As many schools strive to find a balance between maintaining facilities and managing budgets, spending on energy use is increasingly coming under scrutiny. With LED lighting offering guaranteed energy savings of up to 60%, school management teams are realising that investing in LEDs can significantly reduce energy and maintenance costs – freeing up funds to be channelled into the curriculum.
Smart schools choose LEDs to save money and boost learning
Lighting is one of the largest running costs for schools; a typical secondary school using traditional fluorescent lighting could spend up to £50,000 a year to keep the lights on. Research undertaken by the Carbon Trust showed that the cost of lighting may account for 20% of a school’s total energy bill. If schools across the UK focused on reducing energy costs across every area, including lighting, it could realise savings of over £44m a year and prevent around 625,000 tonnes of CO2being released to the atmosphere.
As well as offering substantial savings in running costs, LED lighting is often more effective than traditional lighting. Improved light levels create more energising spaces for pupils to learn and teachers to work; emerging evidence suggests that good lighting can have a positive impact on concentration levels, mood and motivation, and could therefore help to boost pupils’ attainment.
Commercial LED lighting company Earlsmann was recently contacted by Auditel to provide proposals for a total lighting upgrade at Swanlea School in Whitechapel, London. The school, which was graded ‘outstanding’ in its most recent OFSTED assessment, was looking to save money while also providing better facilities to support ongoing exceptional achievement.
The issue of shrinking budgets is particularly acute in the state sector; a report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies in July 2018 found per pupil spending in England’s schools has fallen by 8% since 2010. Swanlea School appointed business performance and energy cost reduction consultant Auditel to review its energy performance, arrange a survey of the existing lighting and to propose improvements.
Earlsmann designs a high-performance LED lighting solution for a unique building
Earlsmann used the survey provided by Auditel as a basis to quote, and modelled several different areas for both main lighting and emergency provision to confirm light levels would meet Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) guidelines. Swanlea School is sited in a dense urban area to the east of the City of London. The building, designed by Percy Thomas Partnership with Hampshire County Architects, is laid out over three floors with a large full-height open central ‘street’ with a curved glass roof, where pupils and staff move along walkways and across bridges to access classrooms and facilities.
The school-wide project included classroom lighting, store areas, LED office lighting, corridors, cloakrooms, sports hall lighting and assembly halls, with many different types of luminaire across over 2,000 light fittings in total. Earlsmann identified that it would need to supply around 15 different types of light to provide the functionality required across so many diverse areas. The unusual design of the buildings meant several customised fittings were needed to replace existing lighting. For example, Earlsmann designed a bespoke cornice fitting for the central street and provided unusual prismatic units for the assembly hall.
The new LED solution also needed to provide emergency led lighting provision across the site. Earlsmann reviewed the existing lighting and noted that some units were located six metres from ground level, making maintenance challenging and therefore costly. To resolve this issue, Earlsmann relocated the lighting to simplify access for battery changes.
Working together with NCS Technology to install the lighting, Earlsmann provided Swanlea School with a complete ‘one stop shop’ solution for all areas – delivering the LED upgrade project on time and to budget. Light levels throughout the school have improved. The new LED lighting is virtually maintenance-free, has a long lifespan, offers a significant reduction in energy use and has cut the school’s CO2emissions by approximately 58 tonnes each year.
Terry Stimson, the school site manager, was enthusiastic about the performance of the lighting – and the contractors used; saying that “lighting throughout the school has significantly improved” and “very impressed with NCS and Earlsmann; we hardly noticed they were there as they were extremely professional and provided an excellent, trouble-free installation”.
Earlsmann – your experienced partner in creating total LED lighting solutions
Earlsmann has many years’ experience in the LED marketplace, providing a comprehensive range of led lighting solutions to suit every interior and exterior application.
In-house designers use Relux modelling to create innovative solutions tailored to client requirements.
Find out more about Earlsmann’s commercial led lighting products, call 08456 434 740 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You might also like to take a look at our other LED Lighting for Schools projects.