Lighting up leisure centres

Blog1706Lighting up leisure centres A state-of-the-art lighting system installed by REL is ensuring optimum performance, durability and energy efficiency at two multi-million-pound leisure complexes.

Lighting hurdles

Constructing leisure centres is challenging, particularly for M&E contractors due to the large number of services and facilities required. One of the biggest hurdles is lighting, especially in swimming areas.

At the £12.5m Flitwick Leisure Centre in Bedfordshire and the £25m Wycombe Leisure Centre in Buckinghamshire, REL was tasked with installing nearly 100 downlights in the changing rooms of both leisure centres.

One of the common issues affecting swimming pool area lights is corrosion caused by chlorine. Steve Jamison, REL’s technical manager, explains: “Chlorine degrades the light and discolours the casing, ageing a light well before its time, so the downlights had to be chlorine resistant. As these were very humid areas, the light fittings also had to resist moisture damage.”

Controlling costs

In addition, the operators of both centres wanted to control their lighting costs, so energy efficiency was a priority, including dimming and presence detection controls that would reduce the lighting level when the changing rooms were empty and raise them again when in use via microwave sensors.

As the changing areas were full of cubicles, partitions, corners and shadows, dimming protocols were also needed to control the amount of light in different areas to match the layout of the changing rooms.

No guarantee

REL set about sourcing a downlight that would meet these specifications but there wasn’t a UK company that could supply a product that ticked every box.

“The main issue we found was that UK manufacturers couldn’t guarantee performance for more than five years, so we carried out some market research,” says Steve. “We eventually found and sourced a set of energy-efficient LED lights from Dutch company EVA.”

Meeting exact specifications

EVA’s DL Series Downlights met all the specifications and are available in the UK exclusively via Devon-based distributor Golden Coast. They are chlorine resistant, so the metal fixture doesn’t degrade and the external casing won’t discolour prematurely like many downlights, maintaining the clean white aesthetics of the light for longer.

As the downlights are IP65-rated, they’re dust tight and watertight even against water jets projected directly at the light fitting.  They also feature impact-resistant polycarbonate covers which protect them from knocks, bangs or scrapes, making them ideal for busy public areas like changing rooms.

Energy efficiency

The added benefit of the EVA DL downlights is supreme energy-efficiency. “These LED lights have a lumen efficacy of 130Lm/W at 5000K,” explains Steve. “As they can be dimmed and automatically controlled by microwave sensor systems, facility managers can set their own lighting schedules and sequences which maximises efficiency.

“The EVA DL downlights have been specifically designed for the most demanding environments. They are ideal for leisure operators, resulting in a highly-effective lighting solution which also cuts costs through improved energy efficiency and minimal maintenance.”

For further information on lighting solutions for your business, please contact Steve Jamieson.

For more information about the EVA range of swimming pool light, visit

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