industry updates

ERCO: Human Centric Lighting at its best – Office Lighting for the new VicRoads Ringwood Customer Hub, Melbourne

Calm and professional: Human centric lighting sets the tone throughout the new VicRoads Ringwood Customer Hub, Melbourne

How do we want to work today? Over the past years, the requirements for modern working environments have changed rapidly – flexibility and comfort have become key factors when designing workspaces at the pulse of time. At the 14,000sqm new-build VicRoads Ringwood Customer Hub, with more than 1,000 public visits per week, service facilities are often bustling. Key to making the facility effective was to instil a sense of professionalism, calm and welcome.

According to Laurent Deleu, of multi-faceted engineering consultancy ADP, there was a major challenge his team faced in designing the lighting for the multiple office spaces: meeting the changing needs of the workplace environment and contemporary customer service, whilst adhering to tight sustainability targets set by the department for the entire project. ERCO’s human centric approach to lighting was the key. By incorporating lighting design into the architectural plan at the very earliest stages, they were able to deliver light of the right colour temperature and brightness exactly where the people using the space needed it, using fewer luminaires. “All light fittings chosen are flicker-free, high quality and highly efficient LEDs. They are controllable via a programmable, fully addressable lighting control and management system. Pre-set programs have been implemented along with presence detection to ensure lights are only on when needed. Distinct areas incorporate lighting control panels, and perimeter lighting adjacent to windows is connected to daylight sensors.”

Light for the way we work

The predominance of screen-based activity has changed the nature of work entirely. US research in 2022 found we now spend approximately 13 hours per day on screens – a considerable part of which is in the office. This work, conducted at a desk, demands looking ahead at a back-lit screen rather than down onto a desk surface. Bright walls have always played an important role in defining space, but with this change in the way we work, they are more important in an office space than ever. By keeping walls uniformly bright – as ADP have done here with ERCO Recessed Compact wallwashers – the screen-to-rear contrast is reduced, which is easier on the eyes.

Two further benefits of a perimeter lighting scheme are the ability to light what is on the wall – in this case whiteboards for brainstorming, storage cupboards, and artwork – and effective orientation. Vertical illuminance contributes significantly to the impression of brightness in a space and aids visual tasks in the vertical plane.

Accent lighting onto work surfaces remains an important complement to the ambience created by wallwashing. ADP chose ERCO Jilly Downlights for track, for flexibility, light quality, and glare-free louvre optics. Linear track with Jilly is installed above the permanent workstations in the open-plan office space; a complete rectangle of track means Jilly luminaires in the collaboration space can be moved around according to the needs of the users. This future-proofs the space should requirements change in keeping with the department’s commitments to sustainability and whole-of-life product use.


Starting from scratch on this new-build, ADP had the luxury of instilling cohesiveness into the lighting design. Light colour temperature and strength are consistent as you move throughout the space. As ADP’s Michael Abdilia adds, “Concealed light fittings and light sources create a high level of visual comfort, important to maintain staff wellbeing.”

Even dedicated spaces continue the aesthetic of the main office. The combination of vertical lighting, flexible ambient lighting and accent lighting can be easily adapted to special lighting tasks and activity: in the Board Room, Jilly for track illuminates the table surface gently while Optec spotlights define the traffic areas. To line the locker room, a small but super-clever inclusion in the end-of-trip facilities is the use of double focus Compact wallwashers. This allows you to illuminate two opposite walls with just one fixture. Clean, useful light is directed on the lock mechanisms and locker contents, but the absence of direct light from above leaves the space comfortable for staff to chat and enjoy their casual moments at either end of the day.

Customer comfort

The selected lighting design delivers the quintessential layers of light defined by Richard Kelly. Parscan wallwashers for track and discreet recessed Compar downlights provide general ambient light. Additional Parscan spotlights accent the service staff work surfaces as well as handy standing desks where customers can complete paperwork.

In conclusion, Deleu compares the outcomes for VicRoads with office lighting typical of the last 50 years. “Challenging the typical lighting approach was uncomfortable, but working with ERCO and visiting some exemplar projects helped cement that this was the right approach for VicRoads and lighting offices for the 21st century.” Excellent public feedback and a happy client prove that this was indeed public money, well spent.

industry updates


Rako, a leading manufacturer and supplier of wired and wireless smart lighting controls and systems, has lit up the gardens of Western Park, an opulent 17th century mansion in Shropshire, enhancing the natural beauty of the environment and bringing the elegant features of the building into focus.

