As such, councils and local authorities are now forced to think smarter to tackle this issue, quashing high energy consumption and its associated costs, as the cost-of-living and climate crises wage on.
We’re all well aware of the cost-of-living crisis, so we’ll keep this short. As with everything else around us, the cost of lighting towns and cities has also shot up.
But even if money were no object, there’s also climate change to think about. Although we can all make small changes to our habits to use less (and, ultimately, waste less) at home, simply ‘turning off the lights’ isn’t an option when it comes to street lighting.
So, there’s a drive to swap the lighting to cost-effective LEDs. But some thought is required before doing so. For instance, you might swap your 70 W sodium lamp with a 20 W LED luminaire based on a matrix approach. But how do you know the 70 W light was right in the first place, or that the composition of the task you’re lighting hasn’t changed?
Tackling these problems with a good lighting design can save on average 10% more energy consumption than a matrix solution, as well as improve the capabilities of your lighting installation. Then we can really take the next step, developing truly sustainable, cost-effective lighting solutions through smart lighting controls that allow us to put the right lights in the right place at the right time. These solutions are at the core of today’s most innovative smart cities!
WHAT MAKES A SMART CITY?
Smart cities run on the best of the best — including high-tech waterways, public transport systems and, of course, advanced lighting solutions — helping to reduce energy consumption and improve the quality of life for communities.
One of many fine examples of modern smart cities is the university town of Umeå in northern Sweden. The ‘Station of Being’ bus stop boasts a smart roof and coloured lights inside rotating wooden pods, which help users feel safe whilst waiting for buses. The lights stop the lack of daylight in winter preventing local students from taking public transport.
Closer to home, authorities in Glasgow have put motion sensors in streetlights to detect passers-by and turn the lights on precisely when it’s needed — reducing the city’s energy consumption without impacting footfall.
Excellent lighting design is at the core of every smart city and should balance cost-effectiveness and sustainability with convenience and safety to be a truly worthwhile investment.
Thankfully, smart technology is all about working better with what’s already there. The lighting industry isn’t short of innovative solutions, but contrary to what you may think, they don’t require the cost and effort of replacing an entire city’s streetlights.
When thinking of smart, sustainable lighting solutions, LEDs are the first that come to mind. These low-cost components are up to 80% more efficient than traditional lighting solutions and have a very long lifespan, making them a sure-fire way to save money and help the environment.
There are heaps of benefits to putting sensors in lights (so many that we couldn’t possibly cover them all in this blog!). We’ve already mentioned motion sensors, but there are also ambient sensors that detect natural light levels, so lights only come on when it’s dark — limiting light pollution, minimising disruption to wildlife and saving energy and money.
Sensors can also be connected to the internet of things (IoT) and collect valuable data for councils and authorities, notifying them of lighting failures and even illustrating peak usage periods for city planning.
Adaptive lighting profiles
We know that turning streetlights off altogether isn’t an option for councils looking to run more sustainable cities. But dimming them certainly is! With adaptive lighting profiles, authorities can decide precisely how bright they’d like their streetlights to be. So, no unnecessary energy consumption or frustrated residents kept awake by excessively bright lights outside their windows.
Adaptive lighting is also useful for implementing circadian lighting, where streetlights mimic the colour and intensity of ambient light throughout the day for a seamless lighting installation that won’t mess with our sleep-wake cycles. We might not be there just yet, but we think this should be a real consideration in the future.
HOW DO YOU TAKE THE NEXT STEP?
There are a few things to consider when implementing the above solutions. To make sure you get the most out of your new smart lighting solutions, you must fully understand the installation context.
First and foremost, you need to know what work must be done to reach your ‘smart’ goals. We don’t expect you to know the ins and outs of lighting design (that’s our job), but it can be helpful to understand whether you need entirely new solutions or if we can work with what you’ve got.
You’ll also need to think about who could be negatively impacted by the new lighting installation. For example, installing multi-coloured LEDs throughout the high street might be a good idea to encourage footfall from youths and late-night pub-goers, but could be met with disapproval from long-term locals.
As one of the UK’s leading exterior lighting and electrical design specialists, our smart consultancy services are ideal for councils and authorities looking to implement high-quality smart lighting solutions. If you fancy a chat about how we can help with your next project, give us a call on +44 (0)1962 855080 or email firstname.lastname@example.org!
Jack also joined us in August 2023 as part of the LAMP Academy. He’s got a background in architecture and will be working in our public realm team.
Louis joined the LAMP Academy in June 2023.
Connor joined us in June as part of the Lighting and Mentoring Program (LAMP Academy, as we like to call it).
