A comprehensive lighting upgrade initiative at the South Gloucestershire school was completed in just seven days over the summer 2017 holiday period.
The desire to improve overall standards of illumination and reduce energy consumption has long underpinned the growing number of lighting system upgrades taking place at UK schools, colleges and universities. Increasingly, given the advent of highly sophisticated and user-friendly control systems, enhanced adjustment of lighting conditions and output can be added to the mix.
All of these elements came into play when Frampton Cotterell Church of England Primary School in South Gloucestershire decided to undertake a site-wide lighting upgrade earlier this year. The project covered multiple areas, from classrooms to general meeting spaces, and reflected the overwhelming feeling that “the lighting in the premises was in a very poor condition,” recalls school business manager Mandy Turner. “It had become increasingly difficult to procure replacement parts, and we were also aware of the energy savings we could make by converting to LED technology.”
Having established that South Gloucestershire Council would be able to part-fund the upgrade, Ms Turner and her team initiated a tender process. The contract went to Connected Light – through whom it actually had a personal connection thanks to Connected Light director Matt Holway being an alumnus of the school, and now having his own child as a pupil there.
“Matt had assisted us with advice in the past, which was very useful, but we had also engaged Connected Light for repair issues and were aware that their products and services were of a very high and reliable standard. Hence we specifically requested that they be included in the tender process,” says Ms Turner.
‘Much brighter and more appealing’
Not surprisingly, the emphasis throughout the project was on ensuring minimum disruption to the normal running of the school, so all work was carried out in just seven days over the summer 2017 holidays. Drawing on LED lighting from across the current Connected Light portfolio, the new fixtures and fittings replaced ageing fluorescent lighting which had been the subject of failures and which was also yielding a very poor standard of illumination.
To ensure easy access to staff and support personnel to the control of the systems, simple controllers were integrated into a number of key areas, including the toilets, storerooms and cupboard areas. Personnel were given an overview of the new lighting and its capabilities, as and when requested.
As well as delivering all the expected advantages of transitioning from traditional fluorescents to the latest LED lighting – notably, reduced energy consumption and costs, improved illumination, less call for maintenance, and so on – there was one very immediate benefit in terms of peace of mind. “We once had an incident with one of the old units overheating and burning, which was obviously very concerning, so the new system has brought us a great deal of reassurance with regard to health and safety,” says Mandy Turner.
Several weeks on from the completion of the project and the school is continuing to report an across-the-board improvement in lighting conditions, as Matt Holway observes: “The general standard of the lighting had been below-par for some time, so I think everyone has noticed how much brighter and more appealing the conditions now are thanks to the new installation. The simple controllers mean that staff can easily take charge of what lighting is required, and when, and in the longer-term it is evident that the replacement of those inefficient fluorescents is going to deliver some very welcome reductions to the school’s energy bills.”