Saving energy one bulb at a time


How many people does it take to change a lightbulb?  When you’ve got over 6,000 lights to change, it’s no joke.

If you’re in a health centre that’s open 24/7, changing a lightbulb can be a major hassle. You need to close off the space, put up barriers, and bring in a cherry picker… 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 goes pop and 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. If only we could cut down on the work and disruption involved… our Sewell Facilities Management team were determined to find a way.


LED lights are a great invention. They’re brighter than standard lights, use 25% less energy, don’t need changing for 10 years, and they give massive savings on your power bill – what’s not to like?

We trialled them in Bilton Health Centre, and it was a huge hit. Since replacing all the old strip lights with LEDs, the amount of time our technicians have spent changing lightbulbs has gone down dramatically.

So the Sewell FM team gave themselves a target – in four years, they wanted to replace every single light in all the 13 health centres they manage in Hull with LEDs. That’s 6,860 bulbs, so it’s a big job. But for the savings in energy, time and money, it’s worth it.


We knew the benefits that LED lights would bring, so we put our money where our mouth was and paid for the new LED lights ourselves.

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

We’re now just over a year into the scheme, and we’ve already replaced two-thirds of the bulbs, and we’re on track to get them finished within two years. Five health centres – Alexandra Health Care Centre, Bilton Grange Health Centre, the Jean Bishop Integrated Care Centre, Marfleet Health Centre and Newington Health Care Centre – are now 100% lit by LEDs, and we’re making great progress with the others.

Of 350 LIFT health care buildings across the country, only 15 have 100% LED lighting, and 5 of those are in Hull, so the city’s leading the way.

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 recycle and reuse the fittings and cases.

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

Want us to help make your lives easier? Get in touch.

"Decarbonisation is at the top of everyone’s priority list at the moment, so when Sewell FM came to us saying they could reduce our energy consumption and also save money and time, it seemed like a win-win situation."

Tim Wigglesworth, Citycare