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Ardingly College

About Ardingly College

Ardingly College is a private school for 6 to 18 year olds, steeped in history, and very classy. 


The part we did was Ardingly Sixth Form Block – a large extension to the main house. We ended up supplying ALL of the lighting for it. The college bursar at the time was a very awkward customer, but we won him over in the end, maybe all the technical talk bored him into submission!


I got involved as I was doing a lot with Couch Perry & Wilkes LLP Birmingham who were the largest and busiest consultants in the Midlands, and we did a lot of projects with them, mainly in education. I also had good connections with the architects as it happens, Associated Architects, Birmingham, so when I spoke with them I already had a foot in the door. I was able to convince them to try LED and also wanted to make it a little bit bespoke so as to detract spec breakers, and as a result they settled on the idea to use extrusions and clean straight lines, and from this was born CanalLED System, which was the continuous lengths of extrusion that were originally going to be supplied by Optelma, but I changed it to Century if you recall and we ended up using Inge and Marcus. The only thing I will say is that in some photos the system does not appear to be totally continuous – I don’t know if this was an installation problem or a product fault – I seem to recall there was an issue with the parts of the modules that were the emergency element going dim? Anyway, nobody ever complained so I don’t know.


I took the theme of extrusions in corridors and extended it into the bedrooms to supply surface/wall mounted versions with up, down or combined up and down light outputs, and we even had a combination of warm and cool white for these for comfort. We also had some extrusions located externally to accentuate the gable ends of the block. We joined all of the internal the lighting all up using various sizes and outputs of LED downlight, a number of LED bulkheads for back of house areas,  and T5 over desk lights. In the common room we used LED rope light in the circular ceiling features, together with pin spotlights for the seating areas. By all accounts they loved the lighting. We even had an external LED Brick Light in IP67 made from the Ardingly extrusion, and we supplied in ground pathway luminaires, and projectors for artwork. And all emergency signage. Suspended luminaires for classrooms, wall washers, etc. There were a lot of extras in fact.

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