The property, now owned by a charitable trust, hosts a variety of events, from business conferences to weddings, providing a stunning setting for all who visit. A recent lighting renovation project focused on replacing the outdated flood lights spilling from the roof with a bespoke solution tailored to highlight the impressive historical architecture and its surrounding grounds. Designed and installed by Noon Lighting Ltd, with fixtures provided by Lighting of London, the main entrance, south facing wing, orangery and Italian gardens have all been beautifully lit to emphasise the long-standing splendour of Western Park.

The purpose of the lighting scheme was to provide suitable visibility of the exterior of the building and its gardens, whilst also allowing the team at Western Park to personalise the space and curate the perfect atmosphere for any event. An important factor for consideration was that due to the historical importance of this Grade I listed building, there could be no interference or damage to the original structure. Additionally, to be in keeping with the property, the fittings needed to be as discrete as possible.

To overcome these unique challenges, Noon Lighting selected Rako for its ability to provide an entirely wireless solution, which allowed for complete control over the extensive lighting system, without requiring any invasive work to the building. The Rako Hub as well as a wide variety of wireless modules were utilised within the project, and Rako boosters ensured seamless communication across the project’s vast landscape.

Steve Noyes, creative director at Noon Lighting, comments, “it had to be Rako for the level of reliability and communication needed. The distances across the grounds meant that there were long ranges from transmitter to receiver. To ensure the system would be reliable once installed, Rako visited the site to carryout tests and check signal range to address any challenges raised by a building that’s over 300 years old and its sprawling grounds.”

Rako not only supported Noon Lighting through the practicalities of installation, but its products also made it possible to create personalised lighting effects, adding immense value to the client. Steve Noyes talks through the design process for the lighting, “we wanted to provide a lighting display which was not just an aesthetic addition, but also a tool to use, to give value to guests when they hire out the space for a multitude of different events. We designed it so the lighting colour could be tailored to a specific client, for example, it could match the colour of a specific brand. This subtle feature can provide a personal touch to these impressive grounds, whatever the occasion.”

Initially, the Rako system was programmed with 16 bespoke colours to be used throughout the year. This feature received such positive feedback from the customer, they requested more options. The Rako system was then adapted to allow the customer to scroll through a continuous colour system, providing easy control over the lighting system and the ambience desired.

Steve Noyes concludes, “the customer was delighted with the results we achieved at Western Park; it really wouldn’t have been possible without Rako. We are so pleased with what we were able to deliver to the customer, it couldn’t have been a more stunning location to design.”

industry updates

Join Pharos Architectural Controls in the Big Apple – LEDucation 2023

Lighting control specialist Pharos Architectural Controls is continuing its 2023 events calendar with attendance at LEDucation in March. Organised by the Designers Lighting Forum of New York, the event is an opportunity for industry professionals to experience solid-state innovations and access educational, accredited seminars.

Pharos will be showcasing its brand-new Expert control range; the award-winning Designer range, including the enduringly popular Pharos LPC; and Cloud, its secure remote management solution, demonstrating the substantial benefits all these technologies bring to the industry.

The full US team, including Sales Director, Thomas Ladd; Regional Sales Manager, Michael Grosse (MG) and Sales Manager, Chad Kuney – who joined at the beginning of the year – will be on hand to welcome visitors, demonstrate Pharos products and discuss opportunities where Pharos could offer added value to upcoming projects.

Also attending will be the recently appointed CEO for Pharos Architectural Controls, Simon Hicks. This will be one of the first events where customers can meet Simon in his new role and get to hear his vision for the market-leading company.

Located on stand AH 3016, visitors will be able to explore and interact with the most recent addition to the Pharos product portfolio, Pharos Expert.

Pharos Expert is a new, practical lighting control solution centred around a single, reliable set-and-forget controller. A lighting control system that behaves the way you work, with expertly designed hardware that simplifies installation, and commissioning software that makes programming easy. Pharos Expert guides users through setting up their system and creating their lighting design with clear, easy to follow helpers and walkthroughs.

Benefiting from all the expertise Pharos has in dynamic lighting for architecture, the Pharos Expert range – comprising of Control, Touch, Repeat and Switch – is designed and built to the same standard of quality and reliability for which Pharos is renowned.

Thomas Ladd, Sales Director at Pharos Architectural Controls said: “We are looking forward to a full programme of events throughout 2023. It’s a great place to connect with clients and industry peers, showcasing our solutions and discussing potential ways to work together.

