Bluewater upgrades outdoor lighting to LED and cuts energy usage by 75%

The challenge

Bluewater first opened its doors in March 1999: setting the benchmark for shopping and leisure destinations worldwide. Rising from a former chalk quarry among 50-metre-high cliffs, it attracts over a million visitors annually.

We were proud to design, manufacture and install the original car park, road and service yard lighting. Working with renowned architects Speirs & Major we developed a bespoke luminaire, Rio, specifically for the retail destination, with a wide brim and blue diffused illuminated canopy. Nineteen years later, while the installation had weathered well, the significant evolution in lighting technologies had created opportunities for energy savings.

Client and partners

  • Client

    Bluewater Landsec

Key project requirements

  • Reduce energy.
  • Provide uniformity and colour temperature to meet the original lighting requirements.
  • Low maintenance.

The solution

During the project lifetime the original metal halide light sources were updated to a more efficient lamp type. This reduced power consumption and energy bills, however, it also resulted in a change in colour temperature, effecting the overall ambience.

To meet the original scheme lighting requirements, we recommended retrofitting the original lanterns with a 4000K LED solution across the site. With a pre-programmed factory-set dimming regime, to save on CMS costs.

DW Windsor National Sales Manager commented,

it was exciting to work on such a well-known retail location and one that we had previously lit. The project delivers significant energy savings compared to the existing lamp types and with a payback period of less than four years, shareholders were very happy.


We are also restoring the columns, brackets and luminaires to their original appearance. Paint will be matched to the original colour, with a 25-year guarantee of colour stability and gloss level retention.

The lighting upgrade programme will be completed over a 3-month period, saving Bluewater 650,000kWh annually, which amounts to a 75% reduction in energy usage. In addition to this the LED solution is maintenance free for a minimum of 20 years.

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