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in Sound, Light & Vision

Chas BESA - British Education Suppliers Association

St Mary's Church

Standon, Hertfordshire

St Mary’s Church dates back to Saxon times and is used today for a variety of local community events such as concerts, recitals and of course congregational worship.  With the growing use of the space for various functions the church authorities had concluded that significant improvements needed to be made, and they approached Clarity to advise on updating the lighting.

As well as the practical lighting of the church there was a strong wish to highlight the beauty of many of the church’s historical internal features, so there were many important aesthetic considerations to be taken into account.

Clarity felt that lighting manufacturer GDS offered the most appropriate fixtures for this project so together they visited the church to demonstrate the possibilities.  Using a variety of fixtures, a design was created to light the different areas such as the nave, the ceiling, two important tombs, the aisle and the entrance, and this was presented to the client as a computer simulation in order to provide a visual concept of the proposed scheme.

The sensitivity of the interior fabric of the church demanded that Clarity was painstaking in its approach to the installation.  For instance, the delicate ancient floor could not support heavy machinery, so ceiling access was obtained by the careful use of scaffolding.  The colour, size and placement of the lighting fixtures was carefully considered to ensure they blended with the church rather than attracting attention.

Installed at high level and controlled wirelessly, the LED lighting fixtures give the church a warm white light that can be easily dimmed to a desired level using a button panel on the wall that allows access to pre-programmed lighting scenes.  In addition, a simple visitor switch was installed to allow visitors who are not aware of where the controls are to simply turn on all the lights on entering the church.

To complete the lighting transformation fixtures were employed in the entrance porch to give a welcoming glow for anyone entering the church.  An added benefit of the new LED system includes 70-90% energy reduction and zero maintenance.

Every part of this project required attention to detail and Clarity were pleased to be able to work alongside lighting manufacturer GDS to bring the best solution possible to this beautiful church.