One of our most challenging (yet rewarding) projects to date was the ecologically sensitive lighting scheme we produced for the Dorothy House Hospice in Bradford-on-Avon.

The brief

The hospice sits right next to Winsley Mines, where Greater Horseshoe bats hibernate — making it a part of the county’s Special Area of Conservation (SAC). Plus, the site is one of the Cotswolds Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs). So, we had to achieve the client’s desired lighting levels, satisfy the ecologist’s requirements and secure planning permission from the local authority all at once. Challenging...

The solutions

Our first step was to swap the site’s existing lighting for more appropriate alternatives, as it previously had standard floodlights mounted on six-metre columns with a high tilt angle, resulting in uncontrolled light distribution, excessive light spill and high levels of glare — angering residents.

After consulting with ecologists, we decided to use the DW Windsor Kirium Pro Mini luminaires mounted on four-metre columns, working closely with the manufacturer to create a bespoke luminaire shield to reduce light spill.

DW Windsor’s Pharola DS illuminated bollards, which use downward-facing light, were also selected to highlight the car park’s access ramp and provide amenity lighting for pedestrians using the car park extension.

Both luminaires have a warm colour temperature of 3000 K, as lights with less of a blue hue are recommended in the latest Institution of Lighting Professionals (ILP) ‘Bats and Artificial Lighting in the UK’ guidance note. Plus, we set these lights to a lower lux level (brightness) than what’s recommended for car park lighting to minimise disruption to the wildlife and landscape — but only after it was deemed safe by our site assessment, of course!

The final result

Overall, our design helped the site achieve 0% upward light, which was a key factor in it being awarded the prestigious ‘Good Lighting Award’ from the Commission for Dark Skies. Since the project’s completion, residents have also been impressed with the results, despite their previous objections to the car park being lit.

We spent a long time on the Dorothy House project (nine years of discussions, nearly three years of planning and three months developing plans, to be precise) — a testament to the dedication from us, DW Windsor and MJ Church, the contractors who installed the scheme. And we’d do it all again in a heartbeat!

Want to chat about your project? We’re all ears.

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