The 58,000 lumen beast at the heart of Crossrail

MORE DETAILS have emerged this month of the central lighting concept of the new £15 billion Crossrail project in London, a powerful 58,000 lumen uplight on a totem pole.

The Ikon luminaire needed to deliver 58,000 lm, which was ultimately realised with an 850W design, with the heatsink essentially becoming an integral part of the fixture aesthetics.

The primary lighting in the new stations will rely on custom, high-output, uplight LED luminaires that indirectly illuminate the space via reflective surfaces on walls and ceilings, creating a sense of spaciousness.

The indirect lighting concept created unique challenges for the project team while promising to result in a pleasing space for the millions that will use Crossrail, recently renamed the Elizabeth Line. Crossrail is a 42-km underground rail-transportation system that will connect the east and west sides of the expansive city.

The project is said to be the most significant infrastructure project in the UK in more than 100 years and is the biggest ongoing construction project in all of Europe.

The ₤14.8 billion ($19 billion) transportation project will enable 1.5 million more residents to reach central London within 45 minutes and greatly speed and simplify the journey between London Heathrow airport and the booming east side of the city.

The developers have installed a light-grey lining on all surfaces including curved walls and ceilings in the subterranean environment.

The surface lining is a matte-texture, glass-reinforced concrete. Moreover, that lining is ideal for reflecting indirect light, both providing a pleasing ambience and delivering plenty of visibility for commuters transiting the stations.

The surface lining of matte-texture, glass-reinforced concrete is ideal for reflecting indirect light, both providing a pleasing ambience and delivering plenty of visibility for commuters transiting the stations.

But the lighting design team needed a fixture to generate a tremendous amount of light in the concourse space.

Future developed the Ikon luminaire for the project that is mounted on top of totems. Those totems are spaced at distances ranging from 7 to 11 metres. Calculations revealed the need for a luminaire that could deliver 58,000 lm, which was ultimately realised with an 850W design.

Of course, cooling an 850W luminaire required a large custom heatsink. That heatsink essentially became an integral part of the fixture aesthetics.

The Ikon fixtures are being installed in Crossrail stations at Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Bond Street, and Whitechapel.

Future further designed the Ikon emergency fixture and those luminaires are mounted on the side of the totems. The fixtures are capable of throwing light long distances along the station floor. The 35,000-lm fixtures would be powered if power is lost by an emergency generator.

Finally, Future Designs created another luminaire called Plinth to deliver uplight in the deck area between escalators. That design had to integrate a glass panel for safety due to proximity to passengers. And the design team used a black louvre to ensure that passengers see no direct light.

The project is engineered by Atkins Global with lighting design for the platforms, concourses and escalator tunnels for eight new underground stations, one surface station and five portals of this new railway supplied by GIA Equation.

Crossrail is behind schedule due to an explosion in a a power plant and construction delays at Bond Street station and is now set to open partially in 2019 and fully in 2020.


  • A session on transport and rail lighting will be included in the conference tracks at the LuxLive 2019 exhibition taking place at London ExCeL on Wednesday 13 November and Thursday 14 November 2019. More information HERE.


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