LIGHTING IN THE CROSSRAIL NETWORK Contracted to design and manufacture specialist luminaires for the cross-passage

tunnel lighting in several of the newly built stations on the Crossrail Elizabeth Line,

Designed Architectural Lighting (DAL) turned to Southco, a company highly experienced at providing and designing hardware for lighting fixtures in all environments


esigned Architectural Lighting (DAL) is one of Britain’s leading specialists in the design

and manufacture of luminaires. Founded in 1983, it specialises in integrating the requirements of architects, designers and engineers with the best in lamp technology and materials for a wide portfolio of prestigious clients. The company was contracted to design and

manufacture specialist luminaires for the cross-passage tunnel lighting in several of the newly built stations on the Crossrail Elizabeth Line. Part of London’s developing underground transport network, the new line offers safer, easier and faster journeys. A major challenge faced, however, was ensuring the safety of the significantly heavy main cover on each lighting fixture. With the covers weighing up to 30kg, there was potential for them to fall open during maintenance and cause harm to staff and passengers, and damage to the surrounding area. While DAL has extensive experience in

solving similar challenges for clients, it was tasked with demonstrating to Crossrail and Transport for London that its solution was

robust, viable and cost-effective enough to meet the project specifications.

THE CHALLENGE DAL was seeking a supplier that could meet the design requirements of the luminaire system assembly. The project presented a number of challenges, even for a specialist with DAL’s level of expertise. One of the most challenging design hurdles that DAL faced was the safety and positioning of the structural frame containing the glass diffuser, which also acts as the protective cover to the luminaire. At 30kg/m, its weight is significant, making the highest level of safety a key design consideration. During maintenance of the cross-passage

service booms, which also incorporate the cable management system, speakers and CCTV cameras, the luminaires had to be easily accessible from below, making it necessary to integrate a special hinged mechanism. DAL needed to design a fixture with uncomplicated opening and closing operation, which would ensure that the heavy glass did not swing down

uncontrollably throughout maintenance or at any other time. This in turn, would reduce the potential for operator injury or damage to the surrounding environment. The luminaire system also needed to be competitively priced and low maintenance to keep both project and running costs within budget. Because each station is unique, with its own

cross-passage tunnel twists, turns and lengths, various sizes and shapes of luminaire had to be designed and manufactured, with over 1,000m required in total. The design team needed to identify components which would offer durability in long-term exposure to the harsh environment associated with transportation systems such as condensation and fine particles. They were also looking for mechanisms that featured high- specification seals to protect against the ingress of dirt and moisture. The design had to be versatile enough to work

with new control technologies and incorporate state-of-the-art LED light sources. Using LEDs rather than traditional lights in the luminaires would reduce the cost and frequency of maintenance. However, as this meant that the frames and glass diffusers would not be opened as frequently as for traditional lighting by service and maintenance personnel, it was also recognized as having the potential to present some new challenges. For instance, when the gas struts that are commonly used for large lighting fixture covers are not cycled frequently, there is potential of seals drying out. When the luminaires are eventually opened, the gas struts may leak and ultimately fail.

THE SOLUTION DAL identified that engineered access hardware supplier Southco would be able to provide the best solution. Southco is highly experienced at providing and designing hardware for lighting fixtures in all environments. For DAL, Southco also offered the added advantage of being a single provider with the capacity and expertise to provide multiple products which would function effectively together to create one cohesive solution. DAL identified Southco as the only supplier able to resolve all of the project’s design and safety challenges and create a robust and forward-thinking solution. After providing sample components for

8 JULY/AUGUST 2019 | DESIGN SOLUTIONS 

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