Tamlite Lighting enables LED lighting transformation for Nottingham City Homes independent living project

The lighting provision at Garfield Court and Courtney Gardens has been extensively revamped as part of Nottingham City Homes’ ongoing modernisation of its independent living facilities.

The last few years have seen Nottingham City Homes (NCH) pursue a major project to improve the quality of its independent living accommodation throughout the Nottingham area. The latest beneficiary of the ‘Grander Designs’ scheme is Garfield Court in Radford, where multiple common areas – including corridors, day rooms and toilets – have been comprehensively refurbished and modernised.

To date the Grander Designs programme has improved the living conditions of more than 700 residents. Work is undertaken at around eight sites per year, with the replacement of fluorescent and other legacy lighting systems with the latest LED technologies being a common thread of the refurbishments.

Shane Ainsworth, Senior Electrical Technical Officer at NCH explained that the motivation for the latest upgrade was multi-tiered. “On one level there is a broader strategy across [NCH sites] to reduce their carbon footprint, but there is also a specific budget in place for the replacement of older lighting types with the latest LEDs. Integral to that is an emphasis on identifying the most energy efficient fittings,” he says.

A long-term association between NCH and Tamlite Lighting led to the expert lighting company being enlisted to work on the Garfield Court upgrade. The existing fluorescent and 2D type fittings were sorely in need of replacement, while the absence of energy-saving measures such as daylight and occupancy sensors also had to be addressed.

SLATE uplight/downlight fittings were ideal for common rooms, to act as spotlights on the walls for an aesthetically pleasing style. WAVE LED modules, which Tamlite worked with NCH to design to their specifications, were supplied for stairwells and other communal spaces. External fittings were also supplied, including HURRICANE EYELID solutions due to their robust design and emergency options. RGB Colour Strips were also used in the balcony areas, to provide a visually pleasing lighting design for the balconies.

“When systems are primarily manually operated a lot of lights tend to get left on, resulting in energy bills that are significantly higher than they really need to be,” says Tamlite Lighting’s Head of Sales, Marketing and Product Development, Colin Lawson.

Working in close cooperation with NCH and CEF – which is the chosen LED procurement supplier for the next three years – Tamlite set about devising a specification that could not only ensure the optimisation of usage, but also achieve a better and more consistent level of illumination without the dark areas that had been observed in some areas of the premises.

Sensors and sensibility

The final design draws on a variety of the latest LED fittings geared towards large public or private facilities. With the exception of the common room, all areas now feature occupancy sensors to minimise unnecessary illumination, to provide effective control of the lighting. In the corridor areas, safety of residents at all times is ensured by a dimming sensor whose default setting is 10% illumination, meaning that these spaces are never cast into complete darkness.

“It was obviously essential for us to maintain general illumination and emergency illumination for the safety of residents, and that was at the forefront of our minds as we determined which Vision lighting sensors could be deployed, and where,” says Lawson.

Indoor communal areas benefitted from the installation of WAVE and NIMROD fittings with occupancy sensors. Communal areas were also supplied with ORION and ELEGANCE luminaires, due to their energy efficient LED technology and range of colour temperatures. As well as the standard Neutral White, the ELEGANCE can be supplied as Warm White. Furthermore, both the ORION and ELEGANCE have the option of Night Light, which is perfect for care home environments.

The programme of work across the 33-flat site was completed on time and to expectation, with the improvement in the standard of illumination having been remarked upon by a number of residents. “People have really noticed the fact that the lighting is more pleasing, quality-wise, and more consistent across the Garfield Court site,” says Ainsworth, who keenly anticipates reduced maintenance and support costs in addition to the energy savings accruing from the high-efficiency LED fittings.

The Garfield Court project constitutes another successful chapter in the long-term story of NCH and Tamlite’s collaboration. “It’s a really great relationship that we have with them,” says Ainsworth, “and one that has been to the benefit of many different sites. The dialogue goes on throughout each project to ensure that everything is successfully realised to meet our objectives and specifications.”

The final word goes to Lawson, who says he is “delighted to hear of the positive comments made by the Garfield Court residents about the extent to which the new LED lighting has transformed their experience of the communal areas. Independent living, residential care-homes and other such sites are all increasingly standardising on LED lighting, and are enjoying greatly reduced energy, maintenance and support expenses as a result.”

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