more productive environment to work in. Your staff may then have more energy and ideas, want to go the extra mile for you and make fewer mistakes, and hence generate more revenue and improve profits.”

When the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) decided to refurbish and extend its UK headquarters on the outskirts of Cambridge, it opened up an opportunity to replace ageing, inefficient lighting with a scheme that would deliver energy-efficient, user-friendly, uniform lighting throughout the old and new parts of the building. LEDs offered the versatility to encompass this goal, with luminaires from Zumtobel Group brands combining to cater for the different needs of the building’s flexible, multifunctional spaces.

In the older sections, the existing T8 fittings have been replaced with Thorn’s IQ Wave, a smart recessed LED fitting with intelligent controls, and a mix of Thorn’s Mirel LED louvre fittings. In the new office space Zumtobel’s slimline Lincor provides indirect/direct light along with Thorn’s Omega Pro, while its Slotlight suspended fittings deliver uniform overhead light in the library and reception area. ACDC’s Blade Pro, a compact, low-glare linear LED wallwash fitting, is also used in reception to create a welcoming ambience.

Slotlight Panos downlighters and Blade linear luminaires work together in conference rooms to provide an even wash of vertical light. Finally, Thorn’s Chalice downlighters – which offer a life of up to 50,000 hours – are used alongside its Omega fixtures in corridors to reduce maintenance demands and costs.


Ecolighting UK recently installed LED lighting into all 11 warehouses owned by Stapleton Tyres. As a result the company more than halved its energy costs and slashed its carbon emissions. The scheme is expected to pay for itself in around 1.75 years across all the distribution centres.

Ecolighting used its Pegasus LED highbay luminaire and Altos emergency LED highbay fixtures to light the main warehouse aisles. Sapphire LED linear fittings were installed in the mezzanine areas, plus LED floodlights for yards and car parks and 600 x 600 LED modular luminaires for offices. The Pegasus LED highbay luminaires feature PIR occupancy sensors to dim the lights down or turn them off when no one is present.

There were big benefits in switching to energy-efficient LED lighting within the context of ESOS (the government energy saving opportunities scheme). The lighting saved 1,174 tonnes of CO2 on the company’s carbon footprint. According to Group Director Ian Kirkpatrick: “In the last three or four months since the first distribution centres were completed in Guildford, Maidstone and Portbury, we have achieved a 50 per cent reduction in energy – which is excellent.”

In addition, by investing in LED lighting, Stapleton Tyres attracts an enhanced capital allowance (ECA) of 19 per cent of the investment able to be reclaimed in the first year.

About Sarah OBeirne


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