Lincoln Cathedral

ProjectLincoln CathedralLocationLincoln, UKLighting DesignerLight Perceptions, UKInstallerExperience Lighting, UKSubmitted byPharos Architectural Controls

As part of a redevelopment project, Lincoln Cathedral’s entire exterior lighting needed replacing and redesigning. The previous exterior lighting was installed in 1970 and became obsolete, accumulating very high running costs and posing challenges in terms of care and maintenance.

The aim of the project was to replace the existing lighting scheme with an updated, innovative design which is simple to install and control and deliver a new lighting system with dynamic colour-changing lighting scenes which can be controlled remotely by the end user.

The uplighting for the cathedral’s three towers needed replacing, and an essential component of the design brief was to change the orange-tinted floodlights for softer, whiter lights, to showcase the cathedral’s intricate stonework and Gothic features.

Pharos Cloud was used to control the external lighting scheme remotely, offering simple and secure lighting installation control and management remotely from any PC, tablet or mobile, anytime and from anywhere. Featuring a highly adaptable online scheduler, Pharos Cloud enables lighting to be programmed for the right moment and updated by users with ease, making it the perfect solution
for Lincoln Cathedral, which requires versatile lighting to deliver a variety of colour options in recognition of local, national and international events.

The installation uses a dynamic lighting control system, the Pharos LPC 2 (Lighting Playback Controller 2), connected to Pharos Cloud, which supports the DMX lighting protocol, and seventeen RIO D (Remote Input Output DALI) devices, which provide a remote and scalable way to control all the DALI fixtures and ballasts. Each RIO D supports a single DALI bus, which is used as an output for control and as an input for triggering, allowing the cathedral to be lit in colourful lighting scenes.

Five Pharos TPS (Touch Panel Station) screens have been integrated into the scheme to provide users with a customised interface to trigger and adjust scenes, timelines, and overrides. It was essential for the cathedral’s new lighting to reap the benefits of LED technology to ensure the lighting was more environmentally friendly, had a long working life, and required considerably less maintenance.

Lincoln Cathedral stands tall over the city, a magnificent and iconic international landmark and one of Britain’s most spectacular pieces of architecture. Once admired as the tallest building in the world, the spire at Lincoln Cathedral was an impressive feat of engineering. The cathedral is one of the most publicly visible buildings in the country, standing prominent on its hilltop location above the flat landscape of Lincolnshire.

The cathedral has provided a beacon of light for residents of the city and visitors to enjoy, whilst being viewed from vantage points all over the county and beyond. As part of Lincoln Cathedral Connected – a multi-million-pound transformational project funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund – significant work has been undertaken to radically improve the cathedral’s setting and visitor experience, offering engaging and dynamic spaces for many more visitors to enjoy.

The lighting design has delivered a futureproofed lighting solution that ensures the cathedral continues to shine for years to come. The new dynamic lighting scheme and Pharos control solutions have enabled the cathedral to communicate messages easily via phone, marking specific dates and occasions to support its key mission.

The flexibility of the colours has allowed the towers to be lit in purple to represent Lent, blue and yellow to show solidarity with Ukraine, lit up for the local football team, Pride, New Year’s Eve, and other public events.

The sodium floodlighting was installed in the 1970s for the Silver Jubilee, using a 50kw load. This new system reduces this to 5kW – 10kW, with efficient dimmed lighting and significant energy savings.

By updating the lighting fixtures to new, more efficient products, the end result is a
more energy-efficient system, reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions. The transformational lighting scheme has allowed the cathedral to significantly reduce energy costs, therefore helping to reach the goal of carbon net zero by 2030.

This future-proofed lighting solution will help to secure Lincoln Cathedral as one of Britain’s most iconic landmarks, and also highlight the detailed and impressive architecture of the building, awe-inspiring visitors for years to come.