industry updates

LITE illuminates The Mound in Edinburgh

The Mound is a prestigious and cultural area in the centre of Edinburgh, linking the Old Town with the New Town. The Mound is an artificial slope which was formed from the excavations of the foundations of The New Town into Nor Loch, which was drained in 1765 and today is the site of The Princes Street Gardens.

At the foot of The Mound are the West Princes Street Gardens and the Royal Scottish Academy of Art, the oldest and most prestigious academy of contemporary art in Scotland. Further up The Mound is the National Gallery of Scotland, home to Scotland’s greatest collection of European paintings and sculptures.

At the corner of Market Street is an 11-foot-high bronze statue in memorial to the Black Watch soldiers who were killed or wounded in the South African War of 1902. On Mound Place sits the Assembly Hall at New College, which was built in 1846. The Mound then meets Bank Street and runs along to the Royal Mile.

Facilities management company, Mitie, were appointed by Lloyds Banking Group to create a new, dynamic, colour-changing lighting design for the floodlighting on The Mound. Mitie appointed LITE for their full turnkey solution for the project, including the initial design scheme, the supply of products, installation, and commissioning. LITE worked with trusted partners Consulting Engineers IKM and Installation Partner SSUK to achieve the brief for this project.

LITE carried out the planning of the installation, including two separate lighting trials, supplied the light fixtures, and recommended several solutions from their market-leading portfolio of lighting brands.

Due to the historic nature of the building and its iconic location, a variety of challenges presented themselves to the team. As the building is listed, there were permissions which needed to be granted, so as part of the proposal LITE specified that they would not enter the building and would instead install the lighting solution on the outside of the building.

Other challenges included the effects of Covid-19, the weather, other projects occurring in the area at the same time, events and visits happening at The Mound, and finding the correct access equipment solution for installing the lighting fixtures.

The team created an ideal solution, using lighting trials to select the fixtures which would be placed along the balcony and floodlight the front of the building. Color Kinetics ColorBurst and ColorBurst Compact, ColorBlast, and ColorGraze Powercore RGBW products were selected to create a dynamic colour-changing lighting effect, controlled remotely by a Pharos LPC1 controller. The Pharos controller and cabling were installed on the roof of the building and the exterior, so the team would not have to enter the building for installation.

The result is an innovative and dynamic lighting solution which brings modern, colour-changing lighting to an area steeped in rich history and traditional architecture. The lighting brings The Mound to life and enhances its status as a hub of art and culture in Edinburgh, with the effect appearing particularly striking at night.

The end user can have complete control over the colour change to cast dynamic light shows to mark awareness days and annual occasions for the local public.

Kevin Evans, Solutions Director at Mitie, said: “When we received this project brief, we knew that LITE Architectural were the company to do the job. They are a trusted and reliable partner, and we knew that they would be able to deliver an innovative design solution, the kit and fixtures needed, a full installation and commission of the project, ensuring it met the brief.   

“What was most impressive was how LITE handled the challenges and factors which cropped up, completely out of their control, and faced each setback head-on to complete the project without compromising on design or quality.” 

Emma Johnson, Sustainability Programme Manager at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “LITE exceeded our expectations upon commission of the project. We were delighted with the result, and The Mound is now one of the best lit buildings in Edinburgh!  

Our Scottish HQ truly stands out for a striking, stunning effect that adds to the prestige and renowned location and history of the area. We were particularly pleased to light up The Mound in rainbow colours in support of Pride celebrations, and to show our solidarity with Ukraine on Ukrainian Day of Independence.” 

This is not the first time LITE has provided lighting for an iconic building in Edinburgh, having previously transformed the existing lighting structures at Edinburgh Castle. Historic Scotland appointed LITE to upgrade the castle’s lighting system, using the existing wiring infrastructure and luminaire positions to eliminate any ground works on Castle Rock.

Philips Intelli Power technology met this requirement, allowing the existing 3 core cabling to transmit DMX Data to the new RGB ColorReach, ColorGraze and ColorBlast fittings. Using a Pharos LPC to control the lighting installation, the colour of the castle can now be changed with the touch of a button.

