• UK manufacturer is the first supplier to be approved for the UK nuclear industry
  • 40,000 energy-efficient LEDs will save enough power each day to run 3,000 homes

UK commercial lighting manufacturer, Whitecroft Lighting, has secured a landmark contract to supply 40,000 low-energy LED lights to the nation’s newest nuclear power station, Hinkley Point C, in Somerset.

Whitecroft Lighting is the first supplier to have its LED lighting system approved for use in the UK nuclear industry.

The culmination of six years of research, collaboration and customised testing, the Greater Manchester-based company has designed and manufactured a unique LED lighting system.

Although high-quality, energy efficient LED lighting has become the new standard across most industries in the UK, the nuclear industry still mainly uses traditional fluorescent lighting.

LED technology needed to be approved for the UK nuclear industry. Working with EDF, Whitecroft had to test the lighting and supporting electronics to ensure it could operate in areas containing radiation and higher-than-normal heat levels.

Tony Male, Whitecroft Lighting’s Regional Sales Manager, Wales and West says: “This is a landmark moment for Whitecroft UK lighting.

No credible testing or research existed for LED lighting in these challenging environments, so Whitecroft led an accelerated testing regime that simulated years of constant exposure to radiation at varying levels in each zone.

Whitecroft embraced this as an opportunity to be part of one of Europe’s largest infrastructure projects, break new ground for lighting, and set new standards for the UK nuclear energy industry for years to come.”

As part of the construction of Hinkley Point C, EDF was keen to find a UK lighting manufacturer that could make an LED work in this environment, with Whitecroft developing the ideal solution, supported by the Hinkley Point Supply Chain.

Following extensive work undertaken by Whitecroft’s specialist research and development team, LEDs can now be specified for Hinkley Point C and future nuclear projects.

Around 40,000 LED luminaires will eventually be installed across 90% of the Hinkley Point C estate, in a broad range of buildings and facilities, including some specialist environments such as the power generation halls.

Tony Male continues: “The unique nuclear-approved LED luminaires manufactured for the project will be around 40% more energy efficient than traditional fluorescent lighting, and the 40,000 LED luminaires supplied will save around 11,200 KWh each day, or the equivalent of the power needed to run around 3,000 average family sized homes.”

An important legacy for Whitecroft Lighting’s investment in research and development for the Hinkley Point C project is that future nuclear energy developments across the UK will also be able to share in the benefits of high-quality and energy efficient lighting.

Tony adds: “Some obvious potential candidates include Sizewell C in Suffolk, which will be a close copy of Hinkley Point C, and so will benefit from many of the same components.

There will also hopefully be opportunities to collaborate with the much-talked-about ‘mini’ or ‘modular’ nuclear power stations currently being proposed as the next step in transitioning away from fossil fuel-dependent energy generation.”

Whitecroft Lighting is part of the Fagerhult Group, has 343 employees and turns over £55m. The company undertakes all R&D, product design and manufacturing in its UK HQ and neighbouring 10,000 sqm manufacturing facility.

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