Let there be Light...
Fourth Dimension Lighting Design brings
a 12th Century Hampshire Church to life
All Saints’ dates from the 12th century. Evidence of an earlier church were found during the nineteenth century alterations. The font is probably twelfth or thirteenth century. It stands on a square base of Purbeck marble. The cover, which is modern, was designed by Sir Gilbert Scott, and was given in 1886. Near the altar rails can be seen the tomb of James Sessions, the rector who was ejected by the Commonwealth Parliament in 1650.
Like many churches throughout England, All Saints Church was lit by an assortment of light fittings, all of which were expensive to run and required regular maintenance due to the regularity of lamp failure.
Maintenance in such buildings falls to, generally, elderly parishioners climbing tall ladders. This as well as the need to save on running costs is increasingly a prime motivator in carrying out a complete redesign of the lighting system.
The primary challenge with this project was the budget and here we were fortunate to have a client who understood what we planned to do and then took their time to raise the necessary funds to execute the plan correctly.
All ancient building present technical challenges when it comes to new lighting systems. The fabric of the building needs to be respected at all times ensuring no unnecessary damage to structure or surfaces. Added to this we wanted to enhance the features, architecture and textures of the building in a sympathetic way without overpowering the interior.
Churches do not need to be over lit. The lighting needs to serve a number of purposes - sufficient to be able to read a hymn book, the enhancing of the fabric and features of the building and with an overarching ability to create a space that is peaceful and harmonious.
Our approach was to use spotlights mounted at plate level to provide light for the pews with additional lighting to enhance a number of elements within the church such as the altar and cross above the pulpit. We selected fittings that would minimise glare wherever possible such that the light was present but the source as discreet as possible.
The addition of flexible LED strip behind the rafter feet gives a gentle upward wash of warm light which enhances the roof structure without overwhelming it.
The Finished Project
The re-lit interior is now warm and inviting. Our objective of mitigating glare has been achieved for the most part by the use of honeycomb louvres on the spotlights.
The LED strip along the rafters creates a warm glow that gentle lights the roof structure. Even though a control system was not used on this project, having the lighting on discrete circuits enables the church to be lit in different ways to suit the service or time of year.
The lighting has not overwhelmed the architecture but brought the church to life and enhanced the details of this ancient building.