This private home was set within a relatively dark zone in Berkshire, and the owners wanted to apply for planning permission to extend the property . Their application needed to demonstrate that no excess light would spill to the property boundaries, and that existing bat and bird housings would be undisturbed – but the lighting proposed would also need to be adequate for the owners as well.

We were approached by the owners to support them with their application, and ensure that the lighting elements of the proposal would balance all these needs.

We undertook a virtual survey of the current house, and used 3D lighting level calculations to assess the impact of the existing internal lighting, and the new proposed external lighting.  We identified the locations of the bird and bat boxes, which confirmed that commuting and foraging bats were present within the project boundaries.

With this information in hand, we created new lighting design proposals to limit the impact of light pollution from artificial light on the neighbouring nature conservation. We created lighting calculations to present an isolux contour map, and gave careful consideration to the lighting equipment and methods to be used as measures to avoid unnecessary light pollution, and to keep any light spillage to 1lux both vertically and horizontally.

Our lighting plan was sensitive to the needs of the area, but practical and attractive for the owners – and planning permission was granted.


This beautiful property is located in an E2 environmental zone, in a relatively dark sky areas of the countryside, south of Cambridgeshire. The owners wanted to add an elegant new kitchen extension, but their first planning application was rejected, because of concerns that the light pollution from the new addition would be too intrusive on the neighbouring church and churchyard, to the detriment of the area.

Their architect, Neil Dusheiko, approached us at SKR to assist and advise on the plans for lighting the interior and exterior of the extension, to ensure that the plans would demonstrate how sensitive the new build would be to its setting – and even complementary. We also worked very closely with planning consultant Jacquie Andrews from Howard Sharp & Partners.

The final lighting report for the planning application focused on all elements of the new scheme, and more: the original building, the area surrounding the property, and the exterior lighting within the church grounds.  We undertook extensive exterior light measurements, a photographic survey, analysis of all current and new interior house lighting, and a 3D light calculation modelling analysis.

Bringing all these elements together, we were able to prove that there would be no significant light pollution, and that the new project would in fact be an improvement to the lighting footprint of the area.

We are proud to report that with our assistance and expert input, the new planning application was passed without objection.

 This was the client’s testimonial

“We used Neil Skinner at SKR LIGHTING DESIGN for a lighting survey which we needed for our planning application. We had been refused planning siting light pollution on the Church adjacent as the reason. Neil came on site to gather an extremely thorough amount of evidence which was presented in a clear and professional report which we could submit to planning, which subsequently reversed the rejection from the planning dept without having to go to appeal.

Neil was a pleasure to work with, his attention to detail and timings was exemplary. I would highly recommend Neil Skinner and SKR.”

Residential refurbishment of English countryside house. Completed in 2017; a warm and welcoming atmosphere was wanted by the homeowner. SKR sensitively worked with the existing parts of the building and help create new contemporary lighting elements.

The project included:

This new build residential in County Meath, Republic of Ireland, is a contemporary dwelling with SKR Lighting Design working on the exterior, landscape, and interior of the project.

We worked closely with both the architect and client, to produce a lighting scheme that is functional and highlights the special features of the home.

For more of our Living lighting design projects, please click here.

Photography by James Mathews / Everest Photography. 14 Feb 2024.

Interior and exterior lighting design scheme highlighting the wooden and stone features of this beautifully executed barn conversion in Fritwell, Oxfordshire.

This residential property is warm and welcoming with ambient lighting enhancing the atmosphere, accent lighting featuring decorative elements and feature pendant exposing the high ceilings.

A high-profile residential project, of which was featured on Channel 4’s acclaimed property development show, Grand Designs. Located on the banks of the River Thames, near Henley, House-by-the-Water sits on a long narrow site. We worked with architects Tapp Associates and the clients to accommodate their visions and deliver a lighting design scheme that caters for everyday use and the ability to set various lighting “scenes”.

Starting in the basement, the main room was to be used for Wellness Coaching and various lighting scenes were needed. This gave the client the option to choose what kind of environment they wanted to create, should it be calming and relaxing or should it be invigorating and energetic. Along with the general lighting of the space, we introduced a white and colour changing wall detail that can transform the space into more than just a work room.

The living spaces have plentiful daylight during the day and at night, the general lighting has been positioned and specified to bring focus to particular zones and surfaces through the ground floor. Special linear lighting details have been integrated into architectural and interior elements, drawing attention to attractive features.

On the top floor, a large skylight fascia is uplit with colour changing LED, creating an attractive and fun statement. It can be seen from the ground floor and as you arrive on the first-floor landing. The master bedroom includes a request-by-client starry ceiling above the bath tub. A fibre optic LED system was used to create the effect, which can also be dimmed and gentle light patterns within the stars can be programmed.

This stylish property features the perfect pairing of modern architecture with the existing house. The lighting design scheme enhances the period features of the house with the addition of sleek decorative lighting in modern extension.

This residential development is set within a relatively dark zone, and has existing external lighting – but more was required as the development expanded to enhance the security of the area. Bird and bat boxes are located nearby, and careful consideration was needed about the methods and equipment used to avoid unnecessary light pollution and to be sensitive to the needs of the local wildlife and environment.

At SKR, we created new lighting design proposals and calculations to limit impact of light pollution from artificial light, with any light spillage kept to 1lux both vertically and horizontally. We worked in partnership with the client, and with ecologist consultant Graeme Smart of GSL Ecology, to realise a simple, practical lighting scheme that gives enough task illumination, security illumination and guidance illumination for the owners, without disrupting the surrounding environments and biodiversity.

With these measures in place, the planning application was approved by the local authority.


This 12 house development is located within a rural and very quiet E1/E2 environmental zone. This was treated as an effective dark sky area of the Surrey countryside. This former chicken farm site is surrounded by a protected ancient woodland with a roosting bat population, therefore any scheme needed to be fully lighting compliant before being able to discharge the planning condition.

SKR were brought into the project by Ecology Consultants and bat report experts Ecology-by-Design to work with the client, developer and planning consultant to create a sensitive lighting scheme to limit the impact of light pollution from artificial light on nature conservation to satisfy the planning conditions.

SKR carried out a detailed day and night lighting survey of the existing site, which included analysis of the existing agricultural buildings and current lighting, measuring light levels, light spill and all current light pollution on the site and taking note of problematic light pollution from some neighbouring properties for the record.

We provided the client with a full lighting strategy that would be sensitive to the surrounding wildlife and roosting bats, that included an Isolux contour map showing light spillage down to 1LUX, a schedule of lighting equipment and lighting control guidance. This covered all the house plots, garages, gardens, pathways, and parking.

The new scheme would provide a safe, welcoming feeling for the future new residents, while still being a safe dark zone for bats, all other wildlife and enhance the biodiversity.

This was the testimonial from our client David Jacobs, Director at St John Homes (Thames Valley) Ltd

We were introduced to Neil Skinner at SKR Lighting Design through recommendation. The Local Planning Authority requested an external lighting survey to assess the impacts of our residential development proposal on a former chicken farm site in a sensitive landscape and ecological setting (inclusive of ancient woodland on part of the site boundaries). Neil undertook a thorough review of the site measuring the current external lighting impacts and designed a sensitive external lighting scheme in conjunction with our appointed ecologists Ecology by Design for our proposed scheme. The follow up report resulted in the LPA being satisfied with the proposals and the external lighting scheme.

Neil was a pleasure to work with and successfully addressed the issues raised in a prompt and thorough manner. I would highly recommend SKR for this skillset which we are now seeing as a more common requirement on our future projects.”

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