New flat panel LED lights give the church hall at St John's a more contemporary look and better quality of light.
'May the light shine more brightly' seems an apt way of describing the outcome of recent improvements at St John the Baptist Church in Stafford. New more efficient lights in the church hall and chancel have been installed thanks to a grant of £2000 from Stafford Borough Council as part of the 'We Love Littleworth' project. And users of the building have noticed the difference, with members of the congregation commenting that the light is clearer and more comfortable. One young person is even quoted as saying that he no longer gets headaches when in the Hall.
The changes were implemented following an energy audit by Marches Energy Agency carried out in January 2015, funded by the Council. This recommended replacement of all existing fixtures with energy efficient LED units. Moreover, the existing fluorescent tubes are no longer manufactured, so replacement parts would become ever harder to find.
The Church decided initially to replace just one of the fluorescent tubes with a pair of flat LED panels, to assess their suitability. Having gained the approval of the diocesan architects for the works, they then went ahead to replace the remaining seven tubes with the paired panels. The architects commented 'The new fittings are attractive and...appear to give light levels similar to the existing fluorescent tubes. ...whilst at the same time giving the hall a less dated appearance.'
Each LED panel measures 600 x 600 mm, gives 2800 lumens of light,
and uses just 36 watts of electricity. Life expectancy is 25,000 hours.
'Vast' improvement in light quality
The installation was straightforward, as the new 600 x 600 mm panels could use the existing wiring and conduit runs, so no rewiring or redecoration was needed! The new Hall lights are estimated to give savings of 30-40% compared to the old lights, which could amount to more than £1000 over the expected 20-year life of the lights. But perhaps more significant is the comment from congregation member Peter Grainger, that 'the improvement of light quality is vast'. Halogen spotlights in the chancel of the main church have also been replaced with LEDs, in the hope that these will prove more durable and so eliminate the need to perform the difficult job of accessing and replacing the bulbs!