“Pharos Expert has become a real talking-point at recent events, thanks to its simplicity and cost-effectiveness. Its benefits are clear to see, so it will undoubtedly be a draw to our stand at LEDucation.”

LEDucation is being held at New York Hilton Midtown in three exhibition halls – Rhinelander, Grand Ballroom and Americas Hall 1. More than 380 exhibitors from across the globe will be taking part. The event will begin virtually on Monday March 6, with the in-person element being held on March 7-8.

industry updates

ART Deco design for riverside dining at Gordon Ramsey’s the river restaurant, Savoy

The River Restaurant, Savoy

The former site of Kaspar’s restaurant within the iconic Savoy hotel has been transformed into The River Restaurant by Gordon Ramsay. This Art Deco dining room offers guests stunning views over the Thames and specialises in seafood for its all-day dining menu.

The concept by interior designer Russell Sage Studio was inspired by the restaurant’s riverside location and the hotel’s Art Deco heritage.

The lighting design brief was to help create a calm, relaxed, loungey space, sitting comfortably within the context of this glamorous hotel, Victoria Jerram Lighting Design utilised its knowledge and experience of designing luxury spaces, meeting the brief by incorporating soft, indirect light to create a warm, welcoming ambience throughout the space.  A key constraint on the project was the limited budget which prohibited architectural and fixed joinery changes and necessitated the re-use of the existing lighting control system.

The large, river-facing windows and the doors to the daylit Thames Foyer atrium provide an abundance of cool, natural light for daytime dining and the lighting design responded to this with the use of warm dimming technology. Dimming the lights as evening service commences, automatically warms the ambient colour temperature to achieve an intimate night-time dining experience. Warm dimming technology was used extensively for a coherent feel, from the ceiling coffers and window coves to the bespoke ceiling and entrance column lights.

The close collaboration with Simon Day of Nocture Workshop on the bespoke decorative lighting, continued with Victoria Jerram specifying Opal glass and extra warm white lamps for the chandelier above the bar, and the bar table lamps, to ensure that the feature lighting cast a soft, warm glow, creating a glare free focal point for the space.

A touch of sparkle was added as a contrast to the dominant soft ambient lighting through the addition of miniature spotlights focused on the artwork and the planting. The use of highly polished and mirrored finishes also has the effect of further animating the space.

The end result is a glamorous, stylish dining space befitting an iconic location such as The Savoy. The restaurant achieves the aesthetic of bringing to life the bygone luxury of art deco-inspired ocean liners, while the lighting design achieves a calm, elegant atmosphere that will enchant diners and create a truly unforgettable experience.

Project: The River Restaurant, The Savoy

Location: London, UK

Client: Gordon Ramsay Restaurants

Lighting Design: Victoria Jerram

Interior Designer: Russell Sage Studio

Lighting Suppliers: IBL, Lucent Lighting, Light Graphix, Light Ideas, Nocturne Workshop

Photography: Courtesy of Gordon Ramsay Restaurants

About Victoria Jerram Lighting Design:

Victoria Jerram Lighting Design is an architectural lighting design consultancy founded a decade ago by Victoria Jerram. Creating lighting designs for multiple sectors from residential and hospitality, through to commercial and landscape, Victoria Jerram has a keen interest in the challenge of complex interior spaces and artworks and works across a range of architecture from new builds to the refurbishment of listed buildings.

Victoria Jerram Lighting Design boasts extensive product knowledge, an impressive understanding of cutting-edge lighting technology, and close relationships with some of the world’s best manufacturers and fabricators. The consultancy works with a talented team of architects, interior designers and landscape architects to deliver excellence that has been rewarded by a notably high percentage of repeat business.

industry updates

NEW Lighting Designs for On-Trend Hospitality Interior Design

Research has shown just how important interior design is to consumer spending habits and wellbeing when it comes to hotels and restaurants. Industville’s lighting is designed not just furnish the room but to define it. With a new trend of modern, sleek, industrial style interiors, their new lighting designs are perfect for creating this elegant, sophisticated look in any establishment.

Having worked on countless interior projects for hotels, restaurants and bars, Industville know only too well how much interior design can shape the customer experience. They also appreciate that commercial interior design is constantly changing and evolving as Marketa Rypacek, MD at Industville comments, “Gone are the days of the obvious factory-like raw copper pipework and exposed bricks as we welcome a new era of ‘Modern Sleek Industrial Style’.

