As lighting is such a fundamental part of any manufacturing facility, the company wanted to install the latest technologies to help save on costs, energy consumption and CO2 emissions. “We were introduced to the project by Siemens as we are a solutions partner for their building technologies division,” explains Dave Watkins, director of Abtec BT. “After an initial chat with Ibstock, at which we had the opportunity to put forward our ideas, we were asked to tender formally for the project, which we duly won.”

In terms of the actual choice of lighting, the nature of the environment within the factory made this task especially challenging. Specialist conditions meant that the system not only had to be energy efficient but also had to be installed to a very specific standard. In total, Abtec BT calculated the need for 300 light fittings above the 295 x 86m factory floor to maintain the necessary lux levels.

“Constant light control means that we monitor natural light levels across the whole factory and adjust the lighting accordingly,” says Mr Watkins. “For instance, if the sun comes out and natural light levels improve we can slowly dim the lights [not noticeable by the naked eye], thus generating savings.”

Energy savings of 50% are expected in comparison with a traditional lighting install, along with an annual CO2 reduction of 170,041 kg, according to Abtec BT. Further savings are expected with the automated emergency testing, leading to an estimated project payback of under two years.