With a student base of approximately 27,000, Leicester’s De Montfort University (DMU) is the UK’s sixth fastest growing educational and research establishment and is amongst the 150 most promising “young” universities internationally.

Its success has been propelled by a continual reinvestment into updating and expanding its facilities, exemplified by the recent £136m Campus Transformation Project targeting its city centre site. The university has high hopes for the project, predicting that it “will, when complete, provide DMU with one of the finest campuses in the country”.

The centrepiece of this project has been the replacement of the former Fletcher building with the state-of-the-art Vijay Patel building, home to the faculty of Arts, Design and Humanities. As the newest addition to the university’s long line of innovative and sustainable building designs, LED lighting was set to be a crucial part of the project, ensuring that the investment would yield maximum returns on investment in terms of energy and maintenance costs whilst reducing the university’s carbon footprint.

Dextra Lighting has had a fruitful and ongoing relationship with DMU and partnered electrical installers, Lowe Electrical of Leicester, helping the university achieve its ambitious sustainable development goals quickly and efficiently. Once again, Dextra Lighting were appointed as the sole suppliers for the project given its proven track-record for fast delivery times, flexible bespoke capabilities, and its sector-specific product range and expertise, the new lighting solution was guaranteed to minimise energy consumption whilst providing a high-calibre aesthetic suitable for modern educational environments.

The Brief

The project focused on the building’s Food Village; a place where students can enjoy an eclectic range of cuisines from around the world, relax and socialise throughout the day.

Having received the architect’s CAD drawings for the dining and kitchen areas, the Dextra Lighting team began to work closely with the appointed consultants and installers, to deliver the university’s aesthetic vision whilst fulfilling all functional, safety and energy-efficiency criteria to the highest standard.

The large open-plan dining area was designed for a capacity of up to 350 students, featuring a number of self-service, kitchen and buffet stations, surrounded by an extensive seating area. The challenge here was to provide appropriate lighting for both front and back of house areas, supporting food preparation, service and dining equally.

“All products used in this project are manufactured with the latest, LM80-verified           Lumileds, offering 90% LED lumen maintenance at 60,000 operating hours”


Front of House / Dining Area – Capo LED Pendant Luminaire & Protec LED Downlight

The Capo LED is a popular choice for clients taking a more architectural approach to lighting. The luminaire’s design combines efficiency and form, offering various elements of visual interest such as its high-quality anodised spun rear housing, opal refractor and translucent collar (available in different colours), making it adaptable to a range of architectural concepts and corporate themes.

Its compact housing ensures that all dimming and emergency control gear, is neatly enclosed without compromising the look and feel of the luminaire’s design.

For the Food Village’s front of house area, the luminaire was provided in a 2992llm (3847llm also available) version featuring a highly efficient Lumileds chip-on-board source designed to provide a similar performance to 70W HID equivalents, whilst halving energy expenditure and eliminating the need for frequent lamp replacements.

Luminaries were suspended using three-metre cables attached to the top of the ceiling which were supplied to facilitate installation.

The versatile luminaire is typically used for both accent and ambient lighting and was selected to work alongside the Protec LED downlights, adding a softer, less direct light above the dining tables for a more relaxed atmosphere.

The Protec LED downlight on the other hand, was installed on suspended rafts of varying shapes and sizes hovering above the service points.


As one of the most versatile luminaries in Dextra Lighting’s extensive product range, it can be customised with a number of options, bespoke bezels (for existing ceiling cut-outs), interchangeable reflectors and colour attachments that can be easily replaced post-installation, to adapt to changes in colour scheme and room layout.

DALI (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface) and Touch-Dim dimming options and 3-hour maintained and self-test emergency are also available with this range to meet specific requirements.

For a more intense and focused illumination in the service points, the Protec LED was supplied in a 2000lm (Llm?) output with specular reflectors, offering a crisp and narrower distribution as well as raising the lux levels in the targeted areas.

Furthermore, the Protec LED can be supplied with IP44 covers that can be silicone-sealed for bathroom applications, or manufactured to comply to BSEN 12464 glare limits for areas where monitors are in use.

The luminaire is designed for flexible and easy installation featuring a four point, self-clamping spring bracket and is suitable for plasterboard, mineral fibre and metal tile installation.

Altogether, the Protec LED has allowed DMU to maintain a high-level finish and performance whilst adhering to its commitments to the environment.