‘The LED argument is over, let’s talk about intelligence,’ says university boss

Competition and improving technology has made LED lighting so good that the argument about whether or not to upgrade is over.

That’s according to the energy boss of Manchester Metropolitan University, who oversaw upgrades that took the university from 91st to 1st place in the UK league for green universities.

‘There is so much competition that it drives the manufacturers to get better,’ said John Hindley, who heads up the university’s environmental strategy. ‘That increased quality helps the argument over price.’ Hindley added: ‘Let’s face it, it’s not five years on a warranty anymore, it’s seven.’

Manchester Metropolitan University’s 24,000m2 Birley Fields campus, which produces next to zero waste, is lit with a mixture of retrofitted and designed-in LED luminaires. Hindley’s team is now working to make the university’s LED system smarter.

 ‘We’ve been on a smartness journey, starting with remote sensing and local control, now moving on to high connectivity, network integration and intelligence.’

The university is looking to integrate all its utilities into an intelligent control system called Sky-Walker. ‘The Intelligent Campus programme will integrate fire alarms, burglar alarms, CCTV, flooding, timetabling, HVAC and lighting,’ said Hindley. ‘The system can pretty much contain anything. It’s hugely complex but the end user in the security control room needs to know how to use it. It’s an exciting journey to be on.’

Manchester Metropolitan University secured half a million pounds worth of funding from the Revolving Green Fund three years ago, which was used to upgrade existing CFL lamps to LED.