Essex Street, London

Client: City of Westminster
Type of works: supplied Garda LED illuminated handrail.

Identified by the City of Westminster as a priority lighting need, Essex Street, situated within a WC2 conservation area, required an innovative lighting solution for a Victorian staircase, frequently used as a route from Temple tube station to the Royal Courts of Justice.

In addition to the traditional lighting columns situated to the top and bottom of the stairwell, the existing Essex Steps lighting scheme consisted of a single 70w CDO-TT 3-4m high wall-mounted light source, accessed for maintenance, in days-passed (shock-horror), by a ladder placed precariously on the steps.

Acknowledging that the steps were potentially hazardous to maintain, and with CDM regulations and Health & Safety at the forefront of the City of Westminster (COW) thinking, Mark Parklin, Technical Lighting Officer and Dave Franks, Principal Lighting Engineer at the City of Westminster were presented with a challenge: to effectively light the steps whilst considering energy (COW hope to be carbon neutral by 2012), increased lighting levels and safety.

DW Windsor’s Garda LED illuminated handrail presented the ideal task-lighting solution.

Providing a powerful lighting performance and superb uniformity through its unique glare-free asymmetric beam (the prismatic lens & reflectors face directly downwards without being angled as many competing products), Garda has completely transformed the previously dark and unwelcoming steps.

Style and Performance
Offering a high quality contemporary, grade 316 stainless steel design DW Windsor delivered a unique turn-key solution, from design and manufacture to install - assisted by consultant and contractor Westminster Transerv.

The LED lighting modules are vandal resistant, exploiting tamper-resistant fastenings, impact resistant (IK10) polycarbonate lenses and are water-proof to IP66. Garda provides a neutral 4000K/CRI 75 colour temperature and in excess of 60,000 hours service life.

DW Windsor Project Manager Rob Brookes commented ‘Ensuring a smooth transition and ease of installation was key. As a result of the bespoke nature of the scheme, including acute angles and aging brickwork, the Victorian stairwell proved testing at times. We overcame this by designing custom-made lengths, including a 100mm illuminated section to smoothly follow the contours of the wall. The resulting scheme begs the question whether integrating light into our architecture may become more commonplace in the future.’

Dave Franks, City of Westminster commented “utilising DW Windsor’s Garda illuminated handrail has enabled us to effectively and safely light Essex steps, whilst reducing the carbon footprint of the site through reducing maintenance cycles. We are extremely happy as this solution has ticked all the boxes; improving public and workforce safety, reducing environmental impact and it operates with our central management system“

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Handrails LED lighting