Project: Bateman’s – National Trust
Location: Bateman’s, historic house in East Sussex, UK
Bateman's is a 17th-century house located in Burwash, East Sussex, England. Author Rudyard Kipling lived in Bateman's from 1902 to his death in 1936.
Surrounded by the wooded landscape of the Sussex Weald, this 17th-century house, with its mullioned windows and oak beams, provided a much needed sanctuary to this world-famous writer.
The brief for this one was to modernize the cases – designed by Kipling’s daughter Elsie and almost unchanged for over 40 years - but keep their structural integrity and classic look.
The project also entailed the removal of the previous fibre optic lighting system – which took up a massive amount of space, was hot, noisy and involved projectors slung beneath the cases and unwieldy trails of cable.
A bespoke slim line warm white LED strip, made from Osram LEDs into each of the cabinets of varying sizes. This illuminates the contents in a fabulous crisp, clear high CRI light source that looks really natural and is a perfect complement to the room lighting.
Osram LinearLight Economy was chosen for its long lifespan, low cost and task oriented light output. Driven by Osram power supplies the overall solution is expected to last at least 50000h (L70).
The LED strips were installed inside the corner aluminium profile, Comus LEDAL11, for good heat dissipation and stable performance.
Designer – Mike Blacker:
Commissioned by the National Trust, designer Mike Blacker of East Grinstead, Sussex, UK based Blacker Design was asked to mastermind a refurbishment plan for lighting in the museum area of Bateman’s – for over 30 years from 1902, the home of author Rudyard Kipling, near Burwash in the beautiful Sussex Weald.
Bateman’s is now dedicated to the memories of Kipling’s life and work. When Blacker Design needed a neat, energy efficient lighting solution to complete the modernisation of a number of period exhibition display cases in one of the upstairs rooms … they approached Hastings based lighting specialist CLD Distribution (now Penn Elcom) for assistance.
Supplier and Installer – CLD/Penn Elcom:
The collaboration saw CLD design and install a bespoke slim line warm white LED strip, made from Osram LEDs into each of the cabinets of varying sizes. This illuminates the contents in a fabulous crisp, clear high CRI light source that looks really natural and is a perfect complement to the room lighting.
Nigel Howes explains that CLD and Blacker Design have collaborated on a couple of previous projects, one of them involving reconditioning lighting at Winston Churchill’s former house, Chartwell, also for the National Trust.
Howes and Blacker installed the extrusions along the front top corner of the cabinets on wooden support legs – matched to the existing dark wood of the cabinet - to which the LED strip were fitted. Adjustable powder-coated steel brackets at each end allow for rotation, so the light source is completely concealed but also focusable.
The brackets have slots to allow access for the connecting wires and the wooden uprights are routed to provide a cable channel so the wiring is near invisible, as are the discreet LED power supplies fitted underneath each cabinet.
The LED fittings emit no damaging UV and minimal heat, all of which will add to the protection and longevity of the display contents – a combination of books, papers, medals, pottery, metal objects and fabrics.
The other huge advantage of fitting LED lighting is the power saving! The previous lighting consumed 50 Watts per case … a figure dramatically reduced to just 4 Watts per case with the new lighting scheme! The LEDs can all be individually dimmed if required.
Each case is a different size and some with multiple sections, so all the LED fittings were individually constructed on site, however, the flexibility of the design ensured this process was relatively straightforward.
The aluminium profile can be cut to any length and powder-coated in a range of colours, with clear or opaque cover options.
Blacker Design provided new bases and shallower sloping panels upholstered in conservation grade fabric to complete the transformation of the display cases, breathing new life into them and adding more scope for the future as larger objects can be included.
Nigel Howes says, “It was a real pleasure to work with Mike again and also on such a special project. The challenges of the initial design and its need to be invisible took some brain-teasing, but once we found the solution, everything was really smooth and we’re delighted with the results”.