Andrew Selwood, Associate at Ridge and Partners LLP (Ridge), shares the latest innovations and key aspects to evaluate when designing a new lighting project.


As technology is now at the forefront of many successful lighting schemes, a more dynamic approach to illuminating construction projects is being taken. Coloured lighting can help to create a unique space; from displaying corporate branding to mirroring a signature colour using projected light.

With the increased understanding of how LED technology can be embedded within luminaires, the use of geometric shapes and curved fixtures has become more popular. Colour tuneable white luminaires can also be used to adjust lighting to correlate to colour, temperatures or the natural daylight cycle. This has proven benefits in concentration, energy levels and a general improvement in the wellbeing of occupants.

“With the increased understanding of how LED technology can be embedded within luminaires, the

use of geometric shapes and curved fixtures has become more popular.”

When working with historic buildings or monuments, the latest in 3D and geo spatial technology can significantly aid the design process. Ridge worked on the Evesham War Memorial as part of the Enlighten Evesham Project, where our design lit the curved memorial and statue of a lone soldier on a plinth. Without a geo spatial scan, we would have spent a significant amount of time building a model. The finished output allowed us to illustrate lighting positions and undertake sample scene set ups.

Historical buildings can pose a challenge, and Ridge was recently tasked with creating an innovative lighting installation for the mast at Alexandra Palace to celebrate the 80th Anniversary of the first television broadcast. Unable to mount directly on to the Grade II listed


structure, we commissioned custom made external rated tripods, enabling us to position and clamp the luminaires to light the upper part of the mast from the flat roof.

To avoid penetrating the structure, we mounted the light fittings to specially adapted flat roof support systems that are usually used for air conditioning plant. In rethinking our approach to this project, we were able to reduce the original number of luminaires. This positively impacted on the energy requirement of the project, allowing a significant reduction in enabling works and a simplification of the control system. We were therefore able to meet the client’s brief, allowing for future expansion and achieving a reduction in costs of over 60%.

With aspirations to create unique and state-of-the-art designs and stay on-budget, it is imperative to weigh up the potential cost alongside the desired outcome. Cheap solutions such as edge lit flat panels often seen in CAT A fit-outs and office projects can be tempting. However, it is important to understand the impact they may have to the final product. Their use can cause reflections on monitors and high levels of glare, in addition to creating a lit environment that often falls short of current design standards and recommendations. When the option of a cheaper solution is put forward by an installer, it is important to understand how this decision may adversely affect the use of the space.

A lighting design project should be carefully considered as a poorly lit space can make or break how a building project is received. Improving the lit environment can be achieved by making correctly informed design decisions. It can be easy to get carried away with the newest technologies, state-of-the-art control systems or the cheapest solution. It is essential to understand the space you are lighting, including the desired final look and feel of the project, whilst being sensitive to the surroundings and using lighting to enhance the environment.

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