RD12 RGB Luminaire, Southampton City Council with SSE

Client Southampton City Council through SSE
Location Queens Park, Southampton
Scope Of Work CMS controlled colour-changing LED
Schedule Completed March 2020

Project Detail

In 2017, Southampton City Council approached SSE Contracting to discuss the potential of including an innovative lighting scheme on their existing Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract. The City Council wanted to commission a contemporary lighting installation that would improve residents’ sense of place, provide visitors with an illuminated spectacle and enhance the character and brand image of Southampton City.

The resulting innovative lighting installation is hosted in Queen’s Park, a small but historic park near Ocean Village and Southampton Docks that’s home to a Grade II listed memorial of local Victorian soldier, General Gordon.  It is one of several urban parks nestled in the city, located adjacent to a recently regenerated area with a vibrant night-time economy and plenty of passing pedestrian traffic.

Project considerations

SSE Contracting consulted with SSE’s Lighting Design Team to discuss potential innovations that could satisfy the Council’s request for a unique lighting installation. Following a review of various lighting solutions, the team decided on a colour-changing scheme with the potential to create a functional and vibrant installation that could also utilise the Council’s existing Mayflower Central Management System (CMS).  Mayflower CMS was installed in Queen’s Park in 2016 as part of the South Coast PFI, providing remote dimming, monitoring and reporting capabilities for highways lighting operatives.

Southampton City Council’s aspirations included a non-standard, contemporary style luminaire. The INDO RD12 offered this with the benefit of being versatile enough to house and accept
additional control gear, as well as an RGB optic.

A number of potential challenges were identified, including:

  • Compatibility testing of the RGB controller with Mayflower CMS
  • Compatibility of the RGB controller with the DALI driver
  • Reliability of the RGB controller
  • Luminaires to retain colour selections whilst also being able to dim
  • Lumen output of different colours at specific dim levels
  • Overcoming default settings of RGB controllers, which reverted the scenes applied back to white once the luminaire has been switched off

You can read more about the technical details, including how INDO worked with the team to overcome the challenges on p26 of the July/August 2020 issue of the Lighting Journal.

The dynamic scheme was installed and completed in early March 2020, transforming the historic park into a prominent landmark.  Hotels and properties overlooking the leafy park, as well as passing traffic and footfall from Ocean Village, Town Quay and the Bowling Green also enjoy the colourful new ambience; evidence of the city’s continued regeneration and modernisation.

“Managing such a unique project has been challenging, yet extremely rewarding. To go through such an innovative design process with three different companies illustrates just how strong the working relationship is between SSE Enterprise, Mayflower Smart Control and INDO Lighting. We are delighted with the completed installation in Southampton and look forward to designing similar external lighting schemes in the future.” Simon Bushell, Lighting Design Manager – SSE.

“This fantastic local scheme shows the merits of the close working arrangement between the City Council and SSE as our PFI street lighting provider, with the bespoke lighting enhancements that can go well beyond just the lighting of our highways” Colin Perris, Service Manager – Highways Contracts for Southampton City Council.

Residents and visitors alike now experience an installation with endless colour combinations, whilst Southampton City Council can integrate flexible, playful mood lighting into future local events, celebrations and memorials.  The contemporary scheme has successfully increased the use of the park and enhanced the welcoming feel of the landscape.