Aico - Fire protection industry hub unveiled with stunning new LED system


Aico’s state-of-the-art national training and exhibition centre in Oswestry, Shropshire, has been inaugurated in style, boasting an attractive selection of high-efficiency LED luminaires. Dextra Lighting’s sophisticated design using precision-engineered LED products, allowed the multi-purpose Centre of Excellence to reflect the company’s technological edge and influential status in the fire protection industry, as well as support a wide range of events and activities.

About The Client

Aico Ltd., owned by Ei Electronics, is an established market leader in residential fire protection products specialising in high-tech smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarms. To mark the occasion of Aico’s 25th anniversary, the company officially launched its new Centre of Excellence in a bid to “create a space for the industry to train, meet, develop and innovate”. Attended by over 150 people, the grand opening attracted the attention of local and national media and was an opportunity to consolidate relations with key customers from local authorities and housing associations, electrical contractors and wholesalers. Following the ceremonial ribbon cutting by the Group Managing Director Mick Guinee, tours and exhibitions were conducted throughout

the centre to showcase products and provide infographic walkthroughs of the company’s 25-year history. Aico were determined to create a positive and lasting impression at the grand opening of its state-of-the-art facility, which would serve as the next step in customer support in the future.

Due to mutual connections within the industry, company director, Neal Hooper did not hesitate to contact Dextra Lighting to supply the lighting for this ambitious project. Dextra’s design team was soon given carte-blanche to design an aesthetically appealing, low-energy, multi-functional solution for the new industry hub, demonstrating LED technology’s full potential.


The Brief

The 402m² Centre of Excellence’s was designed to fulfil four main objectives: training, meeting, product demonstration and drive innovation. A high-specification LED lighting design was required to cover the following key locations:

  • Training rooms, dedicated workshops and a mock house, simulating domestic fire risks and alarm functions.
  • A large state-of-the-art meeting room with a capacity of up to 50 people featuring the latest presentation equipment and relaxed break out area.
  • Display areas to explain the history of the company and showcase its manufacturing techniques
  • Entrance and lobby area.
  • Amenities.

The design concept was based on flexibility and multi-functionality with a modern aesthetic. The lighting would be used as an effective branding tool, display products and as a means to enhance visitor experience. As an ISO 14001 certified business and acknowledged pioneers of new technologies in their sector, cutting-edge LED products were selected to offer the highest standards of energy-efficiency and performance compared to conventional lighting. Sophisticated sensor and dimming controls were specified to enhance the productivity of each room and harvest further energy savings.

Workshop area & meeting room – Modled Office

The Modled Office range of panel lights is specifically designed to support the use of visual display units, allowing the Centre’s interactive whiteboard, automated projector with 10ft screen and other monitors, to be used in a comfortable and glare-free environment. By combining a central micro-prism optic with high-transmission opal diffusers, the luminaire offers highly efficient diffusion of the LED source, as well as compliance to BSEN 12464, 3000 candela glare limit. This glare reduction technology however, does not inhibit performance, as by using the latest high-output Lumileds LEDs, a 400 lux average can be achieved within spacings as wide as 3 by 3 metres, allowing installations to be designed with the minimum of luminaires, capital cost and energy consumption. The Modled Office, therefore, provides a perfect balance between premium performance and visual comfort, alongside a complete compliance package covering all ECA, L2 and BSEN 12464 requirements.

The versatile Modled Office is also available in a wide range of lumen outputs, body sizes, installation modes and dimming functions, allowing designers to tailor installations to suit the client’s specific needs. For the first-floor training and meeting facilities, a 4400lm version, in a standard 600 x 600mm body size, was supplied to achieve optimal lux levels and efficient spacings. In the meeting room, recessed versions of the luminaire (suitable for pull-up or lay-in installation) were fitted in the angled suspended ceiling system, whereas a customised surface-mountable variant was chosen for the workshop due to the absence of ceiling grids.

The luminaires feature an integral Reacta 24 sensor offering presence and daylight detection which now operates with DSI dimming functions to maximise energy savings. User-friendly controls to dim the lighting according to the task performed in each room. The advanced reactive lighting system now works perfectly with the room’s automated blinds and projectors to enhance the delegates’ experience upon each visit.

