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Howies had a similar problem with their Carnaby Street store, IIRC - the terms of their lease said it had to be fully lit up all night. They've put a "press to light up store" button on the front window, which struck me as a devious way round a frankly bonkers lease term.

But it's *everywhere*, this problem - the whole of the riverside from London Bridge to Tower Bridge is lit up like an oil refinary 24/7, as is the Gherkin, and Lloyds, and 1 Canada Square, and the list goes on. Then scale up by the number of office buildings in the UK, and the numbers go off the scale...

I work for Aegis media so will have a word.

You're right in saying that the lights being on is a sales pitch - filling premium office space in London isn't necessarily as easy as it sounds.

Assuming the presence detection is working and activated, however, presence (more accurately - movement) detection typically switches off lights 30 minutes after the last detection - any shorter and you risk guffing up your fluorescent lighting. Open plan areas are probably zoned all in one - so one PIR picking up a signal will turn on all the lighting on the floor, since people don't like to work in isolated pools of light when the rest of an open plan areas is dark - it's very unnerving. All of which is to say it'd probably take someone at least 15 minutes to walk around all the control zones to trigger the lighting. Since you saw that all the lighting was on, you'd have to be arriving in the 15 minute window between the man turning on all the lights, and none of them turning off. The odds of doing that several times in a day? Pretty slim.

Given that in open plan areas, lighting is liekly to be controlled so generally - presence detection is really no more effective than making sure the last man out turns out the lights. A much more effective means of reducing energy through smart control would be using photocells (light detectors). The spec indicates they only use photocells to control external lighting - simply turning them on when it gets dark, presumably. For a building with an atrium (which this has) this is a missed opportunity. The facade is all windows. I'd expect photocells to be in place across the interior to turn off and dim down the lighting nearest to windows - these don't need to be turned on during the day. This significantly reduces the buildings electricity demand. (Of course a fully glazed building presents significant energy challenges thermally - why do we build greenhouses everywhere?)

In terms of low energy ways to draw attention to a building, there are certainly options. One is to turn on only the lights adjacent to windows - this would look peculiar, but not if you use blinds on all windows (the tenants are going to have to install blinds anyway to control glare, given that this is office space). You basically design this feature lighting to illuminate the blinds. This internal approach to architectural lighting can be a very effective approach to revealing the form of a building. This way, you'd use a fraction of the energy, but you do lose out on displaying the interior spaces.

Another option would be to look at LED lighting to the facades. Buckingham Palace's LED architectural lighting is well designed, lights up the building nicely, and at a fraction of the former demand. Glass doesn't lend itself to floodlighting particularly, but there are plenty of horizontal surfaces on the facade to illuminate. I think it's hard to justify architectural lighting from an energy point of view, but a well designed system could make a feature of the building using much less energy than simply leaving all the lights on. Again, though, you're not showing of the interiors.

A third option, assuming the lighting throughout is fitted with dimmable control gear, would simply be to dim all the lighting down. Dimming the lamps to 10% output would still make the interiors visible, and the building would glow rather nicely, I imagine - and 10% of the light output translated to roughly 10% of the energy consumption.

It isn't right, though.

Maybe some kind of system that (efficiently) projected giant numbers over the building, indicating their real-time energy use :)

ooo - new offices for us?

either way, I'll have a moan

Charles, there is the technology to do that! One of my clients More Associates has done a light architecture display for Bishops Square Spitalfields that shows how much solar energy is coming off the roof at any given moment - displayed at ground level.

Rebecca Caroe

There is a building somewhere around The City which has a facade which fades into and out of different colours - I am pretty sure it's only the facade that is lit in this way and it made me stop and stare the other day - maybe that is a lower energy solution to attarcting attention ?

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