Circular Lighting Report

Law firm saves 56 tonnes of steel by reusing 22,000 lights

Clifford Chance office headquarters London

INTERNATIONAL law firm Clifford Chance saved a staggering 56 tonnes of steel by reusing rather than replacing 22,000 luminaires during a lighting upgrade at its London docklands headquarters.

The company is the latest in a line of major lighting industry clients demanding low carbon fluorescent-to-LED upgrades that minimise waste and recycling.

The 151-metre 32-storey building at 10 Upper Bank Street was opened in 2003. As LED technology was still in its infancy, louvred linear fluorescent light fittings were specified for the 1 million square foot office. At the time it achieved a Breeam excellent rating.

Clifford Chance was keen to minimise its energy footprint by upgrading to LED. It also wanted to retain as much of the luminaire as possible, including its dark light reflector.

The original supplier Future Designs then developed a new gear-tray design which used the latest optics to give the appearance of a fluorescent but with the benefit of LED.

It photometrically testing prototypes to ensure correct light levels and distribution were achieved.

The switch resulted in an immediate energy saving of 51 per cent, with a comparable light output. This is a saving of over 1,000 tonnes of carbon over a five-year period.

Reusing the luminaire housing also saved the production of some 56 tonnes. This equates to 103 tonnes of carbon, the equivalent to driving around the world 12.4 times.

The lighting upgrade is a part of wider wave of fluorescent-to-LED refurbishments across the commercial sector. By replacing the gear tray with an LED source and driver, the same body can be used, and the luminaire can remain the ceiling, minimising disruption to the building’s occupants.

– Learn more about luminaire reuse at Circular Lighting Live 2022, taking place on Thursday 22 September 2022 at the Cavendish Conference Centre in London. More at

Picture courtesy of Barnzy Photography via Flickr Media Commons 2014.

Ray Molony

Recolight Report is an independent guide to the latest developments in sustainable and circular lighting. Learn about the people, products, projects and processes that are shaping our industry’s low carbon future. Plus: explainers on the latest innovations, opinion from thought leaders and video interviews with leading disruptors. Edited by lighting expert, editor and industry figure Ray Molony.