She continues, “Industrial design has evolved beautifully over the last few years and blended nicely into many other interior design styles, enhancing each one with its rough but sophisticated edginess. We pride ourselves in listening to our customers and reacting to market trends and we saw our lights being used in a number very broad interior styles, from scandi and botanical to maximalist and boho. From being in the industry for many years we had seen before how adaptable the industrial style is, and with this in mind the new designs were created to contribute to an even greater range of styles and applications. The new lighting collections are sleek, elegant and contemporary, whilst still giving a nod to the very best of our industrial design heritage.”

NEW Opal Lighting Collection
Industville’s new Opal Lighting Collection radiates style in a minimalist, understated fashion. The new Opal Glass lights exude a timeless elegance, making them ideal for all kinds of eateries from stylish vibrant coffee shops to contemporary restaurants. The subdued lighting effect they create also makes them a great choice for anywhere that needs a relaxing atmosphere such as secluded, romantic restaurant tables or hotel bedrooms. The ethereal white shades pair beautifully with many of Industville’s light holder styles, and designers can choose from the Dome, Schoolhouse or Globe shaped shades, all of which look stunning in the new opal glass.

NEW Statement Cluster Chandeliers
The new Cluster Chandelier lights are each compiled of a group of stunning pendants, displayed in either a line or at varying heights to create maximum impact. With an undeniable sense of style and visual interest, these beautiful cluster lights make an ideal focal point. Perfect for hotel receptions, entrance areas or bars, these stylish designs can’t help but catch the eye.

Unique and Customisable
The new cluster chandeliers are available with a choice of three, five or nine pendants, depending on the space available and the level of impact desired. Offered in a wide variety of shade and holder options, including the latest Opal Glass shades, there really is something to suit every project and interior style. Further customisation options include the choice of flex, making it possible to create a unique cluster light that’s perfectly suited to the brand and space.

NEW Holder Designs
Also just launched are three new holder designs – Knurled, Chelsea and Sleek Cylinder. Each one follows the trend for cleaner, simple silhouettes to bring softness and elegance to any interior scheme. The rounded Chelsea fixture pairs perfectly with Industville’s classic rounded shades such as the globes or domes, whilst the elongated shape of the Sleek Cylinder holder provides a modern twist on the classic pendant look. Last but no means least, the Knurled Collection adds instant sophistication to any space. These elegant, tactile light fixtures give an air of 1920’s glamour with their detailed lattice effect metalwork, whilst the sleek silhouette makes them ideal for today’s modern interiors.

Handcrafted Originality
As with Industville’s existing collections, each of the new designs is handcrafted like a work of art, giving every light a unique, original character. This is a conscious choice by Industville as they recognise that handmade methods produce better results in terms of quality and aesthetics, with each light retaining a modern but authentic style. Unlike with machine manufacturing, each fixture is carefully created with precise attention to detail by an experienced craftsman, producing better results in terms of both quality and aesthetics. Coupled with the use of fine quality materials, it’s easy to see why Industville’s lights are room defining.

industry updates

The changing landscape of battery technology

Richard Raeburn, Emergency Specialist, at Tridonic, explores the reasons why the demand for Lithium Iron Phosphate battery technology is growing, as well as the future developments that will impact the emergency lighting industry.

While Nickel Metal Hydride and Nickel Cadmium batteries are still incredibly popular in emergency lighting, there is a definite shift towards Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) technology. When compared to the legacy technologies, this newer solution offers a number of benefits.

Firstly, this newer technology does not contain Cadmium – a toxic heavy metal that is classified as hazardous waste. LiFePO4 contains no heavy metals so it doesn’t have the same toxicity, making it safer to handle and easier to deal with once it comes to the end of its life. With the fact that LiFePO4 batteries can be recycled to recover the materials used in their electrodes, wiring, and casings, they are considered to have the lowest impact on the environment.

In addition, LiFePO4 batteries offer a lower self-discharge rate. This means they operate with periodic top-ups, rather than the constant charge that a nickel battery needs to be able to function. This reduces the power required for charging which lowers overall power consumption.

LiFePO4 batteries are hardy and robust, making them suitable for a variety of LED applications. Application flexibility is improved due to the smaller size of LiFePO4 batteries, but a higher energy content than its nickel counterparts.

