At five storeys high, the ceiling lighting at the entrance hall of Newcastle University is a maintenance manager’s worst nightmare. Martin Tomlinson reports

Here’s a challenge: specify lights for a ceiling to illuminate the entrance hall of Kingsgate Building at Newcastle University. Oh and by the way, the ceiling is five storeys high. So if a lamp goes – and boy will it be obvious – you can’t use a ladder. Or a cherry picker. Or even scaffolding – unless you’re prepared to corner the UK’s supply of steel tubes.

This is clearly a job for a long-life lamp. But LEDs? Would you really have confidence in the manufacturer’s claim that they’ll last 50,000 hours? And even if they do, that’s just six years.

No, this is a job for something field-proven, with the longest life imaginable. Step forward the induction lamp. In all the hype over LEDs, induction technology has been out of the headlines. But it delivers a spectacular rated life of over 100,000 hours (11 years continuous use) and it has been around for 20 years.

So induction lamps it was – the 165W Philips QL to be specific. It’s housed in Gamma Illumination’s EFG downlight, which was specifically designed for use with the QL in such restricted access locations and areas where routine maintenance can cause disruption to the daily operation of the building.

The Kingsgate Building was designed to make the most of the available daylight and the luminaires in the entrance hall are linked to daylight sensors to ensure that they are not in use when the daylight levels are sufficiently high to minimise energy consumption. The QL lamp’s instant flicker-free start-up helps creates a seamless transition from daylight to artificial light.

Efficiency revelation

An efficient lighting scheme saves energy while illuminating the striking interior of this Gothic church in Birmingham. Mark Burgess reports

Practise what you preach

The Communities and Local Government department administers energy efficiency in the UK. Now it’s getting its own house in order