This BBC comedy used albert, the TV carbon calculator, to track its emissions. By predicting their activities the production team were able to identify where their largest carbon impacts would lie. In this instance as the production was studio based, the team was able to identify that the on-set lighting was going to be the most carbon intensive element of the show.

Taking action on their findings they chose to use low energy lighting. This meant that less power was needed and they were able to use only electricity from the mains rather than hiring diesel generators, saving them thousands of pounds in equipment hire and diesel use. The DoP even commented that the low energy lights were as good if not better than the traditional ones, meaning no artistic compromise.

By implementing changes over the course of production they were able to see energy savings of 85% and also benefited from a raft on knock on effects. The low energy lights stopped the set from overheating, meaning actors were more comfortable, they required less frequent make-up checks and crew required less water throughout filming.

The team reduced their carbon footprint but also reported that doing “the right thing” created a good crew atmosphere and left them wanting to do more in the future.

Low energy lighting is being used increasingly across BBC productions. Below you can see low-energy lighting panel’s being used in the place of traditional tungsten during the production of Life’s Too Short.

Technical Info

Equipment used for this low energy solution:

Cyc/green screen lighting: 36 x Flowbank/ARRI Lightflo fluorescent @ 500w each.
Total 18kW total
Replacing Conventional lighting: 36 x Iris lights @ 3.4 kw each. Total 122.4 kW
Energy saving 104.4kW.

Soft lighting: 24 x Image 80 fluorescent lights in soft box @ 560w each. - Total 13.44 kW
Replacing Conventional lighting: 20 x spacelights @ 4.8 kw each. Total 96kW.
Energy saving 82.56 kW

Also used; a selection of Kinoflo, small LED lights on the floor, a large ARRI LED light panel.