Consolidated Security Search, South Terminal Gatwick


From an architectural point of view, the focal point of this project was improving the ease and speed with which passengers could pass through the search area. additionally, Gatwick Airport Ltd wanted the premium search lanes to look different from those catering for standard passengers.

Lighting was perceived as a critical enabler for this by the project’s mechanical and electrical design consultants, Morgan Sindall Professional Services and in partnership with phi lighting, the team, led by Peter Fordham, devised an intelligent and innovative scheme.


To complement the architect’s metal-tiled ceiling which was divided into sections ranging from less than two metres to more than 100 metres in length, Phi recommended its stria product. providing a continuous ribbon of light, this flexible suspended luminaire has a die extruded aluminium profile which enables its lamps to overlap – thereby eliminating dark patches and allowing Phi to match lengths of luminaire to lengths of tile.

An additional bonus of using a continuous linear fitting like stria is that it enhances the passenger experience. when passengers enter the search area which is a long, rectangular space, they are guided by the lights which follow the twists and turns of the lane system. instinctively, people’s eyes are drawn by the lights running into the distance and this facilitates their journey through the search area.

A new range of led downlights with a life expectancy of 40,000 – 50,000 hours was used on the exit escalators and stairs. mounted in the wall, with a brushed glass diffuser in front of them, these create a vibrant and attractive transit space from an unusual location.

Commenting on the products provided by phi, Peter Fordham, senior lighting designer at Morgan Sindall professional services, said:
“Once again, Phi came up trumps and our client, Gatwick Airport Ltd was delighted with the results.”

“Based on our previous experience of working with Phi, we had total confidence in their ability to deliver quality service and products and we weren’t disappointed.”

“This project was particularly challenging because it was a ‘live site’. deliveries needed to be planned meticulously so that product could be installed quickly and effectively with minimum passenger disruption. Phi worked closely with us and the contractors to ensure everything ran smoothly and whenever we needed them, they were there.”

“On the strength of this project, Gatwick Airport Ltd has already started talking to us about providing lighting solutions for the check in and departure facilities and we will have no hesitation about partnering with Phi on this work.”


Situated 28 miles south of London, Gatwick Airport is the UK’s second largest airport and the busiest single-runway airport in the world.

Serving more than 200 destinations in 90 countries (more than any other UK airport), the airport caters for around 33 million short and long haul passengers every year.

In 2010, increased security measures coupled with high passenger volumes led Gatwick Airport to re-evaluate its existing search facilities. A decision was taken to combine three search facilities into one consolidated area and later that year, under the watchful eye of architects 3DReid, work on the new facility started.

As well as guiding people, phi’s lights were also used to differentiate specific areas within the search facility.

Gatwick airport ltd selected aura, phi’s linear led product, to distinguish premium lanes from standard lanes. designed to change colour, this innovative luminaire was fitted in strips around the exterior of the metal ceiling tiles, thereby enabling the architect to retain continuity of design whilst simultaneously highlighting different areas through use of warm colours.

Recognising the search facility is in use 24/7, energy efficiency and ease of maintenance were both big considerations on this job, which is why the project team recommended the use of long-lasting leds.

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