This has made the lighting scheme much more efficient, before requiring a team to put gels on all 120 fixtures. The LED installation has also reduced the overall carbon footprint, along with the maintenance and running costs.

Project credits:
Facilities management and professional services: Mitie
Client: Lloyds Banking Group
Consulting Engineers: IKM

Installation Partner: SSUK

industry updates

CU Phosco Lighting Receives Top Honours at HEA Awards

This year’s HEA Conference, Exhibition and Awards at The Celtic Manor, Newport, ended with not one but two wins for CU Phosco Lighting.

The street lighting industry event of the year, the HEA Annual Conference and Awards, celebrates the best the highway electrical sector has to offer and recognises the valuable contributions made by the industry’s top performers.

Early in the ceremony, the century-old, award-winning manufacturer was thrilled to learn that its E951 luminaire was named ‘Product of the Year 2022.’

E951 is the high-quality, low-cost solution Local Authorities have been waiting for to replace existing sodium discharge, compact fluorescent and even 1st generation LED luminaires on traffic routes and minor roads.

Paul Carter – Technical Manager Luminaires, CU Phosco, says, “We faced some stiff competition on the night, so it is a fantastic honour to receive this award. E951 has been conceived from over 100 years of experience working with local authorities to help them maximise their efficiency and minimise their budget and environmental impact.”

And just when they thought the evening couldn’t get any better, Bob Gaskell, the manufacturer’s Lighting Contracts Director, was thrown into the spotlight when he received the Service to Industry Award for 2022.

Bob Gaskell says, “In my 20-plus years in the industry, I have never felt as proud as I do now. It is a tremendous honour to be bestowed with this award, joining some of the industry’s greats and measured to the highest of standards. I hope to continue adding value to this esteemed institution.”

industry updates

Sylvania launches a game-changing range of innovative lighting to rival conventional downlight

Concord Equinox – premium lighting luminaires, utilising a brand-new system of light refraction

England, 14th November 2022 – Today Sylvania launched its next generation of premium luminaires that uses QuarkStar’s award-winning light refraction technology. The Equinox, part of Concord by Sylvania range, delivers a high-end premium lighting solution that re-invents how downlights can be used by architects and lighting designers and revolutionises how spaces are lit.

With a choice of two position settings, extended or non-extended, the new system provides a way of controlling the light source in a highly decorative and innovative way. In a first-of-its-kind, light is refracted, not reflected, both downwards for a direct component and upwards onto the ceiling for an indirect component. This creates a halo effect which improves the ambience and avoids the dark, cave-like effect normally witnessed with conventional downlights. At the same time, it also lowers the contrast which would otherwise result in discomfort glare. Thanks to Sylvania’s SylSmart Standalone wireless controls, users can benefit from quick and easy app programming that enables lighting to be changed at the touch of a button.

“The ability to minimise dark ceilings, entirely changing the ambience of a room whilst beautifully illuminating the space, is unique to Equinox and is a game-changer for the industry,” explains Agnieszka Paprocka, Senior Product Line Manager – EMEA for Sylvania.

QuarkStar’s light refraction technology allows, for the first time, an indirect component to be integrated into a downlight without supplementary optics. This results in a sleek, discreet, and polished design that also produces a tailored distribution with a UGR (Unified Glare Rating) of less than 19, putting Equinox in the highest quality classification in European interior lighting standards. The radically new way of coupling an optic to a waveguide is what enables this unprecedented control over the photon as soon as it emerges from the LED chip, maximising light extraction efficiency while sculpting the light in three-dimensional space.

Paprocka adds: “Unlike conventional waveguide products, Equinox does not use the waveguide as a light-emitting surface. Instead, the waveguide acts solely as a guide and mixing chamber. This ultra-low glare, space-enhancing product can either be recessed completely to create a minimalistic edge of light, or it could be in full drop-down view, yielding the ultimate in light distribution from a compact form factor that augments the sense of space. In both instances, the very high purity and clarity of the optic means the light source virtually disappears into a ceiling installation.”

