Solar Signage for Lidl’s Distribution Centre in Luton from ISA-UK member Marlec

The Project

Through their ‘Lidl changes for the better’ scheme, Lidl engages in projects to positively change the world around us. At the core of this strategy are three themes: produce, people, and the planet. They’ve mapped priority issues for each and set clear ambitions and measurable targets across various sustainability topics.

As part of these efforts, Lidl has invested in renewable energy, adorning the roof of the latest regional distribution centre with a suite of solar panels. The next step in their plan was to implement solar-powered signage.

Ashleigh Signs were approached, having worked with Lidl Group on several projects and, with help from ourselves at Marlec, a proposal was drafted for a solar sign at the new Luton distribution centre; it’s the largest RDC in their portfolio in a prime location off the M1 motorway.

The Solution

In Luton, a brief was created by Lidl which outlined their signage needs. They identified a similar non-illuminated sign at their Peterborough site as a point of reference. However, for their newest Distribution centre, Lidl wanted something with more impact and wanted illuminated signage.

Given the challenge of trenching through fresh concrete at the newly developed site, Ashleigh Signs involved Marlec, a renewable energy company that specialises in solar-powered signage. The collaboration meant Lidl’s illuminated signage needs were met while also highlighting their commitment to sustainability.

The project included Spectra PERC-S 220W solar panels positioned at a 65-degree angle, separate from the sign to maximise power generation. Marlec’s Plug and Play cables streamlined installation and eliminated the need for complicated wireing.

Marlec designed the Solar Powered Signage system to work 365 days per year despite the changing seasons. The system includes a minimum of 7 days of autonomy should there be an insufficient solar charge during the winter months.

The intelligent LC101 controller plays a vital role in achieving the sign’s illumination requirements. Engineers at Marlec’s office configured the timings and settings according to Lidl’s illumination requirements, making the system maintenance-free once installed.

“The first challenge we faced was understanding how this all worked and the physicality of this before placing the order.
Kevin, (Marlec Business Development Manager), supported us throughout the process, so we were sure what was coming and how this worked. Lidl trusted both Marlec and us to provide what was needed to work effectively.”

– Vaughan Bartlett (Ashleigh Project Manager)