James Morse lights Derby's crown jewel

Derby Cathedral is the jewel in the city’s crown. Designed by James Gibbs, one of Britain’s most influential architects who was responsible for St-Martin-in-the-Fields in London and the Radcliffe Camera at Oxford University, the cathedral is Neo-Classical in style, yet simple in nature.

James Morse Lighting Design were commissioned to create a sympathetic scheme for the cathedral, which celebrated the interior, yet was adaptable to the many uses of the cathedral in the modern day.

The scheme has been well received by those that use the cathedral and know it well and the design has been nominated in the ‘Hospitality, Leisure and Faith Lighting Project of the Year’ category at this year’s Lux Awards.

The Morse installation utilises low energy LED light sources throughout the building, which can easily be controlled by a wireless DMX control system. The system provides a variety of lighting scenes and has helped to reduce energy usage within the building, a necessary factor when it is costing more and more to keep Britain's historic buildings running.

The vaulted ceiling, one of the highlights of the building, has been lit by using concealed uplighting.

The vaulted ceiling, as with the majority of neo-classical cathedrals, is a highlight and has been lit using concealed uplighting. Discretely mounted downlights have also been installed in order to provide enough illumination for worshipers sitting in the pews.

Enhanced levels of illumination have been installed in order to provide an extra layer of light for the performance area in front of the Choir stalls, which is sometimes used for concerts and special events. The beautiful baldacchino, which sits over the altar has also been creatively illuminated with concealed linear uplights. The baldacchino itself has been used to light the high altar as LED downlights have been installed in the structure’s soffit.

The baldacchino, which sits over the altar, has also been creatively illuminated with concealed linear uplights.

The building’s Flemish chandeliers were retained during the renovation, but were refitted with LED light sources. The choir and retrochoir lights were also refurbished and made taller to improve the spread of light all over the ornate choir stalls, while new shades were designed to provide up and down light with opal diffusers at the top of the shades to further enhance the downward component.

The choir and retrochoir lights have been refurbished to improve the spread of light in this area. 

There are a number of historic Ninian Comper designed pendants and wall brackets within the Cathedral and these were all refurbished and relamped with LED sources. Comper tends to be mostly associated with his stained glass work, but he was also considered to be one of the last great Gothic Revival architects. 

Lighting equipment used

Mike Stoane Lighting: LED spots,

LedLinear: LED strips

Light Graphix: LED strips

GDS Arc System DMX control system

The full list of Lux Awards nominees for 2016 can be found here.  The Lux Awards will be held on the 24th of November 2016 at The InterContinental London - The O2 on the Greenwich Peninsula. Tables are on sale now and you can find out more here.

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