While these benefits cannot be disputed, it is important to be aware that care does still need to be taken when using Lithium batteries. Where application temperatures are high or low, LiFePO4 batteries still need to be managed, while charging needs to be monitored to ensure maximum lifetime. This was the driver for the development of the LiFeGuard battery monitoring system, a protective mechanism that was included in Tridonic’s Lithium Iron Phosphate emergency battery products since their inception.

LiFeGuard is a three-layer system of protection. Firstly, a pressure vent allows gases to be expelled from within the cell. Secondly, an integrated temperature sensor allows for the monitoring of overcharge, over discharge, and short circuiting.

Finally, the system monitors the battery and switches off charging should temperatures exceed critical limits. Charging is resumed once the cell temperature is within specified limits. This layered protection approach ensures the battery is used within its operating capabilities, which increases its lifespan and operating abilities.

Tridonic was a pioneer in this type of monitoring system, which went above and beyond the legal requirements governing emergency lighting. For many years it has been standard practice to accept that failures are part of a battery’s natural lifecycle, and a complete replacement will need to be made every 3-4 years.

Tridonic’s R2A solution shows there is a better way to operate emergency lighting. This award-winning LED emergency module which utilises the LiFeGuard monitoring system has been on the market for more than 4 years with no known battery failure, demonstrating the capabilities this technology including longevity, robustness and efficiency of the battery.

Thankfully, the statutory requirements covering emergency lighting are changing. Two standards are due to be updated and will most likely be in force by early 2023. The two standards – IEC 61347-2-7 and IEC 60598-2-22 – will govern that Lithium Iron systems must have some form of inherent protection device to ensure the battery life can be maximised.

While these updated standards won’t guarantee that Lithium Iron batteries become the norm in installations, there is hope that they will raise awareness of the benefits of this more modern technology. It has been very common for nickel-based batteries to simply be replaced with the same technology for ease, but expectations and requirements are evolving.

The benefits of Lithium Iron’s reliability cannot be overlooked, and this stands to be strengthened through the guaranteed inclusion of battery protection. When the technology’s higher green credentials are also understood, this will make the use of a Lithium Iron battery much more appealing.

Even with all of the advantages being very clear, there is still some scepticism in the market around LiFePO4 technology. This is somewhat surprising, given its usage in everyday devices such as mobile phones, laptops and power tools.

Compounding this, a counter to using LiFePO4 will always be cost. Given nickel-based batteries’ prevalence in the market, they are considerably cheaper at initial purchase. However, savings can undoubtedly be made through lower energy consumption, better longevity, and reduced maintenance costs – which can all be realised by switching to Lithium Iron alternatives.

The other significant benefit of Lithium Iron batteries with integral monitoring is that, given the technology’s much lower rate of failure, staying compliant with emergency lighting legislation will become much easier. This will be even truer when the standards are introduced making monitoring of this battery type a mandatory requirement.

It is not just the move to Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries that is ahead for the emergency lighting sector.

Tridonic emergency inverters also incorporate automatic monitoring and storage of critical operating parameters.  This information can be read out from the device and can be used in the analysis of the emergency luminaire or detect possible problems in the installation. We call this feature ‘BlackBox’ and hope that access to this data will soon be possible in the application rather than just through base analysis.

This would assist the end-user or maintenance team to quickly establish any external root cause of a failure such as excess emergency operations, mains voltage or temperature events. Use of this and other recorded data allied to a DALI automated monitoring system may enable insights as to the most efficient operation of the emergency lighting, to maximise compliance and reduce maintenance costs.

Tridonic is welcoming the new standards, recognising the opportunities it will present for the industry to move away from the toxic nature of traditional battery technologies. Aligning this legislative change with awareness-raising across the industry, has the potential to help us move towards a greener, safer future in emergency lighting applications.

industry updates

Mackwell Proud to Announce New UK Sales Director

Tim McKernan, UK Sales Director, Mackwell

Emergency lighting, systems and solutions expert Mackwell is proud to begin 2023 with the high-profile appointment of a new UK Sales Director.

Tim McKernan joins Mackwell in a senior role as Sales Director, UK and Ireland, working closely with Commercial Director Andy Davies. Tim will be responsible for managing and overseeing UK sales operations, further developing existing and new client relationships, and ensuring sales growth targets are met.

Although Tim is a fresh face at Mackwell, he has worked in the lighting industry for over a decade and more broadly in the wider electronics industry for over 20 years prior. After achieving a First-Class degree in Electrical/Electronic engineering and post-graduate certificate in Marketing, Tim spent 21 years at Tyco Electronics (now TE Connectivity), reaching senior account and sales management roles during this time. His career in the lighting industry began at Harvard Engineering, where he first worked with Andy. Tim moved on to other companies within the lighting industry before accepting the role at Mackwell.

