industry updates

Iconic new public artwork revealed at Brent Cross town

Innovative approach to ‘wrap’ Brent Cross Town’s new electrical substation creates one of the UK’s largest public artworks and a new landmark for London 

Brent Cross Town, one of the largest urban regeneration projects in Europe, today unveils a new 21-metre-high and 52-metre-long permanent public artwork. The artwork has been created by celebrated London-based artist Lakwena and architects IF_DO, and is formed of a ‘wrap’ around the new electrical substation for Brent Cross Town.

The exuberant colour scheme and vast scale of the artwork, which at its highest point is taller than the Angel of the North (at 20 metres), ensures that it will become a new local landmark. The artwork, titled “Here we come, here we rise”, sits next to London’s A406 North Circular at the junction with the M1 motorway, and adjacent to both the Thameslink railway line that connects central London with the home counties north of the city, and the new Brent Cross West station, which is due to open this year. It is estimated that some six million people each year will see it from the road and rail alone.

Lakwena, who is known for her joyful technicolour murals and graphical text poetry, has applied her signature colour, pattern and language to the design. The inspirational statement “Here we come, Here we rise and shine” reflects the ambition to inspire and bring people together in the local community.

Working with Lakwena, IF_DO created a unique structure and façade design comprised of four undulating bands and triangular-shaped “lenticular” panels that create a kaleidoscopic visual effect to emphasise the idea of movement as viewers move around the structure. Lakwena and IF_DO drew on influences as varied as Eadweard Muybridge’s motion studies and historic forms of roadside structures, such as billboards, funfairs and industrial sites that make use of a skeletal frame supporting a brightly coloured skin.

Brent Cross Town, which is being delivered in partnership by Related Argent and Barnet Council, is being designed to be a net zero carbon development by 2030, and investment in efficient new infrastructure is a key part of this. The substation will supply electricity to all of Brent Cross Town, including the 6,700 new homes, 3 million sq ft of offices and new retail and leisure spaces, as well as to the low-carbon district heating/cooling networks operated by Swedish energy company Vattenfall. Brent Cross Town will source all electricity supplies within its control from 100% renewables sources.

In addition to being a colourful and dynamic beacon for north London, the electrical substation is also notable for its sustainable innovations.  Global engineers, Arup, led the design team with a focus on minimising the environmental impact of the structure. The project puts circular economy principles into action with circa 50% of the structural steel being salvaged from unused oil pipelines, reducing embodied carbon emissions by over 40%. The concrete used is a combination of low cement concrete and the new ‘Earth Friendly Concrete’ – a cement-free concrete. Using these alternative concrete mixes saves up to 33% and 70% of embodied carbon respectively compared to standard mixes.

Galldris were the main contractor responsible for the delivery of the overall project, undertaking the civil engineering, working with Bourne Group, the specialist technology-led construction engineering company, to deliver the wrap. Bourne Group also worked closely with Arup to progress the design philosophy into a solution that could be efficiently fabricated and constructed, and undertook the project’s steelwork construction. TPS Project Management, acting as project manager, supported on delivery overseeing design management and construction of the wrap, substation and off-site reinforcement.

Lighting plays a key part in the design of the artwork and specialists Michael Grubb Studio designed the lighting scheme to be discreet and attract attention to the artwork during the day and at night. The lighting creates a halo around the façade’s wrap which filters down through the structure, allowing the light to fade away at lower level.

The project has also brought back to life a piece of brownfield, ex-industrial land with the creation of a newly landscaped embankment designed by Gillespies Landscape Architects. Newly planted trees and wildflower meadow provides a naturalistic setting to the artwork, as well as increasing site biodiversity, enhancing local wildlife corridors and tying in with the wider network of green infrastructure within the masterplan and surrounding area.

The launch of the new public artwork adds to the growing momentum behind Brent Cross Town with affordable, student and homes to buy all under construction, and the recent announcement that Sheffield Hallam will open its first campus outside of Sheffield at the new town.

