UK project to develop sound LED lighting practices in construction industry

Dec. 19, 2008
High Technology Lighting and the U. of Salford will collaborate on the 12-month, government-sponsored project.
High Technology Lighting (HTL) has been chosen as the lighting industry’s representative on a UK government-funded sustainable technology research project to develop world-leading ecologically sound lighting practice across the UK construction sector.

The Leeds-based lighting design specialist has been awarded a major grant to develop prototype LED luminaries in partnership with the School of the Built Environment at the University of Salford, the UK's premier school in its field.

Thomas Holgeth, HTL “There has been a slow uptake on the use of sustainable lighting technology in the UK, notably in the building industry. LED lighting is extremely sustainable and ideal for white light ambient solutions in internal environments. The research project will raise awareness and understanding of how LED technology can benefit the construction sector," said Thomas Holgeth, joint managing director of High Technology Lighting, based in Middleton Grove.

The industry-academia collaborative 12-month project is said to have the potential to slash energy usage across the UK construction industry. It is being funded by The Construction Knowledge Exchange (CKE), established by the government in 2004 to promote links and collaboration between higher education and the construction sector.

The project has three goals:

  • To improve the environmental and economic performance of new-build lighting installations, especially for retail facilities in the UK by drawing up user-validated product specifications for advanced LED lighting technologies.
  • To build a UK industry base in advanced LED lighting technologies and applications.
  • To build a knowledge base in new product development in advanced LED lighting technologies and applications.
A network of 22 of Knowledge Exchange Activity centers has been set up nationally to support higher education institutions working with business and the wider community.

The research program has attracted £160,000 worth of innovation grants to pump-prime a number of development projects involving higher education providers, employers, relevant sector Skills Councils and other appropriate private sector partners.

HTL is in the process of identifying ten high profile customer sites across a wide diversity of operational sectors in which to install the new lighting technology and conduct extensive end-user validation trials. Among them are clients in the retail, local government, development, museum, private and domestic sectors.

Salford University’s School of the Built Environment is a member of The Research Institute for the Built and Human Environment (BuHu) and is the only built environment research group in the UK to hold the government’s highest six-star rating for research excellence.

Salford U. Prof. Martin Sexton “The development of prototype luminaires is central to the entire program, allowing us to capture key issues and good practice,” deputy head Professor Martin Sexton explained. “We are seeking to create and support a collaborative culture and way of working which increases the creativity and productivity of multidisciplinary, cross-supply chain teams.

“This flagship project will equip us with case study material and documentation for future use. It has real potential to make an impact and could well provide the foundation for further successful funding for the partnership,” he added.

High Technology Lighting already holds established business-education partnerships, notably through its annual Enlighten Design Competition, which is open to students in the School of Architecture, Landscape and Design at Leeds Metropolitan University and seeks to identify new, low energy LED lighting solutions.

Chris Bromfield, winner of the 2008 competition, is now working full time for High Technology Lighting and will have a major involvement in designing the luminaires to be used in the research program.