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Philips and Northampton Academy reaches new heights

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Philips and Northampton Academy reaches new heights
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Philips in conjunction with RIDI Lighting Ltd has provided the Northampton Academy with a lighting installation to reflect its excellent academic standards.

The Academy is a high performing centre of learning where students develop a responsible attitude and approach to their own education.
As one would expect its facilities are exemplary. Improvements in school facilities are reflected in better results and standards as well as giving pupils an increased feeling of self worth. The lighting design as put forward by Buro Happold therefore had to complement and enhance this, providing a stimulating and motivating environment in which to learn.

It is, however, not just in the classrooms where state of the art technology has been applied. The large canteen has been designed for students to sit and enjoy their meals in comfort and ease whilst watching one of two plasma TV screens!

The sense of spaciousness within the canteen is further increased by the double height dining hall and open staircase leading to the mezzanine floor. The finishes of walls, ceilings and pillars are deliberately light in colour to reflect the natural daylight, which flows through the building. Philips MASTER PL-H lamps housed in RIDI Lighting’s HRL pendant luminaires were the ideal combination to complement this natural light source.

The PL-H lamp comes into its own here since it is the first time that a compact fluorescent can generate 9,000 lumens. This now offers a clear alternative to light sources such as metal halide, which may have been traditionally selected for applications where high ceilings exist. The PL-H lamp can now provide higher lighting levels using fewer luminaires.

One of the prime considerations was to ensure that the illumination levels were even throughout the space. This was achieved since the PL-H lamp is part of the compact fluorescent family. Its lumen maintenance of 85% builds on the tradition of longer life and higher lumen maintenance associated with the MASTER PL-L lamp.

With an average rated lifetime of more than 20k hours, the MASTER PL-H requires less re-lamping than many other solutions. This saves on expensive man-hours and lamp replacement as well as reducing the potential disruption to the school curriculum. In the event of a power failure the lamp’s hot re-strike means that the lighting will always be switched on again the instant that power is restored. This has to be a boon to any busy facilities manager!

Maximising usage of the TV screens for important notices and announcements, the pupils can watch safe in the knowledge that overhead flicker will not disturb them. The PL-H lamp offers optimum eye-comfort due to its flicker free operation, which means less eye fatigue. Not only that but the instant white light and high colour rendering further adds to eye comfort.

Undoubtedly the Northampton Academy is an example of how schools should be ideally designed to meet the needs of pupils and teachers of the 21st Century. Good design as shown here including that of lighting raises educational standards and improves the quality of life within a school.

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