More brands from

Showing visitors
a wild time

Dartmoor Zoo,


Find out how light is helping Dartmoor zoo get ahead of the pack.

Energy saving LED lamps by Philips creating a clearer vision for the staff at the Dartmoor zoo

It has made a
fantastic difference

to the restaurant and we’ll be saving a massive amount on energy costs. There will also be big savings on maintenance, thanks to the long life of the LED lamps.”


- Alex Smale, Business Development Manager at Dartmoor Zoo

 Welcome sign of the Dartmoor zoo restaurant lit by Philips Lighting

Customer challenge


In an extraordinary tale of business bravery, Dartmoor Zoo was bought in 2006 by the Mee brothers. Although they had no zoological experience, they managed to save the zoo from permanent closure – a story that was later retold in the film ‘We bought a zoo’. Could Philips lighting help them to keep the new zoo afloat?

The right lighting

Although the zoo had been kept open, it was direly in need of refurbishment. Philips was brought in to improve lighting in the restaurant, where only 40% of the fixtures were working, and ageing fluorescent downlights produced an unattractive ambience.


Luckily, LuxSpace downlights were on the menu. The energy saving LED lamps were installed in the existing ceiling recesses, keeping installation costs to a minimum. The new lights create a pleasing ambience, and are controlled by a Philips Occuswitch DALI system. As a result, the lighting is linked to photocells so that it can be automatically dimmed in relation to levels of natural daylight. The lights will also dim to 20% brightness when there are no people nearby, creating further savings.


The new system has been warmly received by guests and employees alike. In addition to lighting the restaurant and conference room, Philips is also working to renovate the cat house lighting, improving working conditions for the keepers. The new systems, with their lower energy consumption, are helping the zoo to meet environmental targets. What’s more, the low maintenance requirements of LED fixtures provide significant savings for the zoo, helping to keep them in a roaring trade.


The new lighting system in the restaurant reduces energy use by 50% compared to the previous setup. In addition, where the previous lamps would last two to three years, the new lamps will not need to be maintained for 10 years.

The Team

Dartmoor Zoo


Western Electrical

Philips Lighting Partner


Newbery Smith Photography

Philips Lighting Partner

Bringing in
a roaring trade

Related Cases