LEDs are a bright idea for Hull's health centres

Sewell Facilities Management have helped make Hull’s primary care health centres funded and operated through the NHS Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) programme, some of the most sustainable in the country, thanks to our ambitious lighting replacement project.

We’ve replaced almost 7,000 traditional light fittings with low-energy ones across Hull’s 13 health centres, dramatically reducing energy usage, and slashing the buildings’ carbon footprints.

As well as using less energy, LEDs are brighter than standard lights, give big savings on costs and last up to a decade, ten times as long as a traditional compact fluourescent light bulb.

Health centres such as Bransholme Health Centre, the Orchard Centre and Wilberforce Health Centre now have every light replaced by an LED, saving tens of thousands of pounds a year.

If you’re in a health centre that’s open 24/7, changing a lightbulb can be a lot of work. You need to close off the space, put up barriers, and sometimes even bring in mobile elevating working platforms to reach those fittings in higher and difficult to reach areas. It causes disruption for the building’s users and staff, and takes our facilities team away from other urgent jobs. And then, a year or so after you’ve put a new lightbulb in, it’s time to replace it again.

Some health centres can have over 1,000 lights, so keeping them all shining brightly can be an exhausting job for our technicians.

We trialled the new LEDs in Bilton Health Centre, and since replacing all the fluorescent lights in the building with LEDs, the amount of time our technicians spent changing lightbulbs went down dramatically. We knew the benefits that LED lights would bring, so we embarked on the bold plan of swapping out all LED lights in Hull’s 13 health centres – a total of 6,860 individual lights.

The benefits are amazing. The health centres are saving thousands of pounds every year on energy costs, and the lights are using an average of 25% less energy, meaning it’s a win for the environment, too. LED lights last around 10 years – 10 times as long as a normal light – so there’s far less disruption for health centre users, and our technicians can put their time and energy into keeping the buildings in day one condition.

The final LED light of the programme was fitted by Sewell FM technicians Andy Richardson and Craig Webb at Elliott Chappell Health Centre on 14 December 2023, making Hull the only city to have all their health centres fully fitted with LEDs.

Of the 350 community healthcare buildings built under the LIFT programme in England, only 24* are fully LED lit, and 13 of those are in Hull, so the city is leading the way in energy efficient lighting.

Our commitment to the environment doesn’t end with putting in new energy-efficient lights. We’re also making sure the old lights are recycled, returning them to the manufacturers so they can be recycled, rather than going into landfill waste disposal sites.

So if you’re looking to make your building more energy efficient, we’re full of bright ideas!


* Figure correct at last count in May 2023