Commercial Lighting and Design Knowledge

GDS are experts in Commercial Lighting and Design, here we try to share some of our knowledge.

GDS, Bristol – lighting design and other services

GDS has the technical expertise and solution focus to offer a range of supporting services. From manufacture and design, to project management and commissioning, we can deliver the best lighting schemes across a range of architectural, commercial and entertainment applications. See some of the projects we’ve worked on here -

GDS, a Commercial Lighting Company

GDS has offered lighting design as part of our service throughout our 15-year lifespan. However, our journey has been one of evolution and change. GDS is renowned for being one of the most important players in lighting design in the Entertainment industry and we have worked on some of the biggest theatres and auditoriums the world over. Our projects in this area were not simply limited to the performance areas but also gave us our first taste of lighting design in the adjoining areas (including restaurant, bars, corridors & stairwells and atriums). Some of the biggest venues we worked on include; The Hammersmith Apollo, The Royal Albert Hall and The Opéra Bastille. Our work soon led to the growth of a new area of the business, Special Projects. The requirement of bespoke products to meet individual design needs made this a natural progression. This has led to our working on lighting design projects in a diverse range of applications, including; places of worship, cruise ships, restaurants, bars, hotels and galleries. GDS brand new manufactured ‘Reality Range’ with its focus on the workplace and the well-being of those within it allows for our progression into the office and retail sectors. Our team has grown and been built around these sectors and their knowledge along with GDS’ incredible experience in lighting manufacturing means that we believe we can deliver lighting design to the highest standard -

Lighting Design Software

Our skilled lighting designers utilise the latest Lighting Design software and technology. DIALux EVO is used for designing, calculating and visualising 3D models of a range of spaces, including individual rooms, buildings and external areas. We can produce visualisation photos in DIALux EVO and these photo-realistic images allow both you and your clients to experience the design before it is delivered. This gives you more scope for creative freedom, so if you are thinking of utilising indirect lighting or uplighting in your scheme you may first see how it effects the look and feel of a build.

Commercial LED Lighting Manufactures

We are proud to be both the designers and manufacturers of our design led product ranges, all of which takes place in our Bristol workshop. This gives us a freedom beyond our competitors to progress with the latest trends. With our exceptionally talented R&D department we can also create new ranges to break existing boundaries. All our products are supported with the up-to date LDT files and installation instructions.

Energy Efficient Commercial Lighting

The GDS lighting ranges utilises efficient LED technology to ensure a significant reduction in traditional lighting energy output. Further to this our in-house team have designed commercial lighting control systems, which make further reductions still. Commercial lighting controls gives the freedom of choosing when and how lights dim or switch off. This eliminates wasted electricity consumption, whilst ensuring employees have the ideal amount of light to ensure circadian rhythm and to give them a positive working environment free of glare. Find out more about our Prodigy Control System here -

What is the Best Commercial Grade Lighting?

The best commercial lighting brings out the positive brand identity of a business. GDS can work with you to understand how we can deliver this together as well any other unique requirements you might have.

Commercial Lighting in Bristol?

GDS operates out of our office in St Anne’s, Bristol. We're are a truly international company, having worked on huge projects around the globe, however we love. Bristol and are always keen to be involved in any Bristol Commercial Lighting Projects.

What is the best Lighting Simulation Software?

GDS make use of lighting calculation and visualisation software to give our clients the best impression of how a space can be improved with commercial and architectural lighting and controls. There are several variations of software to choose from but at GDS we choose to use DIALux Evo. DIALux Evo and this enables us to offer the following; GDS can simulate rooms at a site by just using a sketch in DIALux Evo. We can also import pre-made CAD plans, as well as adding; windows, doors (whilst simulating their effect), furniture, colours & textures, suspended ceilings and roofs to improve the accuracy of the forecast lumen distribution. DIALux Evo also enables the importing of luminaire fixtures into a plan by using pre-made catalogues. From there you can insert and arrange luminaires in the space and produce calculations to give an overview of their effect.

What is layered lighting?

In order to achieve the perfect balance of light in a space it is thought that there needs to be three different forms of light, accent, overall and task. Getting these three areas of lighting means that a person in a space has the correct lighting to focus and that they have warmer, softer light in their break-out spaces. Overall lighting is the main illumination of a room and usually comes from your standard pendants, recessed lights and other main light sources. Task Lighting relates to the light that produces the required lumens for a task to be achieved in comfort and safety (i.e a reading light). Accent lighting creates features of interest, so it is ideally used to highlight art and creativity.

What is the Part L regulation?

