Dextra Lighting achieves excellent results for Cheadle and Marple College’s sustainable development plans

The Cheadle and Marple College Network is formed by a partnership of two firmly established sixth form colleges serving the Stockport area for over fifty years. The colleges have a combined student population of approximately 2000 between the ages 16 and 19.

Described by OFSTED as having “a dynamic and relentless culture of improvement”, the college network recently launched a multi-million pound redevelopment programme to improve its estate, involving both the construction of brand-new learning spaces and refurbishment of existing facilities.

As part of its pledge to better serve the community, the plan was aimed not only at offering a state-of-the-art learning environment for its students but to ensure that both its Buxton Lane and Marple campuses would serve as examples of sustainable practice.

In partnership with appointed consultants DDA and electrical installers, Performance Electricals of Stockport, Dextra Lighting was chosen over competitors to collaborate in the project as the sole lighting provider due to its vast manufacturing capabilities, flexible and fast lead and delivery times, comprehensive range of energy-saving LED products and controls and its extensive portfolio of success in the education sector.

LED lighting is now widely acknowledged as the most immediate and effective measure to upgrade educational facilities whilst making them cheaper and greener to run. Compared to conventional lighting, high-quality LED systems offer a number of benefits that allow institutions to aim higher in the provision of better education by unlocking financial opportunities previously unavailable.

Energy-efficiency is the primary advantage of converting to LED. As electricity is more expensive than any fossil fuel used to power a building, lighting amounts to an average of 20% of a typical college’s utility bill when it only represents 8% of actual energy usage. This gap between energy use and cost makes lighting a key area to focus on when trying to implement a sustainable management framework. With this in mind, LED solutions can offer average savings of 60% over HID and fluorescent lighting with sensor controls (daylight regulation and occupancy detection) reducing energy consumption further by a potential 30% depending on the application.

The majority Dextra Group luminaires are manufactured with the latest LM80-verified 3535 Lumileds LED offering 90% lumen maintenance for the first 60,000 hours of operation. In contrast to HID or fluorescent sources, these high-quality sources keep their intended brightness for longer and are more durable to physical stresses in the environment, allowing installations to cut maintenance costs by avoiding frequent lamp changes. By using only the best European-made drivers, Dextra Lighting solutions offer added reliability and require less servicing and repairs throughout the products’ lifetime.

The combined energy and maintenance savings offered by LED usually allow the initial cost of a typical installation to be quickly paid back and will continue to free up capital to be invested in other areas of service in the long-term.

Unlike fluorescent lamps, LED sources do not contain hazardous or toxic materials such as mercury, which pose potential health risks if broken on site, or to the environment upon disposal. Replacing damaged LED fixtures on the other hand, is a quick and simple process which does not require extra precautions and will be less damaging to the environment once it reaches the end of its lifetime.

Most of Dextra Lighting’s LED products designed with the educational sector in mind, are included in the government’s Energy Technology List (ETL); offering institutions eligibility to the Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECS) scheme for 100% tax levy for the first year of purchasing the equipment. By reducing their carbon footprint, schools and colleges can gain access to funding reserved for environmentally conscious renovation projects, and improve their performance on the Carbon Reduction Commitment table for further financial benefits.

Finally, recent developments in LED technology have allowed systems to offer increased light quality to improve student performance. Research has strongly shown that LED systems, which are tuneable to mimic natural light more effectively and offer higher colour rendition and uniformity of light than conventional lighting, help create a more stimulating and productive learning environment for students and teachers alike as they can be aligned to the occupants’ circadian rhythm throughout the day. Overall, using LED systems with intelligent controls has been closely correlated to higher concentration and task focus amongst pupils. To read more about how tuneable LED lighting can boost academic performance click here.

“Most of Dextra Lighting’s LED products designed with the educational sector in mind, are included in the government’s Energy Technology List (ETL); offering institutions eligibility to the Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECS) scheme for 100% tax levy for the first year of purchasing the equipment.”


Lighting systems were to be installed in the new and refurbished buildings across the Buxton Lane and Marple Campuses. Lighting solutions were to be supplied in various locations including: classrooms, science and art labs, refectory, library, circulation areas and a brand-new sports hall.

Working closely with DDA building consultants and Performance Electrical Ltd, each installation would be designed to abide to statuary regulations, comply with environmental standards and policy and integrate seamlessly into the buildings’ architecture and new décor.


Graduate Recessed LED – Science Labs & Classrooms

Purposely built for educational facilities, the Graduate Recessed LED was selected for the science labs and various classrooms in both colleges. The luminaire’s familiar yet attractive direct/indirect gull-wing aesthetic was chosen to match the style of the new rooms and provided the appropriate task illumination for each area.

From a range of customisable options, the Graduate LED Recessed was supplied in a BSEN 12464 glare compliant 2861llm output version, which allowed installations to achieve the 500lux recommended for science experiments and tasks requiring higher visibility and 300lux for more ordinary classroom activities. These light levels were achieved whilst keeping glare below the required 3000 candela limitation and UGR 19 for a safe and comfortable learning environment – especially where higher risk science equipment is concerned.

By combining its pre-coat aluminium white gull-wing reflectors and prismatic opal extruded diffuser with the latest Lumileds LEDs, the luminaire offers a superior quality of light, high light output ratio (LOR) and enhanced uniformity at an excellent efficiency of 110 luminaire-lumens-per-circuit watt (this applies for 2861llm versions).

Available in various installation formats and body sizes, luminaires were supplied in 600 x 600mm lay-in versions to suit the renovated ceiling grid system.

The versatile Graduate LED range of luminaires also offers compatibility to all mainstream digital and analogue dimming controls and now includes a White Tuneable function to adjust the colour temperature to a variety of tasks and activities, boost productivity by aiding concentration, or to create more inviting and comfortable atmospheres. A 25 litre-per-second air handling option is also available with this range to allow luminaires to integrate with the existing HVAC systems; avoiding ulterior modifications to the building’s infrastructure for additional ventilation.