The Savoy Theatre


Built by Richard D’Oyly Carte in 1881, The Savoy Theatre on London’s Strand firmly marked its’ place in the history books as the first public building in the world to be entirely illuminated by electric light.

In an attempt to address its environmental impact, the theatre wished to replace its existing tungsten house lights with an energy-efficient, environmentally friendly system, which could be retrofitted without impacting the fabric of the historic building.

To highlight the detailed architectural features of the building, the installation was to replicate the way the auditorium had traditionally been lit as closely as possible and run wirelessly throughout with the additional requirement that the house lights could be controlled from the stage door for convenience.


GDS supplied our brand new ArcLamp product for this project, using both clear and frosted 4W LED candle-lamp fixtures.

The existing 40-60W tungsten candle lamps were replaced by equivalent ArcLamp fittings and the cold cathode tubing was replaced using 19.2W/Metre LED strip with GDS’ exclusive Wireless Constant Voltage Drivers.

Our ArcSystem technology also provided perfect dimming to the lighting on the circle fronts without compromising any lighting integrity. The great distance from the auditorium to the stage door prevented the use of a wireless signal, so GDS modified one of the 8 button panels at the stage door to run as wired to allow the house lights to be controlled from this location.


Installation was achieved from start to finish inside two weeks, the results at The Savoy Theatre are stunning.

As well as achieving a 90% energy saving, the warm light offered by both the ArcLamp fittings and LED strips highlights the beautiful gold frontage and painted ceiling of the theatres interior, whilst remaining completely faithful to the original lighting design of the building.

Simon Needle, Special Projects Director at White Light Ltd our lighting partner on this project was impressed by the product performance, saying, ‘The ArcLamp fixtures are show stealers. To have created a low voltage candle-lamp that can be retro-fitted somewhere like The Savoy Theatre and not only be quickly and easily installed but also offers the kind of dimming control that it does is some achievement’

"Quickly and easily installed but to also offer the kind of dimming control that it does is some achievement"

Simon Needle

Special Projects Director, White Light Ltd