Equinox has been designed to offer an alternative to traditional downlights, matching their conventional sizes, but providing direct and indirect light distribution. The luminaire offers trim and trimless versions for installation in plaster ceilings. It delivers up to 2500 lumens with low glare of UGR<19 and high efficiency of up to 125lm/W with CRI90 LED chips for excellent colour rendering.

industry updates

GVA Lighting solutions illuminate England’s second oldest Cathedral

Rochester Cathedral, Rochester, England  

Rochester Cathedral is a Grade I listed building and is England’s second oldest Cathedral having been founded in AD 604. Located in the heart of the town of Rochester on the banks of the River Medway, the Cathedral attracts worshippers from across the country as well as many visitors and tourists.

The cathedral has undergone a number of renovations, extensions and reconfiguration over its lifetime. Most recently, a holistic lighting scheme to bring together the exterior and interior of the Cathedral, was commissioned. The project also incorporates a wiring assessment, alongside the introduction of a lighting control system that is suited for the daily activities of the Cathedral as well as accommodating special or one-off events.

The new scheme was to replace the existing lighting at the Cathedral which was no longer fit for purpose. It was high in energy consumption, inefficient and unable to meet the demands of larger scale events such as concerts.

CES Lighting was appointed to the project as lighting designers, with the brief to produce detailed concepts for various elements of the interior and exterior of the Cathedral. As specialists in lighting design and electrical installation for churches and heritage buildings, CES Lighting were the ideal partner for the Rochester Cathedral project. CES Lighting worked closely with the architects, Thomas Ford Architects, throughout the duration of the project.

It was imperative that the lighting scheme and wiring were sympathetic to the form, function, and architecture of the Cathedral. It also needed to account for the different usage of the various areas of the religious building.

The design process was completed in early 2021, with the work not beginning until later that year. To ensure the design delivered everything the Cathedral needed and wanted, videos, demonstrations and innovations were all drawn upon as techniques by CES to explore a plethora of options and deliver the final scheme.

The installation works were extremely challenging due to the site being open every day. Furthermore, global shortages of LEDs, electronic components and metal supplies meant that materials were delayed. However, this did not cause any delays to the overall completion time of the project, which was finished on time and under budget.

As part of the brief RGBW lighting was required for the main Pulpit steps. This allows the Cathedral to be illuminated in different colors for a variety of purposes, including concerts, choral events, shows, drama activities and more. A significant number of manufacturers were looked at, and GVA Lighting’s architectural FL100-RGBW-IM finished in RAL1015 utilizing Color-Amp® award-winning technology was selected. This was due to GVA Lighting’s ability to provide the perfect balance of output, beam angle, cost, and aesthetics.

All of the internal LED luminaires are controlled from a centralised dimming system to enable synchronised dimming and to allow for holistic scene setting for service or events.

Control of the dimming system is achieved through a wall-mounted button plate with each button recalling a pre-set scene.

The Cathedral is now more energy efficient which delivers both cost and energy savings. Furthermore, it is able to meet the demands of its wide range of day-to-day activities as well as larger, one-off events.

Project credits: 

Lighting Designer: CES Lighting

Architects: Thomas Ford Architects

Photographer: Nikhilesh Haval

industry updates

Mackwell drives forward the Circular Economy message

Emergency lighting, systems and solutions expert Mackwell recently held a well-attended webinar offering expert insights into ‘Seamless and Scalable Emergency Lighting Ecosystems’.


Attendees were welcomed by Rene Joppi, Managing Director of Mackwell.

The keynote address was delivered by renowned industry expert Bob Bohannon, Head of Policy & Academy at the LIA. Bob explored the Circular Economy and Emergency Lighting, beginning with an overview of the problems caused by the existing linear approach to the product lifecycle.

The presentation then looked at the benefits of the Circular Economy, which keeps lighting at its most valuable for as long as possible. Bob shared his expert knowledge on the subject and offered practical steps that can be taken. This includes how to secure the best life of a battery – do not overcharge, consider your battery charging algorithm and not to keep disconnecting the supply and fully discharging.

Bob advised participants of the important role that CIBSE’s Technical Memorandum TM66 and Circular Economy Assessment Method play in offering advice and guidance to the emergency lighting sector.

