Working in partnership for the environment: Designs for Lighting and DW Windsor produce award winning ecological lighting scheme for Dorothy House
It took 9 years of discussions, nearly 3 years in planning and 3 months to develop and deliver a highly sensitive lighting scheme for the car park at Dorothy House Hospice Care in Bradford-on-Avon. The project was opened in January and was awarded a prestigious ‘Good Lighting‘ award by the Commission for Dark Skies.
The length of time involved to design the scheme is testament to the skill and dedication of the team involved. This included Designs for Lighting, as lighting designers, DW Windsor, as manufacturers and MJ Church, contractors who installed the scheme. The team worked alongside the project ecologists, whose job it was to ensure that sensitive ecology was not impacted by the lighting.
The key requirement of the project was to ensure approval for lighting was granted by the local planning authority. DfL’s main challenge was to create a sensitive lighting solution. It could not be detrimental to the ecologically sensitive boundaries. The boundaries and site are next to Winsley Mines, part of Bradford-on-Avon bats special area of conservation. This is a hibernation site for the greater horse shoe bats and is a designated site of specific scientific interest. The location also sits within the Cotswold area CAONB, a site of outstanding natural beauty.
As lighting designers DfL needed to strike a balance to satisfy the ecologists’ requirements and ensure that the light levels for the car park were satisfactory for the Client. The lighting task was to light the new car park. DfL identified that the existing lighting for the car park also needed improving. The existing scheme was lit by standard floodlights mounted on 6m columns. The floodlights had uncontrolled distribution with high levels of glare. The tilt angle was high, leading to excessive levels of spill light which had previously resulted in complaints from adjacent residents.
DW Windsor’s products were chosen for their ability to control the light distribution. 22 No. Kirium Pro Mini luminaires, mounted on 4m columns provide the main car park lighting. DfL worked closely with DW Windsor to create a bespoke luminaire shield which further reduced the light spill. This was intended for the west boundary to the site to ensure the levels did not exceed 0.5 lux. Due to the sensitivity of the site and the need to minimise light spill at the boundaries, the area is lit to a P Class, rather than the recommended car park lighting levels. The deviation from standard was subject to a risk assessment and succeeded due to the low speed and traffic flow.
Pharola “dark-sky” illuminated bollards are located on the access ramp and provide low levels of amenity lighting for pedestrians accessing the car park extension. This model uses downward light and both luminaire types have a warm colour temp of 3000K. DfL specified warm white colour temperature engines which are known to have a lower blue light content than higher colour temperature sources. These warmer colour temperatures are now recommended in the latest ILP guidance for Bats and Artificial Lighting in the UK.
Overall the design achieved 0% upward light from the installation, which was one factor influencing the Commission for Dark Skies award. A key factor in the success of this project was the ability of DW Windsor to work hand in hand with DfL to solve the issues.
Dorothy House Hospice are very happy with the resulting scheme that has also been praised by local residents, who had previously raised strong objections about the prospect of the car park being lit.