Case Studies

Managed lighting is the perfect choice for Peterborough's Land Registry

HM Land Registry has been impressed by the performance and reliability of the Ex-Or energy saving equipment in operation throughout the government agency’s estate.

Ex-Or has made such a positive impression that its sophisticated, high-performance MLS Managed Lighting System has been installed throughout the Land Registry's office building in Tunbridge Wells.

The Ex-Or MLS has been installed in virtually every area of the Land Registry’s regional offices in Peterborough, including open plan and cellular offices and interview rooms.

The Ex-Or MLS brings three major benefits to all buildings where energy efficiency and the quality of lighting are important factors. Lights switch on and off, or dim and brighten, according to occupancy and natural levels of daylight, always ensuring optimum levels of light which help promote higher staff productivity; and all current and declared legislation and building regulations are met.

Howard Green, accommodation officer at Peterborough District Land Registry, explained that a responsive new lighting system was needed in the five-storey 1970s-style building, which comprises 110,000 square feet of office space and accommodates 500 staff.

"We were plagued by light fitting failures in the existing system," he said. Because of its age and design, many blown tubes could not be replaced, as connectors had broken and spares were not available.

We were also concerned at the size of our electricity bill and unnecessary use of lights. We had no control whatsoever over lighting in open plan areas, which cover about 90 per cent of the building. Manual switches were turned on at 6am by security staff and not switched off until 7.30pm, regardless of need. So we felt there was substantial room for improvement.

"We had to comply with legislation, the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations. They stipulate that lighting should be appropriate for all tasks usually performed at the workstation, without glare and reflections. Our old system did not comply, but The Ex-Or MLS meets all the legal requirements."

Howard commissioned a survey from consulting engineers, the John Melville Partnership, who recommended a managed lighting system.

"I was perfectly happy with that arrangement, as I knew that Ex-Or had been used with a great degree of success in other Land Registry buildings," he added.

"The next task was to sell the idea to our staff, so we drafted in Ian Lloyd, the agency’s energy manager, together with representatives from Ex-Or. They gave talks and showed videos about MLS, and we also distributed newsletters. One of our main aims was to make employees aware of the benefits of the system, and show them how it could improve their working environment."

Ex-Or’s specialist installation and commissioning service was a further bonus. Said Howard: ". Ex-Or fitted the most appropriate equipment in the best locations with very little disruption and fuss. Not only was the task completed on schedule and within our budget, we also have the protection of a comprehensive on-site warranty. And if any upgrading work is needed in the future, it will make sense to call Ex-Or back to continue their excellent service."

The system was installed during a three month period. The entire project was carried out at night to prevent disrupting staff. Luminaire bodies were manufactured in a special shade to exactly match the pressed steel ceiling tiles. They were individually made to fit non standard apertures in the ceiling. And since the existing light fittings were part of the air conditioning system, the new luminaires incorporated an air extract handling facility. Care was taken to match the air handling characteristics of the original installation to retain system balance.

Whereas old light fittings included three 85 watt lamps per luminaire the new luminaires comprise two 58 watt tubes, so power consumption is down to 116 watts. The downward light output of the new luminaires is vastly superior to the original fittings, and the system's high-frequency regulating ballasts are much more efficient than the quick-start technology of the 1970s. Tri-phosphor T8 lamps also offer particularly good colour rendering and high efficiency.

"Now the lights are hardly noticed by our staff, because the light quality they give can hardly be distinguished from natural light. The Ex-Or MLS is vastly superior to our old system, and employees do appreciate the absence of glare on their computer screens," said Howard.

We are already seeing large savings in electricity costs and a reduction in our maintenance budget. Not only do lights stay off when they are not needed, but as they automatically dim to the correct output, virtually none of them ever operates at full power, so the system is very energy-efficient. Another advantage is that there is no need for electricians or technicians to alter the settings or groupings of luminaires, as it can be done quickly and easily using Ex-Or's sophisticated hand-held programmer.

We are also very impressed by the way the system can be 'zoned', or concentrated on a particular person or group of people working in an open plan area. Ex-Or's system means that they are not just spotlighted and surrounded by intimidating darkness, but are linked by ‘corridors' of light to exits, toilets, lift lobbies and landings.