3594.jpg IMG_3706 IMG_3658

Breakout area – Protec LED

The ultra-versatile Protec LED downlight helped create a less formal atmosphere in the breakout area whilst maintaining the site’s contemporary style. With its attractive modern design and comprehensive range of customisable features including: interchangeable colour attachments and reflectors (specular or semi-specular), covers (IP44 or IP65 rated) and bezels, the Protec LED is adaptable to a variety of interior designs and branding colour schemes and can be easily modified, post-installation, to suit rearrangements in layout or style. To remain consistent with the colour scheme, the Protec was supplied with grey bezels, whilst a specular reflector produced a narrower distribution, for a more relaxed feel.

The luminaire was supplied in a 3000lm capacity to provide the required light coverage and intensity using fewer fittings. By combining high-performance, anodised aluminium reflectors with the latest Lumileds LEDs and Philips Fortimo/Xitanium drivers, the Protec LED maximised the efficiency of the installation by offering LORs in excess of 90% and significant reductions in energy consumption compared to fluorescent or HID equivalents.

The Protec LED range offers further flexibility with its four-point spring bracket, facilitating quick installation in plasterboard, mineral fibre and metal tile surfaces of varying thickness. Custom bezels also allow the luminaire to be fitted in existing cut-outs for retrofit applications. Compatible with a range of lighting controls, the luminaire was supplied with HF dimming functions to allow staff to easily adjust the lighting according to their needs.

IMG_3643 3578 IMG_3623

Display areas & “Ember Place” (mock bungalow) – Hi-Track LED

The facility’s ground-floor was dedicated to showcasing the products which are installed in mock rooms and featured a video wall taking visitors though the company’s manufacturing processes. The Hi-track LED spotlights were utilised to provide flexible and eye-catching display lighting, creating the ideal setting for the exhibition area. This highly versatile range of track-mounted LED spotlights, is extremely adaptable to a variety of interiors, offering maximum flexibility at the point of installation and for future display changes. Its three-circuit adaptor allows for accurate positioning along the length of the circuit track, and once positioned, finer adjustments can easily be made to individual spotlights. Rotary dials also allow the fitting to be switched on or off when required.

The luminaire is manufactured in high-quality, die-cast aluminium for both durability and aesthetic appeal. Available in a range of body styles, accessories, colours and beam angles, the Hi-track allows each installation to be fine-tuned to the client’s requirements. By combining the latest Lumileds LEDs with a high-efficiency aluminium faceted reflector, this product offers superb light quality and distribution, lumen outputs of up to 3000lm and a colour rendering index of 80+ in both 3000k and 4000k colour temperatures, allowing lighting designers to create the best solution for each application.

Entrance and lobby – Discalo LED

First impressions count. That is why the Discalo LED, merging the functionality and attractive modern design of Dextra’s Amenity ranges, was selected to illuminate the Centre’s entrance. The luminaire’s removable rear diffuser not only creates a subtle and inviting light, but is also designed to produce a decorative white or blue halo effect, to elegantly complement its surroundings. The result is a welcoming lobby area for visitors to wait, use the refreshment facilities and be received.

The Discalo LED is offered in a range of lumen outputs of up to 3000lm, two different body styles and colour temperatures to suit applications such as boutique-style receptions, stairways, corridors and offices.

To maximise energy savings, the Discalo LED is also available with an integral microwave sensor, offering presence detection and a bright-out function. Sensors can be provided with either an on/off mode, or bi-level dimming function which allows the LEDs to dim to no lower than 10% output, to provide continuous background lighting in compliance health and safety regulations and to reassure visitors. Compatibility with either High-Frequency, DALI, DSI or Switch Dimming is also available with this product.

3711 3620 IMG_3604

LEDextra LED strips – Feature Lighting

The stairs were decorated by a series of bespoke colour changing LED strips supplied by Dextra Group’s subsidiary company, LEDextra – LED lighting system specialists. The LED tape neatly followed the step line to the top floor, transforming the stairway into an attractive feature. The strips were used both as primary and decorative lighting in the WC facilities, as Aico preferred to have no visible luminaries in the ceilings. They were also fitted around the lobby’s servery as feature lighting.

Each location featured products with three-hour, auto-test emergency functions and were offered with Dextra Group’s comprehensive 5 year warranty, available exclusively for its LED products.