St Mary the Virgin Church Illuminated By Concord

St Mary the Virgin ChurchSt Mary the Virgin Church in Cottingham, Yorkshire can trace its roots back to 1320 with many of its current features including the nave, chancel and tower, being built soon after.

The stunning church has recently upgraded its lighting scheme to highlight these historic features.  The new system relies on a number of luminaires from Concord, an expert in illuminating heritage buildings.      

The Grade One Listed building underwent restoration during both the 19th and 20th centuries, and historic restored features include a monumental brass to Nicholas de Luda, now in the north east corner of the sanctuary, but formerly in various positions in the chancel.

The Church’s previous lighting scheme was inflexible, unsympathetic to its surroundings, expensive to run and almost impossible to access and maintain.  Ruth Marsden, churchwarden at St Mary the Virgin Church, comments, “We wanted a lighting design that made the most of our beautiful medieval setting, lighting the whole building so all pews and aisles could be used, blended into the stonework and could be supported on our existing wiring.  Various units were suggested by the architect but once we had found Concord, we were immediately impressed by the sympathetic understanding of our situation.  Money was very tight here so we needed real value, reliability and on-going support during commissioning after installation and we were delighted to find that Concord offered us all that.”

The successful solution is built around the Concord Beacon LED High Output on the Lytespan track. The Beacon LED High Output is a high efficiency LED spotlight with a cutting-edge cooling fin design to maximise thermal management and reduction of LED junction temperature. An important consideration when lighting museums, galleries or historic buildings are the IR and UV levels as these can be damaging to artwork and the fabric of delicate buildings. The Concord Beacon LED High Output is an IR/UV free light source without heat radiation and ideal for the environment within St Mary the Virgin church.

“The Concord lights did all that we hoped,” continues Ruth. “They were easy to install and wholly transformed the high spaces of our church, revealing details, vistas and features that had been unseen and unappreciated for decades. The light was soft but clear, creating the ambience that ideally suits the church. We used the new system for some weeks and then wanted to make small alterations to the direction of light and the clustering of a few luminaires and this proved very easy.

“The lights have transformed our worship and our use of the church. The sacred spaces have been highlighted and the roof is illuminated, revealing the flying gold angels that we barely saw before.  We can invite visiting choirs and similar performers with confidence, book our many weddings without qualms and arrange special services for the holy days of the Christian calendar in the winter months certain that all will be well. St Mary’s has moved into the 21stcentury.”

Maintaining a lighting scheme at St Mary the Virgin church is not a simple task so the 50,000 hour lifespan of the Concord Beacon LED High Output answered the requirement for a virtually maintenance free solution. The luminaire is also available in spot and flood versions with 10˚ and 30˚ beam angles respectively or an Accent/spot/flood version to create the desired lit effect. The Beacon LED High Output offers a high CRI of 80+ to ensure colours are shown in their truest form.

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