Webinar attendees also heard an overview of Mackwell’s new product launches. The new NLight® Ecosystem is a complete, scalable and integrated monitoring solution for Mackwell emergency systems. It allows wired and wireless monitoring, as well as cloud connectivity in one system. This means clients can get everything they need from the Mackwell NLight® Ecosystem.

As part of the Ecosystem, Mackwell has launched the NLight® CONNECT+ that delivers live status, diagnosis, automatic monitoring and testing. Also in the Ecosystem are the NLight® AIR, a wireless counterpart of the CONNECT+; and the NLight®  Cloud, an optional remote monitoring service that is fully compatible with the other elements.

Moving onto batteries, Mackwell unveiled the MW-LiFe, Mackwell’s new intelligent and safe LiFePO4 lithium battery technology platform. Offering temperature feedback and control to ensure maximum safety, the MW-LiFe is compatible with the ORIGIN 2.0 operating system for intelligent charging and battery management.

Customers can alternatively choose the Mackwell Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery; a highly sustainable, recyclable and safe option.

Regardless of whether MW-LiFe or NiMH technology is chosen, the battery will be backed up by Mackwell’s 6 years+ warranty covering luminaire driver and battery.

Mackwell also used the webinar to launch the new XYLUX LRX range of recessed emergency luminaires. With the options ranging from 200 lumens to 900 lumens, the LRX range offers interchangeable optics for open area, escape route or emphasis point applications. IP65 options are available, as are standard, DALI and NLight® AIR wireless variants.

As an alternative to this, while offering the same benefits, the XYLUX LSX range is a new collection of surface mounted luminaires with compact, attractive design and IP65 ingress protection throughout..

Mackwell’s XYLUX TRACK-X range of popular track emergency luminaires has also been upgraded and expanded. All versions now have a choice of MW-LiFe or NiMH batteries, with an extended warranty. There are two form factors, depending on track type and control protocol. 

Adding to the extensive catalogue of product launches, the XYVEX Exit Signs range has now been updated to offer all versions with a choice of MW-LiFe or NiMH batteries with the extended warranty. The new EXD range incorporates the original XYVEX format with a new BESA mount option with NLight® AIR wireless capability. Recessed, semi-recessed, wall, ceiling and suspended options are all available.

Mackwell will be hosting an in-person event in London soon, where delegates will be able to hear from experts on key topics in the emergency lighting sector. The date is to be confirmed and will be announced on Mackwell’s website and social media channels.

industry updates

Lutron takes the London spotlight with Luxury Home Open Doors Event

Lutron’s latest event brought together UK residential design pioneers to experience the power of light

London, UK, 4th November 2022: This week, Lutron Electronics, leader in architectural lighting and shading solutions, hosted an exclusive event for top interior designers, architects, and lighting designers in London’s luxury residential sector. This event was a continuation of Lutron’s mission to nurture the UK’s design industry, and thus building a community of design excellence. Guests came together to explore the power of light in action within the luxury home in Kensington, enhanced by Lutron’s state-of-the-art lighting and shading control solutions. These included Lutron’s Alisse wall controls – an elegant and versatile solution, transforming the atmosphere of this luxury house at the touch of button.

Bringing together leading names in the UK luxury residential sector, the event was hosted in partnership with Studio Indigo, a prestigious, UK-based interior design and architecture firm. Held at the stunning Kensington VI, a model example of the studio’s approach to technology-infused design, attendees also gained insight from high-end construction experts Seacon, award-winning home-automation leaders and Lutron-approved installer Cornflake, and LDI, one of the world’s most innovative lighting designers.

Part of its ongoing commitment to providing experiences that spark creativity and empower innovation, this latest event follows Lutron’s series of Prismatic experiential and immersive showcases. Designers and architects in London, Manchester, Paris, Madrid, and Milan had the opportunity to experience the transformation light brings to the built environment. Offering RIBA and BIID-approved Continued Professional Development (CPD) opportunities, Lutron provides a host of opportunities for designers to build on their knowledge of the latest in lighting design, including topics such as Transforming Space with Light and Living in a Material World.