Nick Searl, Partner at Related Argent, commented: “This amazing piece of public art, designed in collaboration between artist Lakwena and architect IF_DO, is set to become a great landmark for London in this highly visible location. It sets the tone for the wider Brent Cross Town neighbourhood and demonstrates our commitment to art, culture and low carbon development. It would have been easy to take the more traditional route of enclosing the substation in a nondescript box and to miss the opportunity that is now so evident. Instead, we have demonstrated that even the most functional pieces of infrastructure can play an important role in defining place and lifting the spirits.”

Councillor Barry Rawlings, Leader of Barnet Council, said: “We are investing in public art across Barnet because we recognise the potential to improve the wellbeing of our people and its positive role in building a sense of place. Not only will this iconic large-scale artwork put Brent Cross Town on the map, but it also showcases a talented London artist, and wraps an important piece of sustainable infrastructure that is key to meeting Brent Cross Town’s aspirations to achieve net zero Carbon by 2030 – this really is green innovation and creativity at its best.”

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “Lakwena has created an incredible artwork that brings together creativity and sustainability and will be enjoyed by millions of people. London is a world class cultural capital and this major addition to our public realm in the heart of Brent Cross is another example of how we’re working together to build a better London for everyone.”  

Lakwena, the artist, said:“The key pledges of the Brent Cross Town development highlight a commitment to play, inclusivity, sustainability and connectivity. All of these themes are expressed through a messaging approach which alludes to movement, togetherness, ambition and a sense of newness.”

Sarah Castle, Director at IF_DO, said“It is rare to have the opportunity to work on a project of the scale and ambition of this, and to be able to realise it with such conceptual purity. Combining architecture, infrastructure and art, it has been a wonderfully collaborative process from the start, with IF_DO manipulating form and shape, and Lakwena exploring colour and poetry. The structure is inspired by movement: it is designed to be viewed both in motion by the millions that pass the site by train and by road, and to convey a sense of motion as it is viewed from across the neighbourhood. The architectural wrap transforms utilitarian infrastructure into a major new landmark for Brent Cross that celebrates the spirit of the local community.” 

Ben Glover, Associate Director, Waste and Energy Buildings Business Leader at Arup, added: “Brent Cross Town’s substation presented a unique opportunity to be part of a project which equally prioritises environmental, social and economic factors – driving sustainable development. By choosing materials based on their carbon impact, reusing materials and reducing waste, we’re proud to have met this challenge with circular economy principles and deliver a net-zero substation for the development.”


Full project team 

Project Manager – TPS Project Management LLP

Cost Consultant & Employers Agent – Gardiner & Theobald

Civil, Structural, MEP, VT, Acoustic, Fire Engineer, Sustainability, Utilities and Infrastructure Engineer – Arup

Architect – IF_DO

Landscape Architect – Gillespies

Executive Lighting Consultants – Michael Grubb Studio

Lighting Controls Designer – Control Lighting

Client Planning Consultant – Carney Sweeney

Off-Site Re-Enforcement, PSS Fit-Out and Power Supplier – Power On

Client BIM Advisor – PCSG

Client CDM Advisor – BCAL

Infrastructure Contractor – Galldris

Wrap Contractor – Bourne Group



industry updates

Recolight Celebrates a year of Circular activity

During 2022, Recolight has been working hard to help get sustainability and climate action higher on the agenda.

In January they set a target of reducing their carbon emissions by 10% in 2022.

In March their 2022 webinar series started. Topics covered included “How to be a sustainable lighting manufacturer”, “Remanufacture of lighting equipment”, and “Six lights for a sustainable future”. Hosted by Ray Molony, they were attended/listened in by over 1500 delegates.

In April their first ever training workshops were launched “Lighting product design for a circular economy”.  Developed and delivered by Simon Fisher of F-Mark, the workshops ran on 6 occasions with 64 delegates, including two company-specific events.

Recolight launched the Circular Lighting Report in June. Edited by Ray Molony, it is a dedicated, independent information channel covering all matters related to sustainability for the lighting industry. In six months there have been over 100 posts, and 1500 followers on LinkedIn.

In September Circular Lighting Live was a sell out success with 225 delegates, 25 panellists and speakers, and 15 corporate sponsors. The packed agenda covered: EU and UK legislation,  environmental metrics, including assessments of circularity (TM66), embodied carbon (TM65), environmental product declarations, life cycle assessments, and practical discussions included how to encourage more remanufacture and reuse in the lighting sector.

