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Wills Memorial Tower, Bristol


  • Wills Memorial Tower
  • Lamp efficacy

    Lamp efficacy

    Ensuring the lamp efficiently converts electricity into light (lm/W).

  • Ballast classification

    Ballast classification

    Controlling the electricity supply to the lamp (Energy Efficiency Index).

  • Luminaire distribution

    Luminaire distribution

    Controlling light emission using optics which bend and shape the light to the correct location.

  • System efficacy

    System efficacy

    Combining optical and thermal control within the luminaire (luminaire lm/W).

  • Presence/absence detection

    Presence/absence detection

    Presence: Lights automatically turn on/off with movement. Absence: Lights automatically turn off and must be manually switched on.

  • Daylight detection

    Daylight detection

    Artificial lighting which responds to the natural light conditions.

  • Constant illuminance

    Constant illuminance

    A function designed to produce correct light levels for the duration of the maintenance period.

  • Task-scene setting

    Task-scene setting

    Allowing the user to set scenes and adapt the lighting to different tasks.

  • Timed off

    Timed off

    Automatic cut-off can be installed to turn all lights off during unoccupied hours.

  • Task lighting

    Task lighting

    Lighting task areas with the correct amount of light.

  • Zoning of lighting

    Zoning of lighting

    Lighting is zoned according to area use.

  • Maintenance schedule

    Maintenance schedule

    Maintenance must be performed in response to product age, performance and environment.

  • Waste light

    Waste light

    Eliminating waste light which does not hit the intended target.

  • Reflectance


    Taking advantage of light which is reflected from the surface within the space.

  • Visible smart metering

    Visible smart metering

    Results of actions can be quickly seen as increased or decreased energy use to encourage responsible energy consumption.

Thorn lights up Bristol's skyline

Perched high above the city of Bristol, the Wills Memorial Tower - the centrepiece building of the University of Bristol - simply faded into darkness each night. Now, a new floodlighting scheme, made possible thanks to a £750,000 restoration project to return the tower to its original colour, has been supplied. And once again the Tower's high profile has been restored.


The scheme illuminates the 68-metre-high gothic style tower using primarily low wattage "white" metal halide lamps to enhance the sandy Bath and Clipsham stone.


The University has worked closely with Planning and Conservation Officers from Bristol City Council and with English Heritage to ensure that the scheme is environmentally friendly as well as in keeping with the building and its surroundings. The floodlights are energy-efficient, employ attachments to tailor the beam distributions and are switched on at dusk and off at midnight. Additionally, far less light is needed on a clean stone building than on one which is encrusted with the grime of centuries. The total load is under 6kW.


The use of eight 150W Contrast C floodlights cast a glancing light across the face of the tower, the lower part of which is lighted by four 70W ground recessed Mica B floods mounted close to the base. These are augmented by 30 narrow beam 150W Sunspot units to highlight the upper levels at a shallow angle to emphasise detail and shadow. Within the octagonal belfry 70W high pressure sodium Areafloods create a subdued golden glow providing a contrast with the metal halide used elsewhere.

Dave Skelhorne, the University's Contract Supervisor, said: "Switching on the lights was the final piece in the jigsaw of repair, renovation and illumination of the tower - a mammoth project which has taken two years to complete. The tower looks truly magnificent and will now be an even more impressive sight on the city's skyline."

Harry Patch, a 109-year-old veteran of the Great War and a member of the workforce which constructed the tower in the 1920s, switched on the new floodlights.

Electrical work was by AMP Electrical Ltd of Bristol.