His years of experience in the electronics industry allow Tim to bring to the role an in-depth understanding and knowledge of market & technical trends, and in particular the future of emergency lighting systems, making him an asset to the company.

Tim commented, “I am delighted to have joined the team at Mackwell. Mackwell has a premium brand name, a new range of LiFePO4 Emergency luminaires and associated hardware coupled with robust wired and wireless reporting technology, backed by a market-leading warranty to help building designers and owners achieve safety-critical emergency lighting compliance requirements.”

“Mackwell’s brand strength and broad product range allows us to offer complete turnkey solutions which fulfil all Emergency lighting compliance requirements for a wide range of client applications.  I’m excited to be leading a team in seeking new specifications and installations in our industry which are making building occupants safer every day.”

Tim’s appointment marks a new chapter for Mackwell in 2023, expanding on senior roles and focusing on the circular economy message throughout their products and sales offerings.

industry updates

Future-proof illumination for Newcastle Cathedral

Newcastle Cathedral is a magnificent Grade I listed building, dating back to the early 14th century. For over 900 years it has been at the centre of the city’s spiritual and civic life as evidenced by its memorials and ledger stones which, together, reveal much of the heritage of Newcastle and the wider region. The Cathedrals’ heritage project, Common Ground in Sacred Spaces, sought to breathe new life and new light into this historic landmark. ERCO’s lighting solutions together with Casambi and TGA Specialist Lighting, delicately illuminated this spiritual and cultural architecture, bringing new light to this awe-inspiring place of contemplation. Modern LED and Bluetooth control technology enable the light to be controlled at the touch of a button via a smartphone or tablet, bringing this historic building into the 21st century.

Sustainable and future-proof lighting solutions

The Cathedral boasts one of the finest lantern towers in the country, dominating the skyline since the 15th century. Woven into the very fabric of the building are substantial elements of medieval design as well as evidence of its evolution over a number of historical periods, with examples of work by prominent architects including Daniel Garrett, John and Benjamin Green, John Dobson, and George Gilbert Scott.

Inside the stone façade, the Cathedral holds one of the largest collections of monuments and ledger stones in northern England which date back to the 1600s. It also displays medieval heraldic bosses and a fine medieval font with a contemporary wooden cover, an elaborate gothic tracery, and a stone effigy of an unknown medieval knight. The 19th century chancel embellishments showcase wood and stone working skills by Ralph Hedley, Robert Beall and J S Westmacott. The landmark presents a beautifully integrated appearance, displaying superb artistry and craftsmanship executed in the medieval style.

The Cathedrals new heritage project, Common Ground in Sacred Space, revives the medieval role of the building as a dynamic hub for worship, community and business activity. Through National Lottery funding the Cathedral has been refurbished to reinvigorate the space and its functions. The goal was to open up the Cathedral, uncover the historic ledgers within the floors, and illuminate untold histories and stories of this beautiful building.

Speaking with the Senior Residentiary Canon of Newcastle Cathedral, Clare MacLaren, the idea behind the cathedral project, was to create a greener, more sustainable and future-proof building, and integrate a lighting solution which aligned with this, ‘’The refreshment and renewal of the lighting scheme at Newcastle Cathedral has really transformed and enhanced our beautiful and ancient building. Our collaborative partnership with ERCO, TGA Specialist Lighting and Casambi has delivered a far more energy-efficient, effective and user-friendly system.’’

Contemplated and considered illumination

TGA Specialist Lighting were appointed by the Chapter of Newcastle Cathedral to provide design advice and specific areas of design associated with the proposed upgrade and refurbishment of the artificial lighting, provided to the main body of the Cathedral. Working closely with TGA and with architects Purcell, ERCO were specified to supply a range of luminaires to illuminate the space.

The lighting design elevates the architectural details and also the atmosphere within the space, welcoming new and old visitors to the Cathedral. The luminaires have been carefully considered to create an oasis of peace and tranquillity within a vibrant and busy city. The goal was to create a lighting scheme which reinvigorated the meaning of the Cathedral and the community’s emotional attachment to it.

