Sustainable Lighting at BAFTA

Last night I attended an event hosted by albert, a project backed by BAFTA, in partnership with Green Tomato Cars and Sargent-Disc, that brought together industry professionals to discuss the levels of energy required to light a film set and the benefits of using low-energy, sustainable LED lighting. Aaron Matthews, Head of Industry Sustainability was joined on stage by cinematographer Gavin Finney, lighting director Roger Williams, technical director Steve Howard and cinematographer Vanessa Whyte, each of whom gave their accounts of the typical energy usage and specific lighting requirements when shooting.


Lighting is just one contributing factor that adds to the overall environmental impact of production. Due to technological advancements, an energy efficient and sustainable bulb that is often used on sets as it meets industry standards with its versatility in colour, beam field and output is the SkyPanel – a compact, high-quality, bright and soft LED. For comparison, an LED bulb can reduce energy consumption by over 80%. Although this is a step in the right direction to reducing CO2 emissions, it was made clear by the panelists that LED lighting is only used when able to achieve certain aesthetics, and that the sustainability factor is not a priority to them but simply an added benefit. A member of the audience asked why large studios such as Pinewood don’t cover their vast rooftops with solar panels in order to provide a local and clean power source. The answer the panelists gave was down to cost.

However what is not considered is the high environmental cost that will continue to inflate until everyone recognises the importance of adopting sustainable methods. The infographic below, provided by albert, highlights the figures for the average impact of the production of just one hour’s worth of television in 2017.



Aware of the high levels of emissions accumulated during production, BAFTA has proactively made it their priority through albert to educate the film and television industry on steps they can take to become more eco-conscious, reduce their carbon footprint and minimise their environmental impact without detracting from the visual quality of the picture. By leading events and workshops, giving out green production tips as well as providing a carbon calculator that measures the environmental impact of screen art production, albert is doing a fantastic job of working with the alongside industry to find solutions that drive towards their target of achieving a zero-waste, zero-carbon industry.

This is me at BAFTA, energised and inspired by the green conversations of the evening!


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