Reflecting on the exclusive event, Kiana Pourrahimi, UK Sales Director for Residential Products at Lutron, commented:

“We are constantly seeking ways to bring the very best of the design community together to share creative approaches and are delighted with the response we’ve received through our Luxury House Open Doors event. This unconventional event provided a fantastic opportunity for professionals to gain a unique insider’s view of one of the finest homes in London, to share their approach to residential design and to explore why lighting and shading is such a fundamental part of any home. This meeting of minds demonstrated the transformative potential of innovative lighting control in today’s best residential projects. We look forward to expanding our creative community further, with the help of our inspiring partners.”


Creatives seeking inspiration can also visit Lutron’s impeccably designed London Experience Centre. Showcasing the best in lighting and shading control systems for commercial and residential environments, it features unique lighting and blind control solutions, harnessing Lutron innovations to accent décor, create specific moods, improve productivity, and promote energy saving. The Lutron Experience Centre is available to explore alongside Lutron specialists and for private tours with clients.

industry updates

Mackwell’s N-Light CONNECT+ Crowned Lighting Controls Product of the Year at Electrical Industry Awards

Emergency lighting, systems and solutions expert Mackwell are celebrating as they take home a prestigious Electrical Industry Award for their innovative lighting control product, the N-Light CONNECT+.

Now in its 30th year, The Electrical Industry Awards celebrates the best of the electrical industry and its professionals, and has rewarded Mackwell on its technical innovation. Mackwell are proud winners of the Lighting Controls Product of the Year Award, for their N-Light CONNECT+ emergency lighting test and monitoring system.

Their winning entry demonstrated the scalability of N-Light, a suite of integrated monitoring solutions for emergency lighting installations that provides wired and wireless monitoring as well as cloud connectivity all in one ecosystem. Using DALI controls and intuitive interfaces, a single touch panel can control up to 1024 devices.

Cloud monitoring provides online reports and real-time system updates, improving the speed and accuracy of fault detection. It provides an advantage that was not available before: being able to view the status of emergency installations across an entire estate at any time, from anywhere – all on one single interface.

This innovative product has provided a solution to the challenges faced by facilities management teams in buildings and across estates without an automated system in place, removing the need for time-consuming manual testing, and making emergency lighting testing safer and more efficient. This system provides a solution across small to large scale emergency lighting projects, ideal for multi-site support, larger buildings, complete estates and retrofitting to existing buildings.

Rene Joppi, Managing Director of Mackwell, said: “We are thrilled to have won an Electrical Industry Award, and for our N-Light CONNECT+ to have been recognised as Lighting Product of the Year for controls. We strive to provide innovative solutions to industry challenges and to make emergency lighting testing safer and more efficient for the industry as a whole. We could not be more proud that the N-Light CONNECT+ is improving emergency testing in new and existing buildings through pioneering new technologies.” 

This win is a second for Mackwell in recent weeks, following the achievement of gold at the Build Back Better Awards, also for the N-Light CONNECT+ system. This award-winning product is shaping the future of emergency lighting testing.

industry updates

Community Eco Hub Wins Ansell’s Shine A Light Campaign

  • Project will benefit from a £5k lighting installation

A project fighting social isolation in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey has been revealed as the winner of the Ansell Lighting Shine A Light campaign.

Elmbridge Community Eco Hub, which provides a multi-functional safe space and range of community minded activities, secured a huge 40% of the public vote and will now receive a lighting installation prize worth up to £5k from Ansell.

The campaign, which aimed to recognise and reward the work of community organisations that provide vital support and services, received nominations from across the country and attracted more than 3,000 votes for the shortlisted projects.

The Elmbridge Community Eco Hub is a not for profit, volunteer led organisation started by Mick Tumilty, who originally came up with idea of having a Library of Things, where people could borrow tools and equipment they didn’t own themselves. But he also wanted to foster a greater community spirit, reduce social isolation and try to reduce waste.

Since the Hub opened in a 200-year-old former stable block just eight months ago it has had 6,000 visitors pass through the door and is run by a dedicated team of 60 volunteers. The initiatives now include a very successful community fridge; regular repair café; seed bank; book, boardgame and jigsaw swaps; skill share and litter picking sessions, plus a huge community garden.

But the lighting in the Hub is old and ineffective – consisting of just one tube light – and Mick is also keen to introduce lighting in the community garden so it can be used for longer and more safely.