Frankie joined DFL in October 2022 after working in project management roles since 2005. Before that, Frankie created e-learning packages and worked on content for educational websites. She’s got plenty of experience using PRINCE2 and agile project management methodologies.
‘I was looking for a project role but something a little different, then I spotted a recruitment advert that was so engaging that I felt compelled to apply…and here I am!’ is Frankie’s summary of how she found herself at DFL.
Now, she works with the lighting design teams, liaising with clients and monitoring project progress to ensure that all the moving pieces are coming together as expected. Frankie’s looking forward to getting involved in our new training and mentoring programme: LAMP Academy.
Frankie says, ‘It’s so refreshing to work for a company that cares about their staff and not only encourages them to flourish in the roles they’ve chosen but provides mentorship too. I love sitting in the office and watching the more experienced designers giving advice to our newer recruits’.
And here’s a little-known fact about her: ‘I used to be in an all-girl band (not famous, obviously) and also ran my own motorsport website that covered the British Formula Three racing series’.
Fran joined DFL in December 2016 as our accounts and office administrator.
As for what Fran’s role entails, she says: ‘I’m the first contact for visitors and telephone callers and handle all the accounts and general administration in the office. I enjoy dealing with clients and suppliers and being able to assist wherever required. DFL is a very friendly company, and it really is a pleasure to come to work every day’.
‘I enjoy silversmithing (on a very small scale), fishing, walking, gardening and socialising with friends. I also enjoy watching the England cricket team and play tennis and squash badly’ is Fran’s summary of her hobbies outside of work. They’re her words, not ours!
Martyn joined DFL in November 2018. He says, ‘I really enjoy working at DFL as the people are awesome and the culture is positive, professional and fun’.
But that’s not all he likes about DFL. Martyn also enjoys it when colleagues bring in sweet treats to the office; senior lighting designer Alex’s homemade cakes are always popular.
Outside of work, Martyn enjoys fixing things, and he can often be seen around the office working on any IT problems. He also enjoys watching classic sci-fi and horror films, going on walks with his dog and spending time outside gardening. He’s a big animal lover!
Fiona started her position as a lighting technician at DFL in August 2021, joining the lighting impact assessment (LIA) team to assist with reports, design calculations and site assessments. With an environmental sciences degree, Fiona can give an in-depth and technical view of the factors that need to be considered when thinking about the environmental impact of a lighting installation.
Outside of work, Fiona enjoys an interest that the whole team loves: baking! She says, ‘I love to have a go at new recipes and creating sweet treats’.
Steve joined DFL in January this year. He decided to retrain and join lighting after a family member who works in the industry sang its praises. He’s currently studying the Institute of Lighting Professionals (ILP) Exterior Lighting Diploma and is a part of our in-house training scheme.
In terms of Steve’s priorities, he says, ‘I’m keen to design schemes that use as little energy as possible to save our clients money and reduce national consumption amidst energy security concerns. The environment, wildlife and dark skies will be at the heart of the design process’.
In his free time, Steve enjoys sports of all kinds, but especially likes football. ‘I’ve hung up my boots now’ he explains, ‘but I enjoy watching my son play for Ossett Town Under 15’s. We’re also season ticket holders at Barnsley FC’.
A little-known fact about Steve: ‘I have a degree in Historical and Political Studies, but after a work placement with my local MP, I decided that wasn’t a career I wished to pursue!’.
Connor joined DFL in 2022. He’s got a background in product design and enjoys using software to develop new solutions.
Commenting on his role at the company, Connor says, ‘I love the fact that DFL can provide bespoke solutions for each project. We always provide the best design, and no scheme is the same as the last. Lighting allows me to use my knowledge to make real change within the UK, one scheme at a time’.
He also enjoys a bit of squash in his spare time and can be found at his local squash club choosing his opponents carefully. Plus, a little-known fact about Connor is that he volunteers at the Winchester Beacon homeless shelter on Sundays to cook English breakfasts!
Aaron joined DFL in August 2012 as a lighting designer. Since then, he’s mostly worked on the lighting design for large-scale projects including one for Croydon PFI, an LED upgrade in Lambeth and the Kent County Council LED upgrade, on top of several smaller-scale projects.
‘Having been mainly involved in LED upgrade works, my main aim to date has been to reduce the energy output as much as possible — utilising the improved efficiency of LED lighting’, Aaron explains about his personal approach to lighting.
He goes on to say, ‘I’m always mindful of road users, pedestrians and residents alike, taking factors such as obtrusive light and the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) requirements into consideration at the design stage. I’m also eager to ensure I deliver quality designs with the customer’s satisfaction being paramount’.