During the course of the year 21 companies joined the Recolight WEEE scheme for compliance in 2022 and/or 2023.

Commenting on the year, Recolight CEO Nigel Harvey said “I am thrilled by the way the Recolight team has helped to drive sustainability up the agenda for the lighting industry.

industry updates

LEDFlex Lights Up New Year Fitness at 1Rebel Dubai

Located in Dubai’s premier lifestyle and business destination, ICD Brookfield Place, 1Rebel has brought the most luxurious fitness destination to the region. The 11,500 sq. ft space features two beautifully crafted studios where 1Rebel’s famous full-body classes will take place, and an open gym with over 100 pieces of premium equipment. The gym is known for its nightclub aesthetic, featuring dark rooms with dynamic LED lighting and innovative design, for an exciting atmosphere that gets the blood pumping.

Interior Design practice AAID appointed SoMA Lighting for the lighting design, and they specified bespoke lighting solutions from leading lighting manufacturer LEDFlex Group to fit the brief. The aim was to provide RGB lights with DMX controls to create dynamic lighting displays. LEDFlex Ultra Bright in 120 RGB and Pro Profile 3409 Grey were selected as inground and wall lights and placed throughout the corridors. The lighting was controlled with the LEDFlex Flex Drive 180D controller – this allowed the whole gym to be synchronized to an AV system for all RGB lighting, music, and signage to be programmed and controlled via DMX control.

The dynamic lighting design created a modern gym-slash-nightclub feel, enveloping the entire space, from the studios to the changing rooms, in an exhilarating, colour-changing environment.

Rich Semple, Founder of SoMA Lighting, said: “The lighting and control solutions provided by LEDFlex were the perfect match for our lighting design and allowed us to meet the brief perfectly to exceed the client’s expectations. The RGB lighting produced an exciting, dynamic atmosphere which brings the studio to life, and the Flex Drive controller offered the ultimate control and flexibility to create various displays and shows to match the vibe of different classes and workouts.”

The lighting plays an important role in motivating and exciting gymgoers, providing the ultimate environment for a fun and luxurious workout in the heart of Dubai.

industry updates

White Light Certifies as a B Corporation

Following a rigorous assessment, technical solutions specialist White Light (WL) is now a certified B Corporation (B Corp), joining a socially and environmentally conscious movement of 1000 UK-based and over 6000 companies worldwide. This news comes just a few months after WL gained ISO14001 accreditation – the international standard for environmental management systems (EMS).

B Corp was conceived in 2006 by B Lab – the non-profit network transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities and the planet. As such, the certification process comprehensively evaluates a business’s sustainability practices. Certified B Corporations, or B Corps, are companies verified by B Lab to meet high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability. WL’s commitment to operating its business as a force for good was rewarded with an Overall B Impact Score of 88.8. While 80 qualifies for certification, the median score for ordinary businesses completing assessment is currently 50.9.

At the heart of B Corp’s ethos is a Theory of Change, guiding a mission to transform the economic system into a more inclusive, equitable, and regenerative global economy. WL’s Managing Director, Bryan Raven comments: “Having first been introduced to B Corp whilst undertaking the ISO14001 accreditation process, we soon realised that we wouldn’t have to change any of our behaviours or policies to qualify – we would just have to formalise them. B Corp’s mission aligns perfectly with our own, to work as one to grow a profitable and sustainable business with an international reputation for excellence. After an extensive analysis of every element of our governance as a responsible business, we’re delighted to have joined this community working together to change the economy for the better. This is not a short-term exercise in sustainability measures, this is a driving force for long-term accountability and ownership of these values by every stakeholder in our business.”

Chris Turner, Executive Director of B Lab UK, says “We are delighted to welcome White Light to the B Corp community. This is a movement of companies who are committed to changing how business operates and believe business really can be a force for good. We know that WL is going to be a fantastic addition to the community and will continue driving the conversation forward.”

B Corporation certification is valid for three years, during which WL is fully committed to striving for continuous improvement, leading to recertification under even higher standards.

industry updates

Ansell Lighting unveils enhanced Prism Pro range

Ansell Lighting has significantly enhanced its Prism Pro fire rated (FRD) downlight range with a series of new options offering ultimate user choice and control.