Part L is a building regulation regarding energy consumption levels. Part L consists of a number of sub-sections specific to lighting; Part L1A is about lighting for new dwelling builds, Part L1B relates to existing dwellings. Part L2A refers to new builds that are not dwellings and L2B deals with existing non-dwelling builds (in instances where the floor area is 100m2 or over). In Parts L1A and B it is stipulated that 75% of all fittings should be low energy consumption (at least 400 lumens per circuit Watt) and that these luminaires must be used every 25m2. Part L1 stipulates that external light fittings must not exceed 150W and that they must have controls to save energy during times of plentiful natural light. External luminaires must also achieve an efficacy of 40lm/W. Part L2 A&B both dictate that efficacy be at least 50 lm/W for general lighting and 22 lm/W for display lighting. The primary focus of Part L is to ensure that natural light is utilised to as great an extend as possible and consequently artificial light should be used as subsidy. For more on regulations -

What is LENI (Lighting Energy Numeric Indicator)?

L2A&B of the Part L regulation led to LENI as an alternate means of showing compliance. LENI looks at the efficiency of all fittings within an installation, with focus on the use of responsive controls. LENI is expressed as energy consumption per square metre per year (kWh/m2/yr). kWh/m2/yr must not exceed a pre-agreed figure and additionally fixtures must not be switched on in excess of the calculated required lumens to subsidise natural light levels.

What is the Unified Glare Rating (UGR)?

UGR is a method of calculating glare from lighting fixture and other sources of bright light. The higher the glare the worse the discomfort form glare becomes. UGR is scored between 5 and 40. UGR and its measurement is usually associated with office workspaces as these environments tend to make use of reflective computer screens.

What is the Colour Rendering Index (CRI)?

The colour rendering index quantifies the ability of a light source to reveal accurately the colour of objects in the same way as natural or an ideal light source would do.

What does Standard Deviation Colour Matching (SDCM) stand for?

Sharing meaning with MacAdam Ellipse. SDCM is a measurement of colour, showing how much variation of colour is possible around a light source’s axis before the human eye determines a colour change. SDCM is determined by having a series of ellipses drawn around a target colour, the closer any given source of light is to the target, the less colour deviation will be experienced when these fixture are placed side by side. An SDCM of 1 step means there is no colour difference between LED chips, a SCDM step of 2-3 results in a barely any visible colour difference while 4 or more is easily noticeable for the human eye.

What is an Ingress Protection (IP) rating?

IP ratings are defined by the standard ‘EN 60529’ (UK – BS EN 60529:1992). An IP rating defines the level of a seal’s effectiveness to protect electrical enclosures against intrusion from foreign bodies and moisture. Each IP rating will consist of two numbers; the first relates to a fitting’s resistance to intrusion and the second, the fittings resistance to moisture. Each possible value for each number is explained below. First Digit (intrusion) – No special protection/Not rated Protection from a large parts of the body (unintentionally touching the fitting) and solid objects greater than 50mm in diameter. Protection against fingers and other items that are not greater in size than 80mm length and 12mm diameter. Protection from tools and smaller object, with a diameter of 2.5mm upwards. Protects against solid objects larger than 1mm (wires, nails, screws and larger insects etc.) Partial dust protection. Totally dust protection. Second Digit (moisture)- No protection. Protects against vertical falling droplets. Protects against water droplets deflecting up to 15° from the vertical line. Protects against spray at up to 60° from vertical. Protects against water from all directions. Protects against low-pressure jets from any angle Protects against direct high pressure jets. Protects for up to 30 minutes at water depths between 15 cm and 1 metre. Protects against extended water immersion under higher pressure. Protection against high-pressure, high-temperature jet spray and most types of automotive washing.

How do you calculate Lumen Efficacy?

Lumen efficacy is a measure of the efficiency of a light source’s ability to produce visible light. It is measured by the ratio of lumens to power (watts). Therefore in order to calculate the efficacy (or lumens per watt, lm/W) you must divide the lumen output by the fixtures consumed wattage.

What is the Difference between Lumens and Raw Lumens?

Raw lumen output refers to the theoretical total potential lumen output, showing the overall lumen value of all present LED’s. It does not factor in the loss of lumens as a result of a number of factors (this is the actual lumen output). Aspects of a fixture that cause a loss of lumens include; Reflectors: The loss here depends on the material used but each time light is reflected a certain percentage of the total lumens are lost. Lenses & filters: As light passes through any object, lumens are reduced. In most cases a fixture will have a protective covering, or the lens will work to focus the light or change the light output color. Again the extent of reduction depends on material and design. Distance: As light travels towards an object it will begin to reduce simply because the beam angle will be spreading the light output, however, the nature of LED’s allows for sharper beam angles meaning less diffusion of light.

"Getting lighting right is the most important aspect of our work"