As for what he gets up to outside of work, Aaron says, ‘I fancy myself as a keen amateur cook, along with being a massive movie buff. I also enjoy all kinds of music and it’s very seldom that I’m not plugged in. I enjoy singing where permitted and play mean ‘desk drums’ (much to the annoyance of my colleagues!). I like to think I have a creative mind, taking note of the old adage that everyone has at least one book inside them, which is something I’d like to look into in the future’.
Alex started work at an electrical wholesale company 18 years ago, before moving on to a sales role with a manufacturer in the food industry, where he eventually obtained a management-level role. In the background, Alex did a bit of design work and went on to set up the lighting division at 7 Core Electrical.
‘As a lover of nature and the effects of lighting, I have a passion for trying to get the two to work in harmony and create a better, more enjoyable environment for the surrounding inhabitants’, Alex says about his role.
In his spare, time Alex enjoys looking after his plants (as it stands, he has 40 indoor plants and roughly 10 outdoor ones), watching horror and sci-fi movies, bouldering and foraging.
Sylvia joined DFL in February 2012 as a senior computer-aided design (CAD) technician. Explaining what she does on a day-to-day basis, she says, ‘I take our highly talented engineers’ scribbles and splodges and transform them into beautiful drawings. I also provide a mentoring and training service to our design team to help solve all their CAD problems’.
Explaining her personal approach to lighting design, Sylvia also believes she’s ‘just very good at drawing lamp posts!’. She continues, ‘I take personal pride in creating drawings that are consistent in terms of their approach and quality, and that are easily understood by the recipients. I ensure that all drawings that leave DFL meet our quality requirements irrespective of who has drawn them’.
That’s not all, either! Sylvia’s also our Building Information Modelling (BIM) expert and clients regularly seek her expertise on this crucial aspect of the design phase.
In her free time, Sylvia loves a bit of gardening. She says, ‘I’m very green-fingered and enjoy spending time creating my beautiful garden’.
Amanda joined DFL in November 2022 as one of our senior lighting engineers.
Speaking about her job, Amanda says, ‘I work on lighting projects that have ecological sensitivities related to them. I enjoy this type of lighting, as it ensures we’re providing the most appropriate schemes whilst protecting flora and fauna and human health’.
Being in a role that involved protecting the environment was very important to Amanda, as this subject is close to her heart.
Amanda also had this to say about her industry: ‘Lighting has brought me in contact with organisations that assist with guidance and provide practical experiences to ensure that what we design is safe and within industry standards.’
Guus joined DFL in December 2020 as a lighting designer. In his role, he combines his expertise in Digital Multiplex (DMX) that he obtained from working in event lighting with architectural lighting schemes. He’s also involved in everything from planning and modelling to design.
The thing Guus enjoys most about being a lighting designer is the sheer variety of different challenges to be solved. He says, ‘Every project is either slightly or vastly different, meaning there’s always something new to learn. I also love the creative element of architectural lighting design and modelling, where I get to combine art with engineering’.
He goes on to say, ‘My focus when creating lighting designs is to fuse practicality, functionality and aesthetics, along with encouraging regular discussions to ensure all client expectations are being met’.
If the weather is good, you can find Guus on the landing strip outside of his working hours. ‘I got a skydiving license in 2015 and have been making the most out of the summer months by jumping out of aeroplanes’, he notes. If the weather isn’t so good, Guus is usually tinkering around with game development ranging from environment design, planning, or actual development.
Alex joined DFL in March 2008 as a senior lighting designer. He has almost 15 years of experience in the lighting industry and has worked on projects of all sizes from small residential schemes to installations in major roads and town centres.
A favourite project of Alex’s was the architectural lighting design for Kettering Market Place, and he says, ‘I enjoy architectural lighting projects. Designing lighting of a space or building can give it a real atmosphere and make it come alive’.
Outside of work, Alex enjoys spending time with his family. He’s actually researched his family history in depth over the last seven years and recently met cousins from the US and Canada for the first time! Alex’s also recently started running and has a current 5 km personal best time of 23:41 minutes. He’s currently training for his first half marathon later in the year.
Kelly started with DFL in April 2021 after joining the lighting industry by accident in 2001 — and what a happy accident it was! She’s been involved in a wide variety of large and small schemes since joining us, including installations in and around Manchester Airport, Duthamgate, Belfast city centre and the Queensferry bridge, and has even been known to dabble in interior lighting on occasion.
During her time in lighting, Kelly has also presented to various technical bodies on a variety of subjects including Building Information Modelling (BIM) and the effects of blue light and glare.