All products in the Prism Pro range – which includes the Downlight, Gimbal,  and Anti-Glare– will benefit from the improvements.

The improvements include increased choice in CCT selection, with products being available in 2,700, 3,000, 4,000, and 6000K options.

In another first, Ansell has introduced selectable wattage – between 5W and 7W – on the downlight element of all products, with the switch to change the wattage located on the downlight element itself.

All Prism Pro products also now come with Ansell’s innovative detachable connector.

This enables the installer to complete the initial wiring and circuit testing using the detachable connector, before installing the actual downlight, ensuring a quick and simple installation.

Mark Abbott, Managing Director at Ansell Lighting said: “Our lighting design engineers strive to build usability and functionality into our products at the outset, and continue to improve and enhance them wherever feasible.

“The new functions are highly beneficial additions to the Prism Pro range and will deliver outstanding added value to installers and retailers.”

Prism Pro FRD fire ratings meet Part C (moisture), Part E (acoustic) and Part L (energy efficiency) of building regulations when installed in Solid Timber, I-joist and Metal Web ceilings.

Ansell also offers the Prism Pro LED Trimless Bezel Kit, which can be used to transform the downlight into hidden fixtures that sit seamlessly in ceiling recesses.

industry updates

Lodes expands the Volum collection in collaboration with Snøhetta

Lodes has renewed its collaboration with Norwegian architecture and design studio, Snøhetta, to expand the Volum collection.

Following the launch of the Volum pendant lamp last year, the collection has been revisited to include new ceiling, wall and table lamps, comprising a series of glass lamps that are poetically simple yet complex in its technically driven solution.

Volum pays homage to the Italian tradition of globe-shaped glass lamps and the wider glassblowing process that morphs glass into naturally imperfect shapes. Simultaneously, it exemplifies the modern architectural sensibilities of the Oslo-based designers.

Volum glows uniformly in all directions providing a calming and coherent radiance. Snøhetta was inspired by the architectural need for a contextually adaptable and scalable light and consequently created four blown glass lamps, measuring 14 cm, 22 cm, 29 cm and 42 cm (diameter), which can stand alone or in a group, complementing each other intuitively and harmoniously. The new additions also feature new functions, exploring the concept of 360° lighting in diverse spaces.

In its table lamp form, Volum features a dimmer that allows users to adjust the intensity of the light to enhance mood and atmosphere. Its clean aesthetic suits a range of applications – ideal for domestic use as well as for public spaces, such as in a lobby or hotel room.*

The new ceiling and wall-mounted versions have an IP 54 rating, which guarantees protection against external agents such as dust or splashing water. This durability allows the new Volum additions to be used in humid environments such as in a bathroom or inside a spa. Furthermore, there is also an option to attach a flange on the back of the base, in order to fix the lamp on mirrored surfaces, creating bespoke lighting compositions.

Volum is completed in a glossy white finish that offers a decorative touch due to the reflections shown on its surface. Its discreet design hides a diffuser and frame within the globe, which illuminates the silicone base.

The latest products can meet challenging and specific design requirements – Volum represents another step in Lodes’ ongoing exploration of the relationship between lighting, space and the ways in which individuals interacts with these elements.

Marius Myking, Director of Product Design at Snøhetta comments: “The Volum series balances technical solutions with the human craft of glassmaking. This in turn has led to one of Lodes´most versatile lighting product to date, ensuring the potential for holistic yet functional lighting scenarios, across the various spaces that we inhabit.”

industry updates

LEDFlex Expands Operations with New Winchester Facility

Linear lighting experts LEDFlex Group are thrilled to announce the expansion of its existing operations in the UK with the opening of a new production facility in Winchester, Hampshire.

The Winchester facility is home to a larger warehouse and four times the office space of the London headquarters, allowing LEDFlex to expand on its services and host a growing team of lighting experts. The new expansion features stellar facilities to accommodate larger scaled projects, increased space for production and machinery to automate processes, and further unique LED customisations. The space also provides improved storage space, allowing the company to undertake larger orders.

