The project

British LibraryAt the heart of The British Library in London, a tall glass tower – the King’s Library Tower – houses books collected by King George III (reigned 1760-1820).

It is considered one of the most significant collections of the Enlightenment, containing books printed mainly in Britain, Europe and North America from the mid 15th to the early 19th centuries, with 65,000 volumes of printed books, and 19,000 pamphlets. The collection’s home is the six-storey King’s Library Tower, designed specifically for the purpose. The books are on view to visitors behind UV-filter glass which, together with the environmental control system, helps maintain appropriate light, temperature and humidity levels.

The Solution

After a technical evaluation, LED Tubes were chosen for lighting this precious collection. Using the latest solid-state, surface-mount LED technology, 1800mm (6ft) LED Tubes, could achieve the precise colour temperature and lighting levels whilst reducing the power consumption by over 60%. Additional savings are also achieved in running the environmental control system as the heat output of an LED Tube is significantly less than that of a fluorescent.

The Result

Commenting on the installation of the LED Tubes, Patrick Dixon, Head of Building Services at The British Library said: “Unlike fluorescent tubes, the LED Tubes produce no UV light which would be damaging to the books. They also use only a third of the electricity of fluorescents and last over three times longer, providing significant environmental and financial benefits for the Library.”  As well as being widely used for lighting in offices, factories, hospitals and retail outlets, LED Tubes provide an ideal lighting solution for museums and galleries as they do not emit any UV light, and they are available in a range of colour temperatures with reliable colour rendering. They only use a third of the electricity of equivalent fluorescents which also has the benefit of reduced heat output when lighting valuable collections.

Unlike fluorescent tubes, LED tubes produce no UV light which would be damaging to the books.

- Patrick Dixon - Head of Building Services, British Library

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