As for her personal approach to lighting, Kelly says, ‘Lighting can manipulate how we perceive the world around us in so many ways, either deliberately or accidentally. It’s fascinating to know how different lighting effects, both functional and aesthetical, can achieve different experiences. As a lighting designer, I strive to make that experience suitable not just for us but for the flora and fauna we have to share the outside space with’.
Outside of work, Kelly’s never far from a book; it makes her grumpy to not have something to read! When she must eventually get out of the house, she enjoys the dancing waltz, foxtrot, quickstep, salsa, line, paso doble, tango — the list goes on.
Peter joined the team in April 2010 with many years of experience in business administration and strategic analysis, making him one of our longest-serving teammates. Overseeing the finance team, Peter works alongside the directors to highlight insights into company performance, streamline processes and implement new concepts within DFL.
By acknowledging the areas where there is a need for change and assessing how we can make the right improvements, Peter helps to transform how the company operates — and he’s our go-to for most things DFL.
In his role, Peter enjoys teaching new staff how to work with the software we use and explaining how we do things. For example, he’s currently working on DFL’s recent adoption of the HubSpot CRM platform for project management.
Although he’s not involved in lighting design, Peter’s still got some thoughts on the subject. In his opinion, ‘Lighting should promote the safety and wellbeing of people whilst being considerate of its impact on the surrounding environment’.
In his free time, Peter lives to ski and snowboard — he’s spent four winters in the mountains over the last 12 years. When there isn’t snow around, he’ll be on the water sailing or busting some tunes on either a clarinet or euphonium.
Filip joined DFL in June 2015 as a lighting designer. He’s involved with lighting design and calculations, CAD drawings, modelling and project management, and his favourite part of the job’s finding the opportunity to make the design process more efficient by macro or Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) code.
Projects Filip’s worked on include the lighting design and management of the Kent LED replacement programme, as well as light spill modelling for several light impact assessments (LIAs) for new developments.
Filip’s personal approach to lighting design is simple: ‘Lighting design should be well thought out, accurate and up to date, using technology to ensure it will serve its purpose for many years’.
Outside of work, Filip enjoys playing volleyball and sightseeing.
Ian joined us in May 2022, after starting his career as a CAD technician and wanting to be more involved with design principles. Now, he runs his own schemes and heads up a team at DFL.
The visual design process and the results witnessed onsite after installation is complete are some of the things Ian enjoys most about his role. He says, ‘I have a sense of pride in working through the challenges on a scheme and knowing the job was completed under budget and on time’.
In fact, Ryan enjoys lighting so much that he has great things to say about why it’s a good career choice, explaining: ‘Street lighting has many interesting requirements, including lighting to standards, electrical design principles, ecological design considerations and site investigations. Working with teams from other consultants is also a great way to improve your communication and presentation skills’.
In Ian’s free time, you’ll find him at his local sailing club racing small sailboats. He also enjoys cooking, having originally trained as a chef!
We’ve got an incredible opportunity for anyone looking to gain qualified engineer status to immerse themselves in the world of design, kickstart their career with a great consultancy (if we do say so ourselves) and really make a difference in the lighting and environmental industries.
We call it LAMP Academy (like what we did there?). We won’t bog you down with the details now, but it stands for the Learning and Mentoring Programme, and it’s a new training scheme designed to get people like you into a rewarding, exciting entry-level role that’ll take you places (literally — you’ll be visiting all sorts of different places!).
As a LAMP technician, you’ll experience a wide range of sectors and try your hand at projects across the lighting installation spectrum. The whole time you’re with us, you’ll have ongoing support from our friendly, experienced professionals, who’ll help you develop the technical and theoretical skills you need to thrive in your career.
What’s the catch? There isn’t one! So long as you’re eager to learn and up for a challenge, you’ll finish LAMP Academy as a certified lighting engineer earning a salary of at least £30,000 a year. Plus, you won’t have to deal with any more queries about what you’re doing with your life now you’ve finished school.
So, go ahead and apply below. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain…
Scott joined the DFL team in March 2022 as project manager — supporting our busy, ever-growing minor projects team. He acts as the key point of contact for our wide customer base and works hard to ensure all projects are delivered on time and to budget (which can be quite the challenge)!
Having been in the lighting industry for over 18 years now, Scott boasts expertise in many elements of lighting, including project design, product management, sales, marketing and technical considerations. He’s also keen to support the lighting industry and has volunteered with the Institution of Lighting Professionals (ILP) for well over 10 years now.
Scott’s experience is evident in his personal approach to lighting, which is all about using the right product, in the right place, for the right amount of time. He explains, ‘Sometimes we can get a little hung up on trying to achieve specific lighting levels and classes in the lighting industry, but we need to think much more about the bigger picture. For example, does the design provide a good environment for the users within the space? Can we reduce lighting levels when the usage changes throughout hours of darkness? Is the proposed product being used in the correct application?’.
