Sheffield Hallam University

Sheffield, United Kingdom

Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) is a public university in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. It is based on two sites; City Campus is located in the city centre and Collegiate Crescent Campus in south-west Sheffield. The university is the eighth largest university in the UK with 31,485 students and over 4,000 staff. Having worked with Thorlux products for more than 10 years, Sheffield Hallam’s Estates Department is now seeing the benefit of the company’s latest innovation. Describing its SmartScan system as ‘the way to go’, the university has recognised the significant savings that can be achieved by removing the task of manually testing thousands of emergency luminaires every month.


As the university has grown the logistics required in testing the emergency lighting in order to conform to legislation have become increasingly difficult, this is where Thorlux was able to offer a solution.


With Scanlight AT already installed across many of the university buildings, the estates department has now started to install SmartScan. Smartscan emergency luminaires test according to the schedule specified in BS EN 62034:2012 and display current status via a bi-colour LED. The SmartScan programmer can be used to download detailed status information and initiate manual testing.

What makes SmartScan an attractive option from the University’s point of view is its ease of installation, particularly in retro-fit situations. SmartScan uses the latest wireless mesh technology to replace wired communications signals between each luminaire. 868MHz secure radio communication offers excellent transmission distance within buildings with each luminaire acting as a wireless node to repeat commands on to the next luminaire. This provides a robust system that will always find a communication path.

Another key benefit of SmartScan for the estates team at Sheffield Hallam is the accessibility of information. Luminaires are wirelessly linked into a Gateway which collects and transmits their status information to the World Wide Web for viewing using tablets, smart-phones, laptops and computers.

The first Sheffield Hallam building to be fitted with SmartScan is the five-storey Arundel Building which combines teaching space with staff accommodation, a café and public access space.

Further installations are currently underway across Sheffield Hallam’s facilities. The system has been well received by the university’s major electrical contractors and they have taken up the Thorlux training offer which has greatly improved project handovers.

"The big advantage of the system is the automatic testing of emergency lighting which eliminates the need for physically checking individual luminaires. Previously we used a combination of our own staff and contractors to carry out the monthly and annual tests. The new, automated system negates the need for this which is a considerable saving given the size of our estate. We’ve seen a massive saving on staff hours.

SmartScan gives us everything in one package. We have been extremely satisfied with Scanlight but the main factor influencing our decision to go with SmartScan was the significant reduction in installation costs. It is an ideal system for refurbishments, particularly in awkward buildings where you have to deal with areas such as stairwells. Looking at budgetary figures, the slightly increased capital outlay of SmartScan over the equivalent Scanlight-AT system is more than outweighed by the time and cost savings from not having to install connective wiring between luminaires. With its ease of installation, SmartScan is the way to go.

I think SmartScan will really come into its own – I just wish we’d had it earlier."

Paul Browse

Senior Electrical Engineer