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St Mary’s is an important Grade 1 listed Norman church in the grounds of Portchester Castle on the Hampshire coast near Portsmouth.  The lighting in this project was designed and installed before LED lighting 'came of age'. 

Involvement: The previous lighting comprised several elements including a series of blue painted pendant fittings which had been adapted over the years, as well as a variety of spot and floodlights.  The main problem was the condition of the lighting and wiring, and the fact that the illumination from the nave chandeliers was particularly inadequate.

To provide general lighting in the nave we specified a series of wide angle spotlights with 70W long life metal halide lamps.  Similar units with narrower angle reflectors and 35W metal halide lamps were specified to highlight the font, and selected memorials as well as the east end of the nave.  All spots were mounted at high level on sections of lighting track, simplifying installation and enabling them to be removed for maintenance.  A similar solution was employed in the crossing (beneath the tower), and the north transept.

The chancel was lit with dimmable mains voltage tungsten halogen spotlights, to which were added some low voltage spots to illuminate its roof.

New wrought iron chandeliers with dimmable compact fluorescent candle lamps were installed in the nave to provide some 'sparkle', and small spotlights were incorporated in discreet tubes on the inside of the rim to provide more intimate local down lighting.  A similar but larger chandelier was installed in the crossing above the nave altar.  This was mounted on a remotely controlled motorised winch, allowing it to be lowered for maintenance.

The lighting is controlled by remote racks with dimmers and contactors for the various light sources.  Operation is from wireless push button units, including one which provides a timed lighting preset for visitors.

Photos © Haberlea & Paul Covell Consultants