Canary Wharf Group – Lighting Upgrade to Retail Areas


Canary Wharf Group has carried out a major lighting upgrade in retail areas at Cabot Place, Canada Place, Churchill Place and Jubilee Place, installing an energy efficient LED lighting system in the shopping malls and car parks. This upgrade follows a pilot project in 2014, which saw 1.4 km of LED strip lighting installed at Canada Place and monitored for a full year. Informed by the results of this pilot, Canary Wharf Group carried out a tender process involving three providers, appointing Minimise Energy. Together, the team has replaced 9,260 light fittings and 5.3 km of strip lighting with energy efficient LEDs. In addition, 30% of luminaires are fitted with motion sensors to deliver further efficiency savings.

Better lighting levels for shoppers and staff

65% less lighting energy use

3.7 million kWh annual energy savings

£400,000 annual savings

1,950 tonnes less CO2 per year


Canary Wharf is one of London’s leading shopping destinations, offering almost 1 million sq ft of retail space. Some 112,000 people work at Canary Wharf and the estate welcomes over 100,000 visitors each weekend. Canary Wharf Group is a joint venture between Brookfield Property Partners and the Qatar Investment Authority.

Canary Wharf Management, the facilities management arm of Canary Wharf Group, recently completed a major project to upgrade lighting in retail areas and associated car parks.

Aims included:

  • Improving aesthetics to create a better shopping experience, with improved light quality and consistency
  • Enhancing energy efficiency to cut CO2 emissions and energy costs and deliver on sustainability goals.


Canary Wharf Management invited three providers to tender for the lighting upgrade.

Alongside cost and warranty, the team assessed the tenderers’ proposals for factors such as:

  • Improved efficiency, including lamps converting power to light more efficiently (lumens per circuit watt) and the installation of motion sensors to control lighting levels and further improve efficiency
  • Light quality, including luminous flux (lumens) and how well the LEDs reveal colours compared to natural light (Colour Rendering Index)
  • Sustainability, including the products’ environmental footprint, the company’s environmental capabilities and record, and plans for waste disposal
  • Delivery and maintenance, covering previous performance and capability, warranty, availability for out-of-hours working, and call-out response times.

Minimise Energy was chosen to provide and install the new LED system. The firm scored highly on all aspects and had previously successfully delivered lighting projects for Canary Wharf Management. They completed the works when the shops were closed, between 9pm and 5am, to minimise the impact on retailers and shoppers.

Fittings included:

  • 2,498 1200mm single 4ft 18 watt LED battens
  • 2,123 metres of 4000K 16 watt LED tape
  • 1,286 microwave PIR detectors
  • 1,220 RG 240 18 watt LED downlights
  • 706 three-hour emergency battery packs
  • 687 1500mm single 5 ft 23 watt LED battens
  • 606 1500mm twin 5 ft T8 46 watt LED battens
  • 493 600mm single 2 ft T8 9 watt LED battens
  • 145 11 watt PL-S LEDs.


  • Project cost: £600,000
  • Annual savings on energy costs: £400,000
  • Payback period: 18 months
  • Additional savings on maintenance and replacement costs.


  • Enhancing light levels for shoppers and staff, with improved uniformity and consistency throughout the malls
  • Improving aesthetics, with fittings hidden in recessed ceilings, lighting highlighting architectural features and cool-running LEDs not causing heat damage to décor over time
  • Longer lasting bulbs, with LED life expectancy of 50,000 hours, maintaining light quality over time
  • Reducing lighting energy use by 65%, cutting annual CO2 emissions by 1,950 tonnes and saving 3.7 million kWh each year, equivalent to lighting 5,140 UK homes[1]
  • Supporting Canary Wharf Group’s sustainability goals and continuing the energy saving initiatives that have reduced Canary Wharf Group’s total energy use from 89.5 million kWh in 2013 to 82.5 million kWh in 2014.

[1] Department of Energy and Climate Change: Energy Consumption in the UK (2015): Chapter 3

Energy Saving Trust:

Challenges & Achievements




How to overcome issues with the previous lighting system?


Prior to the upgrade, the strip lighting in the ceiling recesses used CCFL lamps. This had started to degenerate over time, leading to colour degradation, flickering and light inconsistency. There were also dark spots in the lines of light designed to emphasise the architectural qualities of the space. In addition, because CCFL lighting has to be overlapped at the joints to provide a continuous line of light, these overlap ‘hot spots’ were starting to cause discoloration to the surrounding décor. LED is a cool-running technology and so does not present the same issues over time. It also does not have to be overlapped at the joins to provide a continuous line of light. When installing the new LEDs, Minimise Energy worked alongside decorators, who repaired damage caused by the existing lighting system.





How to keep up with technological changes?


LED lighting technology has developed rapidly in recent years, in terms of light quality, cost and range of products. Because they are digital chips, LEDs are also more programmable than traditional lightbulbs, with technology advances offering new opportunities to connect LEDs with building management systems (BMS), allowing greater control and flexibility, as well as wider ‘smart’ building usages. To implement the latest technologies, Canary Wharf Management carried out a major review, involving three providers. Through Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) schedules, the firm carries out quarterly reviews of new technologies in the marketplace and requests trials of products that are likely to be of commercial benefit.





How to be sure the lighting will work in situ?


One of the attractions of LEDs is that they generally last around three to four times longer than traditional bulbs. In addition to energy cost savings, this means that LEDs deliver savings on replacement and maintenance costs. However, before upgrading thousands of light fittings, Canary Wharf Group needed to be sure that the new LEDs would work in situ, ensuring that there would not be dark spots in their malls and car parks, increased maintenance costs and longer payback periods. Canary Wharf Management and Minimise therefore carried out a pilot of strip lighting for a full year at Canada Place Mall. A member of the Canary Wharf Management team also reviewed case studies of previous installations and visited other sites where Minimise had fitted the proposed LED solutions, to check that lighting worked in a retail environment.


Find out more


David Hodge

Head of M&E and Sustainability

Canary Wharf Group

“The malls on our estate are among the busiest in the UK. This lighting upgrade project not only benefits the environment, but reduces costs and enhances the shopping experience. So it’s good for business and shoppers alike. It also contributes towards our overall aim to make sustainability real in everything that we do.”

Martin Gettings, Sustainability Manager at Canary Wharf Group