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Alight here for Crossrail – lighting design on the Elizabeth Line featured in Septembers edition of CIBSE Journal

4 September 2018

The use of LED lighting in Crossrail’s subterranean infrastructure will result in reduced energy consumption.  

It was a brave decision by Transport of London to use LEDs to light the stations, escalator shafts and concourses of the new Crossrail Line (aka the Elizabeth Line). All the more so when you consider the decision was taken about five years ago, when LED technology was relatively new to the lighting mainstream.

‘Crossrail is the first major sub-surface infrastructure project to be lit entirely by LED’s.’ Says Paul Kerrigan, Crossrail MEP engineer (lead electrical), the man responsible for line-wide lighting solutions and uninterruptible power supply (UPS).

‘The decision to go LED on Crossrail was based on industry evidence that the benefits of reduced energy consumption and maintenance requirements would deliver a reduction in whole-life costs for the project.’

Any such savings would be significant because Crossrail is a giant infrastructure project. The new railway line traverses London, east to west. Its entire central section – from Liverpool Street in the east to Paddington in the west – is underground. This made the lighting design critical, not only for passenger safety, but also as a means of enhancing their experience of the subterranean environment. The challenge for Crossrail was that many of the specialist LED fittings it needed to light the scheme had yet to be developed.

Having decided on LEDs, Crossrail set about developing the lighting concept for the station concourse areas, escalator tunnels and platforms. ‘We wanted the lighting to emphasise the spatial envelope rather than draw attention to the luminaires themselves,’ says Kerrigan.

As a result, the concept uses the light-grey, matt-textured, glass-reinforced concrete linin of the station and escalator tunnels to reflect light onto the passenger areas, to ‘create a sense of spaciousness within the underground environment’ Kerrigan explains

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