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Lighting design for a Grade II listed country church

St Eloy’s is a beautiful Grade II Listed church in North Yorkshire with the nave dating back to the 14th century.  We were approached to develop a lighting design for the church in 2018.

St Eloy's Church, Great Smeaton

Heart of the community

Situated in the centre of the village of Great Smeaton and a prominent landmark on the through road, St Eloy’s dates back to the 14th Century.  The church was largely rebuilt in 1862 and was listed in 1970.

Our brief was to design a lighting scheme that enhanced the simple beauty of the interior of the building while making the church a more flexible space for different occasions.  The lighting had to be simple, easy-to-control and discreet.

Suble lighting for the chancel at St Eloy's

Discreet light fittings hidden from sight

We used LED light fittings that blended in with the church architecture; highlighting its beauty rather than distracting from it. Using custom paint finishes allowed us to match the stonework and wooden beams;  the lighting draws your eyes to the key features and structure rather than the source of light.

Highlighting key features and architectural details

Within the church there are many details we wanted to highlight. Surface mounted LED spotlights of varying outputs were used to light and complement the stained-glass windows, lectern and memorial stone plaques.

The lighting has to operate on a number of levels.  The chuch is not a museum; it’s a community space that sees communion services, baptisms and funerals as well as other ommunity events.  Different circuts are combined into different lighting scenes that provide ambient light, accent lighting for different features across the church and practical (and beautiful) lighting for the pulpit, the font and the organ.

  • Lighting the arches and the organ at St Eloy's, Great Smeaton
  • Lighting in St Eloy's, Great Smeaton

Lutron lighting control makes the lighting scenes simple to use

Lutron HomeWorks QS hides the control technology powering the different lighting scenes behind simple elegant keypads.

A lighting control system offers flexibility now and in the future

Lutron HomeWorks QS controls the different lighting scenes in the church.  We design systems in such a way to allow future flexibility with the ability to reconfigure how circuits are grouped in software.  That means changes can be made without substantial rewiring which is difficult in listed buildings like St Eloy’s.