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Sustainability Consultants CBG Create Lighting Design Division to Meet Demand

CBG Consultants Ltd., a global leader in sustainability-led MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing) practices in the UK, created a new lighting consultancy division when it acquired Light Perceptions Ltd., last year. Light Perceptions, which has provided specialist lighting design services for 20+ years, focuses primarily on landmark ecclesiastical and historic sites, private estates, museums, and galleries.

At the time, CBG’s Managing Director Andrew Payne noted, “Through the CBG Light Perceptions division, we will be able to offer bespoke lighting design and project management services.”

Added Director Bruce Kirk, “With a growing focus on sustainability in all stages of the construction lifecycle, the combination of Light Perceptions’ expertise and CBG’s resources means we can offer in-house, a comprehensive low carbon, managed lighting and MEP solution across all projects.”

The partnership has been mutually beneficial, as Light Perceptions has – in turn – been able to provide clients with access to a greater number of sustainability and building services through CBG’s broader skills.

One of the most significant projects completed by CBG Light Perceptions over the past year involved installing new safety railings to the famous Whispering Gallery at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, a historic landmark that dates back several centuries.

The Whispering Gallery is famous for its acoustical properties

The project is among the first stage of a lighting upgrade for the interior of St Paul’s which, designed by Speirs Major Light Architecture more than 25 years ago, consists mainly of dimmed halogen lighting and metal halide fixtures.

Working to refresh the original Whispering Gallery scheme, CBG Light Perceptions specified linear lighting to replace nearly 210 feet of cold cathode that uplit the beautifully gilded Tijou railings. The replacement had to be designed so that it did not bring attention to the new safety railings or their support structure.

In addition, the renowned Thornhill painting, which decorates the dome above, is now illuminated by a series of new spotlight luminaires that are controlled by zones to highlight the important elements of the painting. Electricians from the Cathedral’s Works Department installed an additional safety feature: miniature emergency lights that can provide low-level lighting on the floor of the gallery and highlight the exit doors in the event of an emergency.

The recent lighting renovation has brought further dimension to the Cathedral’s interior through a number of additions and alterations. For example, the new lighting on the sanctuary has greatly improved the visibility of the celebrant at the High Altar, as well as those leading worship. Lighting now  highlights both the front and rear of the Rood and to the Tympanum — which were never previously lit.

In the three chapels at the East End, the old spotlights have been replaced and dimmable controls added, the latter being an especially useful feature for the Blessed Sacrament Chapel when it is used for the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on weekdays. Seeing the mosaics of the chapels lit with the pendants dimmed down to a low level is both dramatic and atmospheric. In fact, the new lighting allows most parts of the Cathedral’s interior to be seen in ways not previously, dramatically improving the interior aesthetic and atmosphere.

Bruce Kirk, founder of Light Perceptions, and a Director of CBG, remarked, “We are delighted to have a very experienced lighting designer, Stephanie Harris, now leading the original CBG LP Team out of our Oxford office, which services CBG’s clients in all areas, focusing on the heritage, private residential, and other specialist markets. We see Stephanie leading the team from strength to strength.”

 Furthermore, CBG is creating a new team based in the London office to deliver commercial and corporate lighting solutions to new and existing clients. In London, CBG LP will be spearheaded by Fabiana Nery, an accomplished and experienced lighting designer. “Fabiana brings an extensive portfolio of successful projects with her, spanning a variety of sectors,” Kirk noted.

“The success over the last 12 months of CBG Light Perceptions, and the creation of the new team in the London area, is exactly what we anticipated this amalgamation would bring,” Kirk stated. “It is clear to see that together we are bigger and stronger, delivering even more of what our collective clients need.”

 “Through the sale to CBG, Light Perceptions has been able to develop international and corporate clients, as well as major building developers,” he continued. “This would have been an incredibly tough market to break into, therefore teaming up with CBG has opened many doors and created new and exciting opportunities.”

CBG’s Payne agreed, “The addition of lighting design to our already robust services has been a game changer. We’re now able to fulfill even more of our clients’ requests, as well as attract new clients who want a more holistic approach to complete their projects.”

  For CBG, the ability to add a new specialist service to its portfolio is opening new market areas and expanding its skillset to include in-demand services such as design, visualization, lighting, modeling, and high-quality graphics. Clients are now able to access a growing number of specialisms through CBG, supporting the completion of more complex projects, such as Westminster Cathedral.

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