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Bullring, Birmingham

LED Retail England

issue 46 December / January 2008/9

Philips Lighting Solutions, Weblight and Mitie have announced their commitment to replace the current decorative lighting scheme at the Bullring shopping mall in Birmingham with a sustainable state-of-the-art LED solution

The overall aim of this joint initiative is to uphold the Bullring’s reputation as a premier retail centre offering an enhanced shopper experience supported by a sustainable energy efficiency lighting solution. As a direct result of this approach, Birmingham’s Bullring shopping centre will benefit from a staggering 85% saving in energy consumption, proving that environmentally friendly lighting solutions can be integrated seamlessly into iconic design.

Creative & Sustainable Flexibility
The Bullring is synonymous with the city centre attracting some 40 million visitors each year. With its transformation completed in 2003 (mondo*arc 15), this leading retail venue has been awarded many accolades for its appeal as one of the most exciting shopping destinations anywhere in Europe. Investment in its superb retail and leisure facilities has given a new lease of life to Birmingham. Now, five years on from its reopening the partners were keen that, in reviewing the decorative lighting scheme, the subsequent refurbishment was in keeping with the centre’s brand image. As Tim Walley the Managing Director of the Bullring explains, “The Bullring is now once again the centrepiece of the city and as such we wanted to ensure that it remains so. We had two main criteria when selecting the new lighting design.
Firstly, it had to support the Bullring’s image and secondly, but equally importantly, it had to be sustainable as well. After all, sustainability is all about meeting the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations.”

Indeed, such is its commitment to environmental responsibility, the Bullring recently joined forces with the Energy Saving Trust to host a Light Bulb Challenge during this year’s Energy Saving Week. Energy Doctors were on hand to give out energy saving tips whilst shoppers were invited to take part in an experiment to see if they could spot the difference between traditional lightbulbs and energy saving ones.
Leading by example the Bullring has now replaced the old cold cathode lighting system with Philips eW® Cove Powercore which delivers a high quality white light and has been specifically designed for interior alcoves and atriums making it ideal for the Bullring. Here, the eW® Cove Powercore modules were primarily used to illuminate the areas around the main escalators, toilets and lifts as well as decorative shaped facets recessed into the ceiling voids of the main walkways.

Impressive Savings

Switching to this new LED technology will deliver an 85% reduction in energy needed to illuminate the centre which equates to an estimated £34,000 savings in running costs per annum. This equates to some 251 tonnes of CO2 emissions which will be saved annually - the equivalent of 1241 hot air balloons! Maintenance costs can also be dramatically reduced since LEDs have an extremely long life of approximately 50,000 hours.

In addition to the impressive energy savings, the new LED solution brings a whole host of creative lighting displays that shoppers and visitors to the centre can enjoy. The Bullring prides itself on having a busy calendar of events to make the shopping experience even more entertaining. LEDs come into their own allowing ultimate flexibility via different scenes and colour changing effects such as wall washing, grazing or spot lighting. Their vibrant colour changing palette can be tailored to suit the occasion or controlled to provide subtle changes in ambience from a bright early morning light to the warmer, softer atmosphere of an evening setting. Within the main concourse, RGB iColor Cove QL were installed along the walkways while ColorBlast modules were positioned near to major retailers such as Next.
Dynamic Displays
On approaching the main entrances to the Bullring, cutting edge LED City Wing streetlighting luminaires have been installed. Their sleek design complements the mix of historic and contemporary architecture which sits comfortably side by side. Nestled between these buildings, St Martins Square plays host to numerous festivities throughout the year. Here, LEDs continue to add to the sense of theatre. Positioned within the window boxes and fountains, colour changing modules provide an eye catching backdrop to the many events held in the pedestrian quarter.

This flexibility was clearly a major consideration when specifying the decorative lighting scheme. As Tim Walley comments, ”Selecting LEDs has enabled us to enhance the Bullring’s aesthetics and visual impact. With around 40 million visitors each year we are extremely proud that it has become the largest retail destination in the West Midlands. In addition to the Bullring’s excellent retail mix we can now offer a spectacular night time vibrancy brought about by the exciting light shows that we can create – and all this has been achieved without compromise to our environmental responsibility”


Bullring Bullring
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