Can you spot the heaters in this picture?

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How Old Spitalfields outdoor market keeps footfall high during London’s icy winters

Today, spotting the heaters that warm Old Spitalfields Market’s dining space is almost as challenging as heating the outdoor area itself.

The market is a vast open space with almost no protection from the elements. Even with today’s technology, heating the market isn’t easy.

Installing a traditional line of heaters in walkways is out. Aside from blocking footfall, standalone heaters aren’t in keeping with the stunning Victorian cast iron and glass design. Hence the conundrum: where on earth are the heaters hiding?

Underfloor heating might work well in household bathrooms, but scraping up a sizeable concrete market floor is slightly more disruptive. There are no walls to house heaters, and the roof is too high overhead for attached heaters to be of any real use.

The actual answer lies in the black, slimline structures that now rest just above diners’ heads. They might look like lights, but Old Spitalfields’ new Shadow NOIR Zero Light heaters are specially designed to heat without emitting any light whatsoever. Keen not to tamper with the Victorian roof, the architects behind Old Spitalfields’ most recent regeneration partnered with Heat Outdoors when considering solutions, in the end installing a lightweight gantry overhead from which a total of 26 Shadow NOIR’s now hang.

The specialised Shadow NOIR heaters use infrared technology to heat without producing light. The tech allows the heaters to warm large open spaces without churning through energy, and the fact they’re adjustable means they can be used to make outdoor spaces comfortable year-round.

Toby Brown, speaking on behalf of the market, agrees. “They look great, but also after we installed them they are nicely unobtrusive,” he commented.

With demand for inconspicuous, energy-efficient heaters on the rise, it’s likely we’ll see more of these in more beer gardens and commercial outdoor spaces in the future.

Heat Outdoors are the only UK heating specialist specifier and supplier of outdoor heating solutions. Call 01279 466500

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