London, where the company was formed, still acts as the heart of LEDFlex’s operations, yet the new expansion is testament to the brand’s growing presence and ability to cater to clients across the globe.

Andrew Greenwood, Technical Director at LEDFlex Group, will be leading on operations in Winchester. Speaking of this new venture, he said: “I’m very excited to be heading up this new expansion in Hampshire. I am thrilled to see the company continue to flourish by growing and developing our reputation and presence across the UK. The larger production facility will ensure that we can fulfil more client needs and meet further customisation requests, for clients both in the UK and across the globe, far and wide.”

The Winchester expansions follows LEDFlex’s expansion of its operations in the Middle East in February 2022, with the opening of an experience studio in Dubai. LEDFlex made the investment in its Middle East presence in response to growing interest in its product range across the region. This further expansion in the UK aims to secure LEDFlex as a brand with a global presence.

The new location is Secure House, Unit D Moorside Road, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 7RX.

industry updates

Pharos announces new CEO

Lighting controls specialist Pharos Architectural Controls has announced the appointment of Simon Hicks as its new Chief Executive Officer. Simon takes over from Chris Hunt, a founder of the company, who will continue to serve as Chief Financial Officer of Pharos.

Chris comments, “Simon is the right person to be leading Pharos into its next phase of growth. He has been at the centre of our product innovation and development for many years now, resulting in the expansion of the company’s product portfolio, which now includes our new Expert range, our rebranded Designer range and our remote management solution – Cloud. It’s an exciting time for the business, and with Simon’s appointment Pharos will be in the best possible position as it prepares for significant growth during 2023 and beyond.”

Simon’s extensive experience in the sector spans 20 years and has featured several roles with Pharos and its suppliers, including when he led the team to develop Pharos Cloud under the SixEye brand. He has held executive positions on the board of Pharos for a number of years already, first as Technical Director in 2012 and more recently as Product & Marketing Director.

Speaking about his appointment, Simon Hicks said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to serve as CEO of Pharos and I’m looking forward to working with our fantastic team and supporting our customers as we execute on our ambitious growth strategy over the next 3 years. I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved so far and the new Expert range is a great example of the innovation and teamwork within Pharos that remains strong to this day.” 

industry updates

12 January 2022 RAKO sets the scene for abletrics

Bristol based lighting specialist, Ablectrics has partnered with award winning integrator Cinemaworks and leading manufacturer of lighting controls Rako, to curate the perfect home cinema demo room at its Bristol showroom.

After moving into its new showroom in April, Ablectrics decided to expand its business into cinema design after noting the demand from customers for luxurious spaces in their homes. The cinema demo room was designed to push the limits of performance. Speakers are angled in the walls to crossfire sound at the central seating area with cutting edge lighting utilising new digital pixel RGB LED tape, all brought to life with Rako’s award winning Modular keypads.

The lighting scheme was designed to create various scenes giving the ultimate customisable cinema experience, no matter what is being watched. The lighting control solution needed to deliver the wide range of capabilities in a simple sleek design, which prospective clients could see being a stylish addition to their homes as well as easy to use.

Director of Ablectrics, Fraser Besant, talks through the planning for curating the cinema room, “We partnered with Cinemaworks, as Owen Maddock, the owner, is recognised globally as one of the best home cinema designers, so if he designs a room for you, it will be special. When we delved into the design, we knew we needed our lighting to deliver tailored scenes that could draw you into whatever you are watching. Having years of experience working with Rako, we chose the wireless system as we knew it would be easy to install and provide exceptional reliability. Whilst it does its real hard work in the demo room, we also used it to light the rest of the showroom.”

Owen Maddock, owner of Cinema works adds “Fraser is the king of lighting in Bristol and his showroom is already incredible, so we knew the lighting in our cinema had to be noteworthy. He’s got 15 years of lighting experience and I’ve been doing home cinema even longer than that, so we worked closely together on the design, and it came out incredibly well, with the pixel lights adding that final bit of magic. Having Rako onboard to control it just makes everything really easy, for us and for the clients.

