Lighting the way

When the University of Nottingham wanted to replace the lighting on its University Park campus, it turned to LED technology

Ranked in the UK and European top 30, the University of Nottingham features in the top one per cent of all universities worldwide. It has four UK campuses in and around Nottingham which, together with those in Malaysia and China, host in excess of 43,000 students.

In September, the university completed an initial project to replace exterior low pressure sodium (LPS) campus lighting with retrofit LED lamps manufactured and supplied by Light Efficient Design. The installation was carried out at the main 300-acre University Park campus in Nottingham and enabled the existing lighting columns, heads, holders and fittings to be reused. The project was initiated and managed by the on-site estates and environmental team in response to rising energy costs and lighting accounting for approximately 20 per cent of the university’s total annual UK energy bill, as well as a commitment to reducing overall carbon emissions by 40 per cent come 2020.

The project goals were to initiate an affordable LED lighting programme which reduces energy and maintenance costs; enhance campus pathways, driveways and roadways, improving pedestrian safety with clear white distributed light; ensure affordable access to future LED developments; and serve as an example for future campus re-lamping initiatives at the university. These had to be achieved non-invasively, with minimum disruption to campus life and in keeping with the environment and architecture.

Already aware of the energy-saving benefits of LED lighting, the university team realised that the retrofit approach offered by Light Efficient Design enabled lamping to be phased in, thereby avoiding the significant capital expenditure a more traditional approach required. It would also reduce the risk of premature product obsolescence.

Richard Clayton, electrical engineer for the university’s estates department, explains: “We chose the Light Efficient Design retrofit LED solution as it ticked all the boxes. At around a third of the cost of traditional non-retrofit LED lamp post lighting, we recognised their retrofit lamps to be considerably more affordable as they do not require replacement of the existing lamp columns or heads. The quick and easy installation also enabled labour savings through greater productivity.”

Approximately 1,000 retrofit LED units were ordered for re-lamping the external areas of the University Park campus – comprising around 750 lamp tops – with sufficient quantities for potential requirements elsewhere. Local contractor Manor Maintenance was chosen to manage the installation and re-lamping was carried out between June and September.

For the campus driveways, pathways and roadways, Light Efficient Design specified its 8023 35 circuit watt LED retrofit lamps, which, compared to the incumbent 58 circuit watt LPS offering, provide a 40 per cent energy saving. Following quick and easy bypassing and disablement of the existing HID ballasts and control gear, the simplicity of the retrofit lamp design allowed the installer to reuse the lamp fittings and fixtures, enabling each post to be retro-fitted in around 15 minutes. A number of 8028 20 watt bollard and wall pack solutions were also supplied for replacing existing 70 watt metal halide lamps.

The success of the initial University Park campus installation has already resulted in The University of Nottingham planning to extend retrofit lamping to its nearby Sutton Bonnington campus. This will entail the installation of approximately 250 Light Efficient Design retrofit LED lamps. Discussions are also underway for a similar project at the university’s Jubilee campus.

Gavin Scott, the University of Nottingham’s environment manager, said: “We are confident the LED solution is already providing a sustainable solution which will help us in our mission to drive down our energy costs and carbon emissions. The lamps are also greatly enhancing the quality of light for improved student, staff and visitor safety and their simple, unobtrusive, design and installation ensures the overall look and feel of our campus environment is preserved.”

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