In a previous post, I outlined our London and South East Energy Efficiency Project and mentioned that one of the initiatives has been to roll out LED lighting to non-showroom areas. This has proved to be an astonishingly difficult project – but one that feels very worthwhile and has benefits beyond energy reduction.
The reason we focussed on non-showroom areas was two-fold; firstly, our show rooms have very special needs both aesthetic (because we don’t want light bulbs to look ugly or out of place in a historic environment) and due to conservation requirements (including the effect of UV and heat on fragile textiles and materials and weight on fragile fittings). Also, we knew that Keith, Paul and colleagues in head office were working with Heritage Lighting to develop a solution for show rooms. Several months later we are now trialling Heritage Lighting bulbs in five of our LSE properties – but that’s another (happy) story.
So on we went with a full procurement tendering process with the help of our regional Procurement Manager (more accurately, he ran it – we helped!). We chose Newey & Eyre as our suppliers and partners for this work and they quickly got on with surveying twenty-two of our largest mansion houses. They recommended alternatives for every bulb and listed them room-by-room to help installation. We turned this list into an order spreadsheet, sent it back to the property for them to look over and approve and then arranged for light bulbs to be shipped to them. Alongside this, a colleague was noting every light bulb that was being sent out and what it was replacing so that we could monitor exact energy and cost benefits for each property.
The upshot of this is that we now have a lot of LEDs in our properties! I have learned more than I ever thought possible about light bulbs and I have spent a lot of time up ladders – having accompanied the surveyor on a number of surveys and having installed a good number of bulbs myself. It also reminded me that every single one of our properties is extraordinarily different from every other one. They all use very different light bulbs in very different circumstances and have very different requirements.
We have now sent an order form out to all of our properties in the region to offer them all LEDs in non-showroom areas. Our challenge over the next couple of months is to answer enquiries and help them order the light bulbs most appropriate for their needs.