‘Protecting Cumbria’s Dark Skies’ project awarded Green rating at Build Back Better Awards.

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  Posted by: electime      27th October 2022

Over the summer, 25 expert judges from the Build Back Better Awards lighting category assessed and marked each entry individually. In September, the panel gathered for a summit to carefully discuss and rank all the entries – awarding the Cumbria project a Green rating.

So, what did the project involve?

As part of a recent lighting project, Thorn Lighting collaborated with Cumbria County Council to install dark sky-friendly lighting at sites across the county, including Glenridding, Kendal, Whitehaven and Workington. The reason? Protecting dark skies and local wildlife, improving people’s perception of safety, encouraging social interaction, and increasing energy efficiency.

The Council’s Lighting Manager Ian Harker, who also sits on the ILP Durham’s Lighting Delivery Centre Committee, researched the innovative solutions on the market and consulted with organisations, including Friends of the Lake District, to decide on the best solutions for their specific needs.

After a series of successful pilot schemes, dark sky-friendly luminaires, including Thorn’s EP 145 and Plurio lanterns (both recipients of the International Dark-Sky Association’s Fixture Seal of Approval), were installed.

At Castle Park in Whitehaven, Vulcan Park in Workington and Barraclough Fold in Glenridding, the Plurio lantern with NightTune technology was selected. The NightTune technology automatically adjusts the level of light emitted by the light fitting and the colour temperature to suit the time of night.

The EP 145 luminaire replaced existing lighting illuminating Kendal’s historic Cliff Terrace. Numerous residents who spoke to Thorn Lighting for a case study explained that the previous luminaires lit areas extending beyond the footpath. The replacements have reversed this, with light now illuminating the pathway but not their gardens and homes. They also reported a return of nocturnal wildlife activity.

Councillor Celia Tibble, Cumbria County Council Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “I am delighted that this fantastic project has been recognised for its innovation, collaboration and leadership in protecting our dark skies.

“We live in a world-class environment which we need to protect and preserve. Using this technology not only means we can reduce how lighting impacts the night-time environment but improves people’s perception of safety, encourages social interaction and increases energy efficiency.”

The Cumbria County Council team deserve special recognition for this particular scheme for their community collaboration, engaging residents throughout the process from inception through to installation, and for their extra efforts in sourcing refurbished heritage-style columns to use along the terrace to ensure the luminaires were aesthetically well-matched to their surroundings.

Ray Molony, Head of Content at the Build Back Better Awards, said: “…This is a superb achievement – many congratulations!… Your support for the aims and values of the programme – innovation, creativity, social value and environmental leadership – is vital to us in our work in promoting and celebrating achievement in these areas, and we thank you sincerely for your participation. Your entry formed a valuable contribution to creating a landscape of the current best practice in the sector.”

Thorn Lighting’s outdoor portfolio includes 16 product families that have received the IDA’s Fixture Seal of Approval along with other technologies and controls solutions, including Variable Light Distribution (VLD) and UrbaSens, to provide end users with the ability to light responsibly.

For more information about Thorn’s solutions, visit: www.thornlighting.com. To find out about Thorn Lighting’s commitment to sustainability, visit: www.thorn-sustainability.com.