We did what we do best when Grayshott Parish Council enlisted our help to enhance the Hampshire village square, which had become neglected over the years.

The brief

Although there was no mandatory reason to illuminate the area, we all agreed it was too dark to function as a main route to the village’s high street. So, the parish council, which owns the square, partnered with Hampshire County Council and the East Hampshire District Council to introduce low-key landscaping and lighting solutions with minimal maintenance requirements and running costs.

The village square was surrounded by shops and flats and had a nearby car park. Plus, there was a stepped podium at one end to account for a change in levels. These facilities all need adequate lighting to maintain footfall and meet accessibility requirements, but residents overlooking the square wanted the space to remain unlit — or as dimly lit as possible.

Local sentiment wasn’t the only challenge for this project, either. The budget for the lighting equipment used to revamp the area was set at £10,000 and no columns were allowed in the square, nor could luminaires be attached to the walls because of the need for wayleaves — limiting our options.

Still, we managed to find a way to meet this project’s requirements.

The solutions

To help with wayfinding, we used low-brightness light sources in the ground to avoid glare and keep residents happy. Similarly, we opted for 5 mm LED clusters, rather than the ubiquitous high-brightness alternatives, to brighten up the stepped podium. As well as being less intense, these lights also consume less power — helping the council save money.

Additional illumination was provided by narrow-angle uplights, which reflect light off the trees whilst upward light is contained within the foliage. These uplights were angled towards the high street. The underside of the benches on the site were also illuminated with linear low-brightness LEDs that matched the shape of the bench. A power socket was added under each bench for sound systems.

A decorative granite ball was also added above the podium to create visual interest onsite. For most of the year, the ball’s illuminated with small spotlights that produce white light from fibre optics — a choice we made due to the lack of space for conventional recessed units. We used a miniature LED-powered fibre optic projector for this part of the project, as it includes pre-set colour scenes and can be used to create festive decorative lighting scenes at Christmas and village events.

The final result

Now, Grayshott Square is bright and exciting — just what the local community needs at the heart of the village.

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

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