The University of Edinburgh reaps energy and maintenance savings

The University of Edinburgh has upgraded its external lighting using Infinity RL LED Road Lanterns from Tamlite – an installation, part-funded by Salix, which is set to drive down the university’s CO2 emissions, energy consumption and maintenance burden.


With ambitious CO2-reduction targets in place, the University of Edinburgh is leading the way in terms of projects to boost energy efficiency. The university aims to achieve a 29% carbon saving by 2020 (against a 2007 baseline), with an interim target of 20% savings by 2015.


The outdated road lighting across the University of Edinburgh’s science and engineering campus was identified as a key source of energy waste. The area surrounding the King’s Buildings, as this collection of university buildings is known, needs to be well-lit in order to ensure the safety of students. Yet the existing SON lamps that provided external lighting to the area had proven to be inefficient, with short lifespans that nudged up maintenance costs. The yellow light quality of the sodium lamps was also less than ideal, distorting colours and perception.


“New road lighting around the King’s Buildings was imperative,” comments Jim Brown, Facilities Manager at the University of Edinburgh. “We were looking to reduce energy consumption, cut maintenance costs and generally improve light levels. Switching to LED lighting ticked all of these boxes. The Infinity RL Road Lanterns seemed like a good choice as the nature of the fitting and its cost saving potential really appealed to us.”


In total, 89 of the Infinity RL Road Lanterns were installed throughout the roadways and car parks surrounding the King’s Buildings. Featuring high-output LED chips from Cree, each Infinity RL has unique heat sink technology for optimum thermal management and a built-in driver for 3 pole mains connection.


With 60W, 90W and 120W versions of the Infinity RL available, the University of Edinburgh was able to select a different brightness depending on the light levels needed in each particular area of the campus. Arthur McKay, a leading electrical contracting company, carried out the installation, which proved to be very straightforward.


While part of the funding for the project came directly from the university, it was also able to take advantage of government-backed financing via the Salix scheme to cover part of the cost of the LED lighting. The Infinity RL Road Lanterns are well-established to meet not only Salix’s carbon saving criteria, but also deliver project payback rapidly. Indeed, the university has been able to unlock immediate financial savings on energy bills and maintenance costs.


“We’ve been really pleased with the results of the Tamlite LED lighting,” says Jim Brown. “The light quality has improved dramatically. The colour-rendering of the white light from the LEDs makes everything appear much crisper. We’re also reaping real cost savings. We’ve already recorded maintenance savings compared to last year, and we know that these will continue, thanks to the long-lifespan LEDs.”