The lighting provides form and function, with two elements to the design; general lighting and accent lighting, blended together to form a complete lighting design. The general lighting installation was utilised to provide a base level of illumination to the whole area. Using a range of ERCO spotlights with flood and spot lighting distribution, like ParscanOptec and Gimbal the luminaires flawlessly highlight functional areas and walk ways, giving the Cathedral a new dimension and nurturing the visitor experience. The accent lighting component was designed to highlight key features within the Cathedral, whether individual architectural elements or specific plaques and statues. Using 2W LED Optec narrow spot the illumination further contributes to the general lighting levels and artistically illuminates the historic architecture and spiritual structures, adding depth and dimension to the space. The lighting has been beautifully set to a warm 3000k static colour temperature with a minimum colour rendering index of 92+, creating an engaging and inviting atmosphere as you step into the Cathedral.

This 14th Century landmark has been brought forward into the 21st Century and into the light, with a lighting design which invites visitors into a warm, safe space of contemplation. The Cathedral has been restored to an integral space for the community.

Bringing light to the darkness

Newcastle Cathedral certainly presented its challenges for the lighting scheme. With intricate architecture, both high and low ceilings and stone walls, the lighting design, luminaires and Bluetooth controls, had to be carefully considered to bring the right light to the space and its multiple functions. ERCO’s approach is light not luminaire, and this ethos is apparent throughout the Cathedral. With minimal impact on the historic fabric and material, ERCO’s solutions provide functional illumination levels throughout whilst maintaining an aspect of mystique and drama.

Canon Clare MacLaren, said, ‘’Before this, we would struggle for even lighting coverage. For example, the bride and groom might find themselves standing in a pooI of shadow, and some members of the congregation struggled to read their service sheets.’’

Now regular members of the Cathedral’s services have welcomed the new light and enjoy its visual comfort. Crossing the walkway to the alter, a bride was mostly in the dark, now she is adorned with a beautiful light on her special day.

The building, and the Nave in particular, originally felt like a large, cavernous space. The lighting design and luminaires have worked to create a light and welcoming space, still with depth and dimension, but now reinvigorated with a sense of intimacy and belonging to this community space.

Working with TGA and Casambi, ERCO have succeeded in creating an interactive, flexible and inclusive environment for all visitors, within this hub of contemplation.

Flexible Bluetooth control in a historic cathedral

Aligned with the lighting scheme, was the need for flexibility. The Cathedral is a place for worship, weddings, concerts and community celebrations. The long-standing relationship between ERCO and Casambi proves to have no limits and has once again produced an innovative lighting solution for this historic building.

With the Casambi app, individual ERCO spotlights and floodlights can be dimmed at any time and without effort by a smartphone or tablet. This automatically directs the gaze of the visitors to the open and perfectly illuminated sections of floor, ceiling and exquisite architectural features. The Cathedral needed a flexible, supportive and reliable system, which could create multiple scenes for seasonal and daily events, from choir practice, Christmas concerts to Sunday service. The Advent Sunday Carol, is one such event, beautifully illuminated with a pool of light, which follows the Choir service. This event was articulated with 9 different scenes, all available to Cathedral staff at the touch of a button.

‘’The app is instinctive and simple to use for basic functions – and yet sophisticated enough to create multiple, easily accessible scenes. We can now create subtle and really beautiful effects of light and darkness throughout the building, whether we’re hosting a rock concert, or Midnight Mass’’, said Canon Clare MacLaren. ‘‘We now have a “fit for purpose” system, which gives us the quality of light we need at all times.  We have really appreciated the care and personal attention that ERCO and Casambi have put into working with us on this project. They’ve listened to our brief, taken feedback on board at every stage, and have been tireless in the delivery until everything was just right.”

Through the new lighting solutions and technology, the staff at the Cathedral have full autonomy over the luminaires. They can set a variety of scenes, create atmosphere and ambience much like a theatre. Every detail from colour temperature, positioning and illumination levels can be controlled at the touch of a button, allowing the staff to create bespoke scenes for choir performances or any other event.

Artistic vision and practicality

There is a new, sustainable, human centric and future-proof light in the Cathedral, in which functionality of the space is communicated, through artistic vision and practicality. ERCO, TGA and Casambi have worked together to marry these elements creating a place of worship, a beacon of hope and a space for the community to thrive. This modern approach to community lighting has shone a new light on the Cathedral and what it means to the people of Newcastle. The Cathedral is more than just a building, it is made by the people, and the new human centric illumination elevates this to create an inclusive space, connecting people from across the community.