Mick said: “After almost two years of isolation due to lockdowns, it was very clear that local people wanted to feel part of something, needed a focus and a reason to recreate that sense of community. The Hub has been a huge success so far and we have great ambitions to continue to develop our offering. But the inadequate lighting means currently we have to close at 4pm and the garden can only be used or worked on in daylight hours.

“Winning Shine A Light will transform what we can offer and when, and really support our future plans. As an Eco organisation, having green, energy efficient lighting will be amazing and we are so grateful to everyone who supported us and voted for us.”

Elmbridge, which beat off competition from Spark Community Space, in Southsea, Portsmouth, Cleethorpes Band in North East Lincolnshire and From Tiny Seeds Community Interest Company in Holmfirth, Huddersfield, will now receive a lighting consultation and design from Ansell’s team of experts,  Ansell products and a contribution of up to £2,000 towards installation by an approved electrician.

Mark Abbott, Managing Director at Ansell Lighting, said: “Elmbridge Community Eco Hub is clearly at the very heart of its community and it is amazing to see what they have already achieved in a relatively short amount of time. We are looking forward to seeing how Shine A Light can help take the project to the next level.

“In our 30th year we felt it was important to give something back to communities that have faced tough times in the last few years. We want to thank everyone who has supported the campaign – from our wholesalers and installers, through to the communities that voted.”

industry updates

Rako takes home best hardware award at the CEDIA awards

Rako, Britain’s leading smart lighting controls manufacturer, has triumphed at the CEDIA EMEA Awards this year with its high quality Modular WK-MOD and RK-MOD keypads winning the Best Hardware category. Held on Friday 14th October at The Brewery, London, the CEDIA Awards honour the top projects, products, and individuals in the home technology industry.

“To win an award for our Modular Keypads was a fantastic achievement for everyone at Rako,” comments Paul Wafer, Director at Rako. “The CEDIA awards recognise quality innovations for our industry and to be acknowledged as the Best Hardware product in a very competitive category is a terrific accolade. It was also great to catch up with friends and colleagues at the event and we are already looking forward to next year’s event!”


The Modular WK-MOD and RK-MOD keypads for wired and wireless systems are designed to offer a premium quality aesthetic with the user experience optimised by a comforting, robust and tactile button press.  Capable of accommodating up to 12 push buttons in a variety of lighting, shading and audio control configurations, the range features three different button sizes which can be combined in multiple ways to create custom button layouts, perfectly tailored to an installation.


All Modular keypads are available with black buttons and seven hand-finished metal surrounds – satin chrome, polished chrome, antique brass, polished brass, matt black, matt bronze and matt white. Designed to be flush mounted into a UK, single gang back box, installation and set-up is simple using Rako’s Rasoft Pro software and NFC for wireless keypads.


In summary, the Modular range offers unrivalled customisation and a premium finish that sets them apart from the competition.

industry updates

Ansell Unveils Siipa…


  • Stylish new recessed modular light features innovative curved diffuser

Available in both Solo and Dual designs, Siipa is a brand new recessed modular light from Ansell Lighting.

TP(a) rated, the luminaire meets building regulations for ceilings and is ideal for installation in offices and other commercial settings.

Innovatively styled, Siipa features a unique curved diffuser, adding an extra dimension of style to the luminaire’s overall minimal aesthetic. It is also UGR<19 compliant, delivering low glare, visual comfort for building occupants,

Selectable between 3000K, 4000K and 6500K, Siipa features CCT technology enabling colour temperature to be set to a choice of different hues dependent on user preference. It is also energy efficient, with the Solo luminaire delivering 122 lm/W and the Dual delivering 119 lm/W.

Mark Abbott, Managing Director at Ansell Lighting said: “Our new Siipa recessed modular lights are a stylish addition to any commercial space. Combined with the excellent level of illumination they emit, low level of glare produced and their efficacy, they tick all of the boxes required by lighting designers and building users/operators.

“Enhancing their functionality, Siipa products are also available with a range of additional options such as OCTO Smart Control and Digital Dimming. Three Emergency models are also available – Emergency, Emergency Self-Test and DALI Emergency.”