Dexeco shines amongst competitors in recent contract bid by offering local authorities the most complete lighting solution for a multi-storey car park conversion in Maidstone. The chosen products exceeded expectations in terms of energy-efficiency, aesthetic appeal, versatile sensor design and robust construction. Thanks to the energy-saving and low-maintenance benefits of market-leading LED luminaires and the modern functionality of intelligent lighting controls, Kent County Council and Maidstone Borough Council were able make remarkable improvements to the site, as the new installation comfortably met their environmental criteria and offered a short payback period with an attractive return on investment.

LED Lighting – Bringing sustainability to urban planning

Municipal development can present a minefield of challenges for today’s local authorities. When investing in infrastructure and services, councils need to show social, environmental and fiscal responsibility at all times. With sustainability being high on the agenda, LED lighting and intelligent controls can help councils deliver the best public services and facilities possible to their communities whilst keeping public spending at a low. These savings are not only made through significant reductions in energy and maintenance costs but also by giving access to tax cuts and government-sponsored funding schemes reserved for eco-friendly projects.

Dexeco specialises in offering a range of precision-engineered products manufactured with the highest quality LED components and advanced sensor technology. These are designed for environmentally conscious clients who are

invested in a creating more sustainable future. Dexeco’s solutions, however, demonstrate how that commitment to the environment does not have to come at a premium and can have surprising returns on investment.

Dexeco’s products are designed to unlock LEDs full potential. To achieve this, luminaires are manufactured with the latest LM80-verified LED chips offering 90% lumen maintenance for the first 60,000 hours of operation, and feature highly efficient optical designs. Easily programmable sensors can also be incorporated in the design to maximise energy savings. New systems are designed and then supplied in such a way that installation and maintenance costs are kept to minimum to improve return on investment for public sector bodies and businesses alike.

About the Client

As part of an ongoing regeneration programme to transform the dilapidated area around Maidstone East station, Kent County Council (KCC) and Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) jointly acquired the former Post Office depot on Sandilands Road.

A spokesman for KCC stated that: “the purchase of the 3.5 acre site will have two main benefits – it will create a better place and it is also a great business opportunity for both councils at a time of immense financial challenges for public service delivery.” The £2m scheme will convert the site into a multi-storey car park to service brand-new retail spaces, offices and homes destined to be built in the surrounding area.

DMA Building Services of Gillingham, Kent, were appointed as the consultants for the project and approached Dextra Group once again after having successfully collaborated on a previous high-profile project. Dexeco was chosen amongst competitors to provide an energy-efficient and durable solution, that would be more impact resistant and in line with all safety regulations and environmental regulations. All the products used in the project comfortably met the energy-efficiency criteria outlined by the Energy Technology List, making the council eligible for 100% tax relief for the first year of purchase as part of the Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) scheme. By reducing the site’s carbon emissions, the councils will also improve their performance on the Carbon Reduction League table for further financial benefits.

“The luminaires proposed by Dextra Group do exactly what the lux plots predicted. The added versatility of the individual PIR sensors in the luminaires has helped achieve a good lighting level with a good level of control that means only a small area of the car park it lit – thus saving our client money in both power and maintenance along with helping them do their bit for the planet.”
Phil Hadaway, Technical Service Engineer, DMA Group

The Brief

Multi-storey car park lighting needs to prioritise safety and security above all else. Due to the enclosed area having high levels of motor and pedestrian traffic, important factors need to be considered in the design including: variable lux and uniformity levels (for walkways, parking bays, intersections and stairwells), minimising shadows and glare wherever possible, and provide increased colour recognition and light quality. Overall, the lighting design would need to offer maximum visual clarity for drivers, pedestrians, staff and CCTV operators alike, deter crime and vandalism, make users feel safe and comfortable whilst being aesthetically pleasing.

The building’s existing T8 fittings were producing excessive lux levels for the intended purpose, causing hazardous levels of glare and visual discomfort. In addition to not having a suitable IP rating, the fluorescent tube lighting was also fragile and exposed, making it an easy target for vandalism.

Overall, the old system was consuming far too much energy and was too costly to maintain for today’s standards. With the lighting operating at full capacity, 24 hours a day, a low-energy yet high-performing system was required – designed to be easy to control and maintain for a minimum of 5 years as this was the short-term plan for the site.

LED lighting with intelligent controls was specified for the project to address all these issues. Switching to LED is a single and immediate measure to make urban developments such as these greener and more affordable.

The new scheme would be designed according to CIBSE guidelines and include BS EN 5266-8/EN 50172 compliant emergency lighting across the entire premises. Flexible and user-friendly lighting control was an essential part of design as it enables staff to accurately adjust sensor functions to maximise energy savings across the entire site and reflect the council’s commitment to environmental policy.