Outside of work, Scott tries his hand at a bit of golf, which takes up any free time he has away from family and friends.
Ryan joined DFL in July 2015 as a lighting designer. He works on light impact assessments (LIAs) to support planning applications and developments and is involved in the architectural elements of lighting design. Creative projects like landscape lighting schemes are Ryan’s thing, as he enjoys allowing his artistic side to shine through.
Major projects Ryan’s worked on include new developments for clients such as Jaguar Land Rover, in which he provided the lighting strategy to which the end designer has to adhere. He’s also completed lighting impact assessments that have helped clients secure planning approval.
What’s more, Ryan’s also been involved in the lighting strategy for a luxury hotel resort in Cornwall, which involved a very innovative process by which creative lighting was fully integrated within the lighting design. One of his other recent achievements was the redesign of the lighting on the New Burlington Flare LightArt sculpture, which was very challenging both technically and aesthetically.
Speaking about his personal approach to lighting design, Ryan says, ‘It’s about ensuring that light is designed appropriately for the application and where applicable it meets the relevant standard. I believe that lighting needs to be well thought out so that it enhances its surroundings’.
When he’s not in the office, Ryan enjoys spending time with his family. ‘I’m enjoying my new role as a father to our new daughter, Amelie’, he explains. ‘My interests include kayaking, watching motorsport and, when I get the time, go-karting’.
Alistair joined DFL in February 2005 as managing director. He’s responsible for the strategic direction and corporate governance of the company. He also oversees staff development and training, encouraging membership to professional bodies like the Institution of Lighting Professionals (ILP) and Highway Electrical Association (HEA).
There are a lot of things Alistair enjoys about his role at DFL, from the variety of tasks it involves, such as discussing lighting strategy and providing technical advice whilst encouraging clients to look at problems from a different perspective. He also loves working on lighting impact assessments (LIAs), having completed one for London Gateway, and lighting strategies, which he provided for the Pacific island of Vanuatu (there were some very enjoyable site visits involved!).
During his career to date, Alistair has had the honour of being president of the ILP and was awarded the ‘Service to Industry Award’ from the HEA in 2013. To sum up his personal approach to lighting design, Alistair says, ‘My philosophy is all about improving the quality of light for any application by minimising glare and obtrusive light. I’m committed to working with organisations to create strategies that are both practical and sustainable’.
In his free time, Alistair enjoys living by the sea. ‘We moved near the coast to spend more time in, on or next to the water, which involves activities like sailing, paddle boarding, walking and cycling. I also love eating out — a favourite of mine being Rick Stein’s at Poole, with its amazing seafood and views over the harbour’.
Richard joined DFL in January 2013 as a project manager and business development director, so he’s just celebrated his 10th anniversary with us! In his current role, Richard handles new business — helping clients understand what they need from their projects and explaining how DFL can ensure their return on investment (ROI).
Day to day, Richard deals with everything from small S278 lighting designs that prioritise cost-effectiveness to large ‘Invest to Save’ schemes where clients are looking for the biggest savings and best payback periods. He actually worked on one of the most ambitious street lighting projects the UK’s ever seen, the Kent County Council LED upgrade — delivering on-time solutions that kept to the scheme’s budget.
Richard’s passionate about demonstrating the added value DFL brings to projects and always strives to help clients meet their aims and aspirations. As for his approach to lighting design, he says, ‘I always like to bring the buildability approach to schemes. Having built my way up from working on the tools, I’m always keen to promote a pragmatic design that considers installation, maintenance and even end-of-life replacement and decommissioning’.
‘I enjoy the time I get with my family on evenings and weekends, and I love running around after the kids as well as running in general’, Richard explains. ‘It’s time I spend to myself reviewing my day and planning ahead. I’m always up for a challenge and can be found running the odd half marathon or parkrun on a Saturday morning’.
Andrew joined DFL in October 2006 as a technical director. Now, his main role involves looking after members of the design team — nurturing their technical abilities and providing training, guidance and advice when needed.
Andrew’s also responsible for the on-time delivery of projects, quality control and overall customer satisfaction, as well as all procedures that affect the design process.
Speaking about his personal approach to lighting design, Andrew says, ‘Before starting any project, I strongly believe in discussing the details with clients at the earliest opportunity — avoiding any assumptions or misconceptions and keeping them involved in the process. This ensures that the end product fulfils the client’s expectations, whilst being efficient and sustainable’.
Outside of work, Andrew is a keen spectator of, and participator in, motorsports.