In the cinema room, the Rako Modular keypad with modern stainless-steel surround is used to seamlessly control all aspects of the lighting design with a mix of RLED30CV4s, RMT500s and RMS800s.  The Rako RK-Hub provides native app control and third-party integration into the Savant system which enables Rako’s keypad to activate not only the lights but also the sound system and projector, creating the perfect blend of sight, sound, and cinema.

The Modular keypads have been programmed for bespoke scenes including Film, Sport, Kids and Action to demonstrate what is possible.  Each setting provides a unique atmosphere, changing the coloured LED pixel tape so that the lighting perfectly enhances the viewing experience. With additional customisable controls including adjusting the brightness, users can set the scene at the push of a button.

Fraser Besant concludes, “when you go to a normal cinema with 100+ seats it is not possible to take so much care and time with the experience, there are too many ears. Building a family cinema room, you can really push the limits and performance. We are so excited with what we’ve been able to achieve with Rako.”

industry updates

Lucent Lighting Illuminates The Cut & Craft, Leeds

The Cut & Craft is a luxurious all-day dining experience, located in the iconic Victoria Quarter, which is promising to transform Leeds’s casual premium dining scene. Offering a delicious array of fare from its famous Flat Iron Steak, classic mains, and bespoke hand-crafted cocktails, beers, and wines, The Cut & Craft is the ultimate spot for accessible all-day dining and elegant evening meals.

Formerly home to Collinson’s Café – where Titanic band master Wallace Hartley played shortly before boarding the ill-fated liner – the stunning building hosts iconic architectural features that has been sensitively incorporated into the design, including the beautiful domed ceiling and circular central bar.

In order to capture the ambience of grandeur and chic atmosphere, lighting designer Mistry Lighting appointed Lucent to provide innovative lighting solutions throughout the restaurant and bar spaces.

Krishna Mistry from Mistry Lighting Ltd explains: “The key aim of the lighting design was to create a beautiful space that can transition into a lively venue in the evening. It was also important to the client to celebrate the history of the site and the established branding of the restaurant, which provided some unique opportunities to play with light in order to create depth, texture and a sense of wonder in amongst the striking architectural features.”

Wallace Hartley’s legacy would also play a key role in the design concepts within the space, with interior designer Studio Two taking on the visual story of the bar and restaurant, which centred around The Titanic. The lighting complemented and accentuated the design features, which include sumptuous gold and brass fittings, deep oceanic hues, water-like metallics, crafted timbers and inviting textures.

The glass dome creates an iconic centre point for the space, in which Lucent’s experts were able to employ downlights around the structure’s underside to highlight its stunning curves and intricate glass panelling.

The use of ambient lighting in the seating areas beneath the dome bathes guests in a warm, golden glow that harks back to the romance and luxury of Titanic’s iconic décor.

The champagne bar, located on the first floor, is designed to represent The Pearl of the Ocean, using pearlescent wallpaper and back-lit onyx worktops. The standalone bar is illuminated in golden light, with stylishly inviting seating to draw in guests and create a show-stopping feature under the majestic dome. Amidst the bar, backlit shelves showcase sparkling glasses and bottles, drawing the eye and creating added depth and texture.

Giovanni Premi from Lucent, said: “The decadent architectural features and beautifully crafted fittings made this a dream brief for our team. Utilising cutting-edge lighting fixtures, we were able to achieve stunning results that blended the opulence and luxury of yesteryear with the chic modernity of a fresh, premium dining experience.

“We played with colour and shadows to enhance the brand experience for guests – highlighting the regal and striking blue shades selected by the interior designers in the reception, booth seating and bar areas.

“We wanted the lighting design to carefully accentuate every detail within the space – from the artwork on the walls – which we delicately enhanced with spotlighting – to the intimate mood lighting of the restrooms, which twinkles against the reflective ceiling to create an underwater effect.”

The result is a dynamic and creative lighting design, illuminating opulent features and rich decorative hues for a space that is impactful, atmospheric, and meets the brief perfectly to bring the history and luxury of The Cut & Craft to life.

Project credits:

Lighting Designer: Krishna Mistry, Mistry Lighting

Interior Designer: Studio Two Interior Design – Harrogate –

Electrical Contractor: D and A York Ltd

Photographer: Stevie Campbell