On average, well-designed LED systems offer a reduction in electrical load of 60% compared to fluorescent or HID alternatives. With the addition of daylight and presence detection sensors, energy savings can increase by a further 30% for a fast payback period and a continued return on investment.

The Products

Eco-Impervia LED – General Lighting

Following a complete survey of the site, Dexeco provided council representatives and DMA technicians with a range of samples to compare with those proposed by other manufacturers. Out of the selection process, the sensor-controlled Eco-Impervia LED emerged as the most effective choice due to its ability to combine robust construction, premium performance, outstanding energy-efficiency and minimal maintenance.

Unlike the fixtures proposed by other manufacturers, the IP65-rated Eco-Impervia LED offered protection from light impact, dust and water ingress. The durability and resistance of the luminaire’s glass reinforced polyester housing, robust steel gear tray and tamper-resistant stainless steel diffuser clips set it apart from other luminaires. Most importantly, however, it was the only product with passive infra-red sensors flush-mounted into the diffuser itself rather than inconveniently bolted onto its exterior. This crucial and unique feature makes the sensor less vulnerable to be damaged through impact and adverse conditions.

The Lumileds 3535 HE chip, used in the majority of Dexeco products, is one of the most efficient mid-power sources currently on the market operating at up to 190 lm/w at chip level. To make the most of this high-quality LED source, the Eco-Impervia LED uses a highly-efficient polycarbonate diffuser to offer a high LOR of 90% and increased uniformity and quality of light, allowing installations to achieve the desired light levels and even coverage with the minimum amount of luminaires. To maximise the performance, longevity and reliability of each installation, the LED chip board is powered by the highest quality Philips, Tridonic or Osram drivers offering thermal and voltage protection with 50,000 hour life time.

From a wide range of output packages starting from 2464llm to 12,513llm, the luminaire was supplied in a 4266llm output which operates at an impressive efficiency of 150 luminaire-lumens per circuit Watt (Llm/W). The versatile luminaire can be further customised with a selection of lengths and body types to suit the application.

The Eco-Impervia LED range offers flexibility at the point of installation, with various formats available including, chain suspension, mounting to trunking and surface mounting to suit the application. The versatile luminaire is also compatible with all mainstream digital and analog dimming protocols.

From the available options, a 1500mm single batten version was installed throughout the car park and featured Dexsor’s Reacta 44 PIR integral sensor for both presence detection and daylight regulation. The sensor’s parameters and functions can now be easily and accurately programmed by staff from ground level using the REA-AP remote control.

Flexible sensor functionality will now allow the lighting to be activated in specific zones for longer periods of time than others as required. For example, over the walkways, the lighting will be set to activate for 20 minutes as opposed to 10 in parking areas. With each luminaire having its own integral sensor, only a small section of the car park will be fully lit at any one time, maximising return on investment for the councils.

In addition to time delay functions, the sensor allows luminaires to be preset to dim to 10% of the maximum output when areas are left unoccupied and adjust to daylight levels. Customers will now feel safe and secure at night without areas being left completely dark whilst optimum lux levels will be maintained throughout the day.

The impact of introducing a high-level of sensor control for car parks open 24 hours a day is that it allows energy expenditure and maintenance costs to be minimised, as the LED source will run for fewer hours at full capacity and will therefore last longer.

With the long-life and durability of LED, the councils will no longer need to worry the about the cost and disruption of frequently replacing damaged, failed or rapidly depreciating lamps: a common issue for fluorescent and HID lighting.

From a range of emergency options, the luminaires were provided with BS EN 5266-8 compliant integral 3-hour emergency lighting, making installation quicker and easier for DMA technicians and more cost-effective of the local authorities; eliminating the need to install standalone units.

The Eco-Impervia LED can be provided with a self-test emergency function which automatically runs periodic tests and produces audible and visual indicators when a fault arises. Alternatively, an auto-test option is also available which allows a building’s entire network of luminaries to be monitored via a centralised system, which provides status and performance reports accessible from a digital interface.

Self-test and auto-test systems give users the peace of mind that testing is always fully compliant to stringent safety regulations and removes the risk of human error during manual testing. As system reports or LED indicators show exactly which luminaires are faulty, maintenance engineers can easily replace components without undergoing long testing routines, saving time and money in the process.

For larger installations, automatic testing is a far more cost-effective option, as manual maintenance would otherwise be laborious and time-consuming, and generally disrupt the normal functioning of the building. The initial expense of integral emergency equipment is also quickly offset by the savings made on manual testing equipment and labour. Without the need to fit additional standalone sensors and emergency lighting units, the Eco Impervia LED also saved the council extra money through minimising overall installation times.

In addition to the integral emergency lighting, the highly efficient and low-maintenance EXI LED provided clear emergency exit signage throughout the premises in accordance to the building’s safety (BS EN 5266-8/EN 50172) regulations.

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