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Prince Consort Statue, Holborn, London

  • Prince Consort Statue
  • Prince Consort Statue
  • Prince Consort Statue
  • Prince Consort Statue
  • Prince Consort Statue
  • 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

    Filters direct and focus the light ensuring the correct lit effect with minimal spill light, preventing waste of energy on non-useful light.

  • System efficacy

    System efficacy

    The use of high efficacy light sources, combined with precision optics, produces maximum light output for minimum energy input, helping the City of London Corporation meet its energy saving targets.

  • 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

    Built-in controls turn off the luminaires during the day, further helping to reduce the City’s energy consumption.

  • 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.

The Prince Consort Statue in Holborn Circus is attracting Londoners' attention like never before thanks to an innovative lighting scheme from Thorn Lighting.

Project background

Over the past year, the historic Prince Consort Statue has been absent from its usual position in the middle of Holborn Circus roundabout. It has been cleaned and restored to its former glory by the City of London Corporation and moved to a safer spot on the central reservation where it no longer obstructs motorists' line of sight. With the statue fully restored and looking its best, The City of London Corporation wanted to illuminate it in a way that does it justice.

However, there were significant challenges that needed to be overcome. Marlon Edwards, Mechanical and Electrical Engineer at The Cityof London Corporation, says, "Our initial thought was to mount floodlights on 10 metre columns on either side of the road, but we decided against it. There are lots of glass buildings in the area and we didn't want them to be affected by reflected light. We also needed to make sure that passing vehicles wouldn't be affected by glare."

As well as tackling the issue of glare, the lighting solution for the Prince Consort Statue needed to emphasise the fine detail of the bronze work. "We wanted a solution that could enhance every element of the statue, from the plinth to Prince Albert, his horse Nimrod, and the other figures: Peace and History," says Edwards. "Because the statue is tall with multiple sections, it was a challenge to direct light in a way that added to, rather than took away from, its overall appearance."

The Thorn Lighting solution

The City of London approached a number of leading lighting specialists and requested proposals that addressed its unique challenges. In the final analysis, Edwards and his team chose a lighting design created by Jim Ashley Down of Thorn Lighting. "There are lots of non-technical sales people around who don't fully understand the requirements for lighting a monument like this, but Jim isn't one of them," says Edwards. "He is a degree-qualified lighting designer and it definitely showed in his solution, which uses a combination of cool and warm LEDs and warm white metal halide luminaires to light each façade of the statue – emphasising its tiered design and bringing out the detail of the bronze reliefs." The Thorn solution bathes the statue's lower plinth in light from cold white LEDs that ground the stonework and emphasise its textured finish. At the same time, the upper plinth and figures are lit with warm white LEDs to bring out the detail and colour of the bronze. Thorn products used to illuminate the statues include Thorn Mica 'in-ground' spotlights and Thorn Band 2 'in-ground' linear LED luminaires, which are embedded in the ground close to the statue and angled as required. The products used to light the top part of the statue – the Prince Consort and his horse Nimrod – are Hess by Thorn metal halide luminaires mounted in bespoke City Elements bollards that were created especially for the project. As well as providing excellent illumination for the detailed bronze reliefs, the bespoke bollards provide extra physical protection for the statue.

End-to-end project delivery

With just one point of contact at Thorn, The City of London was able to overcome project challenges far more easily than would otherwise have been possible. "The project went a lot smoother because Jim could manage all aspects of the solution design, as well as commissioning and installation," says Edwards. "When we had a problem with the bollards overheating, Jim also helped us reposition the lamps and solve the problem quickly." A reliable, sustainable solution The close working relationship between Thorn and the City of London will deliver benefits for years to come. "My team doesn't just project manage new lighting schemes; we also maintain them on an ongoing basis," says Edwards. "Because we were able to work shoulder-to shoulder with Jim, we have all the knowledge we need to maintain the scheme, and we also have the security that it will be reliable and meet our needs for decades."

No glare for buildings or vehicles

The sophisticated Thorn solution has delivered the required lighting effect for the statue, without creating any glare for nearby buildings or passing motor vehicles. "Most of the solutions that were proposed to us were fairly simplistic, and they would have caused glare," says Edwards. "Jim's expertise meant that all the lighting angles are calculated to the millimetre, and special filters are used to prevent glare. We haven't had a single complaint since the scheme went live – in fact, we've had only compliments."

Reduced energy use

As an additional benefit, the Thorn solution is helping The City of London minimise energy consumption and reduce its carbon footprint. "We have a policy to use LED lighting where possible now to reduce energy use," says Edwards. "The fact that Thorn LED projectors are powerful enough to floodlight a statue like this one shows just how far the technology has evolved in the last 18 months."

Success in partnership with Thorn

The relationship between The City of London and Thorn Lighting is going from strength to strength based on the success of this project, and another lighting scheme delivered by Thorn at Bell Wharf Lane in the City. "We're extremely impressed with Thorn and we're looking forward to working with them in the future to continue to enhance lighting schemes across the City."