The outside of premier London office site, Plantation Place, can now be identified by a 37m high light beacon installation that stands at the Fenchurch Street entrance to the building’s marketing suite. Although the structure has been there for many years, soon after an extensive renovation of the site was completed in 2004, the beacon’s lighting system failed, rendering the vertical sequence of glass discs unilluminated.

Illuminating the light beacon

Looking to restore Plantation Place’s iconic light beacon, site managers Norland Management Services contracted Electrical Management Services Ltd (EMS) to oversee the building’s electrical demands. Looking to rejuvenate the LED feature, EMS turned to Architainment Lighting Ltd to find the most effective LED technology that could be fitted into the beacon, reforming it to its former glory. Describing the structure, Norland Contract Manager, Lynden Stanley said:

“The Beacon is a three-dimensional vertical cantilever of stainless steel rods against which laminated glass discs act as compression members.  The whole system is pre-stressed by a central strut which passes through the structure, independently of the glass.  During the day much of the structure is barely visible, but as darkness sets in the structure effectively disappears, to leave the impression of eight glowing discs hovering in space.”

Architainment supplied LED Linear’s VarioLED Flex Aton encapsulated, a low-profile IP 67 protected LED that is ideal for outdoor architectural applications such as the Plantation Place light beacon. This easy to conceal luminaire was supplied in 3644mm for the eight discs making up the main body of the installation, the top disc remained as cold cathode. This LED Linear technology has an external 24V driver, meaning it can be connected directly to line voltage. The VarioLED Flex ATON IP67 also offers long life, good colour rendition, and low power consumption, all of which were important to EMS and Norland when choosing the technology for the installation. In addition it is weatherproofed, UV- resistant and will operate for years, maintenance-free.

The structure and height of the installation made installing the LEDs complex at times. Commenting on this difficulty, Chris Allum, Managing Director for EMS said “The complexity of gaining access to the discs due to their location meant that many obstacles had to be overcome to complete the installation to the satisfaction of the client”.

Plantation place is home to many successful businesses and as a result the site is a destination for thousands of commuters and visitors daily, and therefore it is essential that the offices can be easily identified. Architainment is excited to have been central to rejuvenating the light beacon, ensuring that the installation, particularly during the dark winter hours, identifies and compliments the business site.