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Debenhams finds Christmas lighting magic with Mushroom

Debenhams flagship Oxford Street store revealed a spectacular Christmas lighting display at the beginning of November, which was delivered by lighting design and installation specialists Mushroom Lighting.


Mushroom’s Managing Director Paul Butler was contacted by the Debenhams team at the beginning of September and asked to come up with some ideas that were worthy of a flagship store, particularly as the Oxford Street Debenhams had recently undergone a complete modernisation – including the exterior – which was designed by Ned Kahn.


“I met with Ian Dorsett, Creative windows designer at Debenhams to show him some lighting products,” says Paul. “One of things I took with me was LED fluorescent tubes. I suggested that we could do something similar to a sculpture I had seen that had a seemingly random design.


“We played around with the idea and I ordered an amount of tubes to set up a demo in their workshop. Everyone loved it and they developed the concept further, with Ian choosing a range of colours that picks up the theme of their in-store displays.”


The final scheme features eight colours, ranging from a violet through to amber. With a final count of over 3,500 fluorescent LED tube lights, which have been strung in the windows and above displays around the store, it took an 18-strong crew just under three weeks to complete, including rigging.


“We used over 4.5km of lighting, hung using several thousand metres of wire and 3000 short connector leads,” says Paul. “Each section is a sculpture in its own right and no two sculptures are the same. It took a serious amount of planning!”


The 28 window displays feature a 30 second sequence, running every 15 minutes and controlled via Anytronics switch packs and Chromatech controller, using eight channels of control per window.


“We called Paul and his team in as we wanted to work with a lighting specialist to create something playful and eye catching, but that felt in keeping with our Christmas campaign and that enhanced the modern look and feel of the building,” says Debenham’s Creative Controller, Amanda Britton.  “They did a fantastic job and were and we are extremely pleased with the final result, which is exactly what we were trying to achieve.”

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