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The Radcliffe Camera Library Building

Monard has installed 250 metres of LED tape as part of a new, greener and more efficient lighting scheme for one of the UK’s most iconic university library buildings, The Radcliffe Camera in Oxford.

A striking circular Neoclassical circular landmark, the Grade I listed library was designed by James Gibbs, constructed between 1737 and 1748 to house the Radcliffe Science Library and funded from the estate of local doctor and wealthy man John Radcliffe, who died childless in 1714.

We were asked to work on the installation of a new lighting scheme for the library’s ground floor, replacing the old fluorescents. The design came from Rob Gregg with assistance from CBG Consultants. Together we assessed a series of potential products before deciding on Osram tape with warm-white LEDs and a colour temperature of 3000K, plus Concords Beacon Muse LED luminaires, and Zumtobel’s super system and emergency solution.

Now the ground floor library features a series of eight pedimented projections alternated with niches with the central floor, divided into bays by coupled Corinthian columns. There are pedimented windows around the mezzanine level ,and the roof is a lanterned dome set on an octagonal drum with a balustrade parapet.

The LED tape is positioned around the stone cornicing and the tops of the columns as well as along the edges of the ground floor balconies, also illuminating the domed ceilings in the process. As a result the light bounces back down into the reading spaces. We’ve also retro-fitted the tape into the listed desk reading lights, with 30 desks in each of the eight seating areas, each light approximately 400mm wide and good and bright for comfortable close-up reading. The end result is as attractive as it is energy-efficient. In fact the new lighting scheme has resulted in a dramatic 5-fold increase in the library’s Lux levels, and the running costs have plummeted.