Bespoke LED light installation overcomes challenges of 19th century building

Feb. 20, 2015
Bespoke LED lighting solutions by QE Global helped the interior design team

from Metrix Interiors to deliver the architect’s aspirational aesthetic, coupled

with superior reliability and an average saving of 85% on the owner’s lighting

energy usage.

Portman Mansions, built in the late 19th Century, is a prestigious red bricked

building housing a suite of luxury apartments situated in the heart of London’s

W1, a stone’s throw from Marylebone High Street, Regents Park and the West


Metrix Interiors, working in partnership with QE Global worked on the redesign

and refurbishment of a residential property in the mansion block, in readiness

for sale by a private investor. The specification for modern, energy efficient LED

lighting throughout included floor and ceiling illumination within a corridor

with no natural light.

QE Global design, manufacture and supply their own products and their lux

level scheme included replacing the existing fittings with their own energy

efficient, multi-purpose LED lights and housings.

The design also met specific requirements for floor lights that could be walked

on and a coffered ceiling with drop down lighting, suitable for the darker areas.

Planning for and being adaptable to an installation within the confines of a

19th century building, with ceiling void restrictions required an adaptable,

bespoke approach as Ben Hatton, of QE Global explains.

“The main challenge was with the original ceiling mouldings in the property

which needed to be retained but were in need of complete restoration and

were not in keeping with the aesthetic the client wanted to achieve.

“To counter this, the client proposed a false ceiling with recessed trough

lighting in the lounge area. It was important that the character of the high

ceilings were retained so low profile, low heat fittings were required.”

“We supplied our own under-shelf QEGFL fittings to the trough areas and GU10

spotlights in low profile fire-retardant housings which have had the desired


“Installing 21st century lighting technology in a period building can be a

challenge but our LED fittings can be as thin as 19mm which is effectively the

thickness of a piece of plasterboard. This allows us to light areas where

historically a 200mm void behind the plasterwork would be required. Also

because of the way the heat-sink is designed to dissipate the heat generated by

the LED chips, heat-gain and potential fire hazard issues are far less of a


The products used for this project were predominantly dimmable QEG LED

GU10 bulbs mounted in third party housings. GU10 bulbs use 5w of power

each, compared with 50w on a standard Halogen GU10.

In total, 105 were installed, totalling 525w compared with 5250w using standard


The balance comprised the trough lighting fittings which use a total of 325w

compared with the T5 fluorescent equivalent fittings which use twice that

amount at 750w. The T5 fittings also generate 30% less light than those


Initial lighting energy usage figures following the installation showed the entire

apartment was only 0.9kw compared with over 6kw using the conventional


One of the major challenges for the design team was a short survey and

lighting installation period.

Mark Saunders, Director of Metrix Interiors said, “The front end preparation for

this project was critical. The drawings and examples of the finish supplied by

QE Global made it clear what we were getting and the onsite visits with

adapted fittings ensured that the installation was executed to the exact plan

and strict two week deadline set by our client.”

“On this project we needed an approach that wasn’t standard and working with

QE Global, as opposed to an electrical company meant that stocks of their own

items were always readily available. All their products have a 15 year life and l

long term reliability, with no call backs is a big advantage for interior designers

in this market.

“The majority of our work is in new commercial or residential buildings where

standard ceiling lights are already in place and we are adding to them. We

would certainly seek to work with QE Global again on a project that could

exploit their bespoke lighting capabilities.”