York University – Contrac Lighting


York University – Contrac Lighting

York University is one of the UKs most prestigious academic institutions, sitting consistently in the top 20 of the UKs university rankings and including within their alumni world leaders in many different fields. Contrac Lighting were one of several companies approached to offer a bespoke LED solution in the University Library to replace the existing 2×42 PLC downlights.

The main motivation behind the changeover was improving the look and feel of the Library environment as well as reducing costs in terms of both energy usage and maintenance. The Library was lit to approximately 300lux with the existing fittings, but the warm colour temperature of the lamps gave the Library a dated feel and meant that in certain areas it was difficult for students and staff to work. The curved ceiling at 6m provided the most difficult obstacle to be overcome, meaning that any solution would have to be designed to fill an abnormal aperture size and would also have to have to curve slightly with the ceiling.


After a site visit and survey, Contrac began work on a prototype to be installed on site as a sample. York University had expressed interest in replacing their large downlight fittings with something more modern in appearance, ideally something linear and with an opal panel. Contrac came up with a 49w LED panel style luminaire, approximately 1200x300mm which delivered 4790 lumens through a high-transmission opal panel, utilising Philips LEDline linear boards and Xitanium drivers. The body of the luminaire was designed to accommodate the curved ceiling.

Once the sample had been approved Contrac set to work manufacturing and delivered the entire order just 8 weeks after the very first consultation. The end result was a vastly improved working environment in the library, a reduction in the number of luminaires being used and substantial energy savings.


After approaching several lighting suppliers, Contrac were the only ones able to supply a solution. Due to the height of the ceiling being 6m, no other supplier was willing to give us a direct LED replacement, but not only did Contrac supply a fitting to suit the output requirement it was specially manufactured to sit within a bespoke ceiling grid, which further reduced the cost of installation. In addition to the practical/technical design, we received fantastic feedback from the Library occupants with regard to the dramatic change it had made to the room, giving it a far more modern feel and a great colour rendering for reading purposes”

Richard Bebb – Estates Zone Manager – York University Directorate of Estates & Campus Services

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