Project Credits:

Photography: Rob Parrish

Architect: Purcell

Client & Project Manager: Newcastle Cathedral

M&E: TGA Consulting Engineers

Lighting Designer: TGA Specialist Lighting

Bluetooth Technology: Casambi


Contractor: Historic Properties Restoration

Electrical Contractor: McNally and Thompson

Lighting Manufacturer: ERCO Lighting UK

industry updates

Ansell Lighting Unveils Mercurial

Versatile wall and ceiling light is latest energy efficient addition to manufacturer’s range

Stylishly and discreetly designed, Mercurial is a brand-new wall and ceiling light from Ansell Lighting.

Available in two different sizes, 370mm and 500mm, the circular LED light is suitable for an array of indoor applications including education, commercial and ancillary areas.  It also comes in both white and silver finishes, suiting most interior design schemes.

Supporting the reduction of energy use, Ansell’s latest offering is highly energy efficient, delivering upto 135lm/w. The 370mm Mercurial model is also power selectable, offering users a choice of outputs which can be manually selected via an easily located integrated switch.

CCT selectable between 3000K and 4000K, Mercurial offers users a choice of different lighting hues which can be set according task or preference. Its long-lasting LED lamp has a lifespan of L80 51,000 hours.

Mark Abbott, Managing Director at Ansell Lighting said: “Mercurial is a versatile new addition to our range of wall and ceiling lights. Energy efficient, stylishly designed and with many functional features, it is an ideal option for buildings in public use.”

With functionality at the core of Ansell’s design objectives, the new Mercurial light is available with an array of innovative options. These include emergency DALI and self-test options alongside energy saving microwave sensor, digital dimming and corridor function options.  Enabling integration with smart lighting systems, Mercurial is also available with OCTO functionality. All products come with a 7-year warranty.

industry updates

LEDFlex Lighting Solutions Bring Titanic Luxury to Cut & Craft Leeds

Located in the heart of Leeds city centre, Cut & Craft opened in October 2022 within an iconic Grade II listed building in the Victoria Quarter. Formerly known as Collinson’s café, the venue was famously frequented by Wallace Hartley, who was well-known for his position as Band Master on the Titanic. The elegance of the Titanic is referenced throughout the underlying interior design, including oceanic colours, textures, and metallic qualities.

Award-winning lighting design consultancy Mistry Lighting, specified bespoke lighting solutions from leading lighting manufacturer LEDFlex Group, to create a beautiful and stylish atmosphere that could seamlessly go from day to night, enhancing the luxurious all-day dining experience that reflects the site’s incredible history. To fulfil the brief, over 400 metres of Eco Flex, one of the most efficient product lines from the LEDFlex flagship range, was installed throughout different areas of the restaurant. The luminaire offered a sleek and sustainable solution while adding a sense of drama to the alluring atmosphere of Cut & Craft.

The lighting design creates an additional impact by drawing attention to many theatrical elements of the space including the stained glass windows, grand staircases, and the circular bar situated under the feature central dome. The dome highlights the intricate architecture and window frames at the centre, creating a stunning focal point for diners sitting below.

The flexibility of the luminaire allowed it to be installed in various areas, despite the limitations of working within a listed building. LEDFlex worked closely with interior designer Studio Two to include lighting in bespoke joinery details. Bar shelves are backlit to showcase elegant glasses and bottles, illuminating the chic standalone bar alongside under the counter lighting that casts a golden glow. A warm ambience reflects on the metallics and oceanic hues in the design, creating a dazzling vibrance that makes the restaurant come alive at night.

The result of the lighting design is a discreet ambience, softly illuminating the rich architectural and interior aspects of the design to create a larger impact. The lighting solutions create an atmosphere which welcomes guests to Cut & Craft, inviting them into a sumptuous interior that offers an unforgettable experience which mimics the history and luxury of the Titanic.

Krishna Mistry, Founder and Lighting Designer at Mistry Lighting, said: “The lighting solutions provided by LEDFlex helped us meet the brief perfectly and create the vision the client wanted. It was important to focus on the infamous history of the site as well as incorporating the established branding of the restaurant. The lighting helped bring this design to life by highlighting the striking architectural features, creating depths of different textures, and enhancing the colours chosen.”

Project Details
Project type: Bars & Restaurants
Project Location: Leeds
Lighting Design: Mistry Lighting
Interior Design: Studio Two
Electrical Contractor: D and A York Ltd
Photographer: Stevie Campbell