News & Case Studies

Replacement Lighting Scheme for Butler House Bristol

Butler House is a 1960’s built, high-rise housing scheme that’s been adapted as sheltered housing for older people by Bristol City Council. It’s a place with a good atmosphere, where the tenants keep an eye out for one another and where there are even plans to develop a wildlife garden with disabled access.

Like many social housing schemes however, and especially those not purpose-built, running costs are a constant source of concern to the social landlords. The more efficiently they can run the building, the more they can do for their tenants - and the better life will be.

Replacement lighting scheme

Not surprisingly for a building originally constructed in 1962, a replacement for the 60 existing 38W 2D fittings in corridors and staircases was being sought, one that would not only significantly reduce energy consumption, but which would also reduce the burden of on-going maintenance bills.

Just as importantly for the residents, there was a desire to get away from any luminaires that looked remotely institutional. This is their home, and the shared areas needed to be as welcoming and friendly as they possibly could be.

Elegant and efficient EdgeLED™ replacements

Anthony Mulcahy, Senior Electrical Engineer at Bristol City Council was looking for a simple like-for-like replacement, where those 60 existing luminaires were substituted. Fern-Howard’s solution was 60 EdgeLED™ P5 luminaires, each of 1600 lumens, and each with corridor function that dimmed the light to 10% when the corridor was unoccupied.

The use of LED based technology brought instant energy saving benefits, but it was the elegance of the fittings - and the well-modulated light that EdgeLED™ technology allows them to produce - that really made the difference.

Fern-Howard’s patented EdgeLED™ technology places low consumption LEDs around the edges of a precision moulded light guide containing thousands of micro lenses. These micro lenses control how the light emerges from the light guide – ensuring uniform light output and significantly reduced glare. This combination of high optical efficiency with precise light control means that not only is the maximum of light extracted – it is also precisely directed.  The result is optical efficiency of up to 95% with none of the harsh light spots commonly associated with LED.

Reduced maintenance costs

The corridor function, required, to comply with Part L of the Building Regulations, played an important part in reducing energy costs and, as the shared areas are now illuminated to a low level at all times, they are far more welcoming and far less threatening places. But that function would drastically shorten the life of 2D fittings due to the constantly changing current, something that does not trouble LED fittings at all.

So the result was not only a brighter environment, but as the EdgeLED™ P5 offers a lifespan of 50,000 hours (L85), there will be no need for lamp changes for the next seven years and zero maintenance costs– an estimated saving of some £3,000 every year.

Lower energy use, lower energy bills

The use of EdgeLED™ technology instantly meant energy savings for the council of 20,000 KWh per annum resulting in annual cost savings of £2,300, CO2 savings of over 27 tonnes in seven years and an overall cost of ownership down by £39,000 in seven years.

When combined with cost savings that zero maintenance brings it is estimated that those same seven years will see Bristol City Council save a total of over £65,000.

Indeed, even though the initial investment was twice that of traditional 2D luminaires, the cost will be recovered in just 21 months.

The result has been a lighting scheme that has not only helped Bristol City Council save money in hard-pressed times, but has also significantly improved the lives of some of their most vulnerable tenants - as Anthony Mulcahy says,

“We chose new EdgeLED™ luminaires from Fern-Howard because they ensured maintenance free lighting and were quality fittings manufactured by a reputable and reliable UK company. We’ve already seen energy savings and our tenants have certainly noticed the improvement in their environment – in fact we’ve won on all counts.”