How to add an outdoor power supply without compromising a site’s aesthetics

How to add an outdoor power supply without compromising a site’s aesthetics

Historic sites, such as castles and stately homes, are a big draw for tourists who are often keen to visit to see the architecture, heritage, gardens and settings that they’ve seen on TV or online with their own eyes. And for many of these heritage assets, the tourist pound is vital to their financial viability, helping the owners and managers maintain the sites for future generations to enjoy.

One of the ways heritage sites can keep on attracting visitors is to make full use of any outdoor public spaces, using them to run a continuously changing programme of events. And key to making these events a success is having the right infrastructure in place, most importantly a power supply.

But how can you integrate power distribution units in an architecturally public space in a discrete way? For many site owners the ideal approach is to equip the site with power units that are easy to access when they are needed, but the rest of the time you would hardly notice their presence.

How to add an outdoor power supply without compromising a site’s aesthetics

For applications and locations where you are seeking to keep the power supply out of sight for all or most of the time, Pop Up Power Supplies® offers in-ground power units (IGUs) and pop up, retractable units. These have been installed in a number of architecturally sensitive heritage sites across the UK, including the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, Edinburgh Castle and Caerphilly Castle.

In-ground units are permanently submerged in the ground and the only visual evidence of their presence is the flip-lid, which can match the surrounding surface covering, including tarmac, paving stones and grass. The lids are easy to open by authorised users to enable power leads to be connected and, once the lids are closed, they can be locked to enable continuous unattended use – only the cables, covered with cable protectors to prevent trip hazards, are visible.

Pop up power units are hidden away apart from when they are in-use. They are raised from the ground using a turning handle, allowing access to the sockets. This telescopic feeder pillar stays in position while the power source is needed – once an event is over, the leads are disconnected to allow the pop up unit to be lowered back into the ground and safely locked. This is often regarded as a perfectly acceptable approach for even the most architectural sensitive locations.

How to add an outdoor power supply without compromising a site’s aesthetics

In other sites, the goal may be to make the power units a creative design feature. For example, a power bollard from Pop Up Power Supplies® can be installed which will be visible all the time and integrate with the rest of the street or outdoor furniture. These are available in four different bollard designs to suit different design and aesthetic goals and they can be finished in any RAL colour. That makes it easy to achieve a look that complements other outdoor elements such as seating, railings and benches.

For specification advice on this topic and any other technical support please email or call 020 8227 0208.

Find out more about our range of solutions at


Pop Up Power Supplies Limited supply a range of retractable service units that provide electricity, water and data points to public spaces and urban places

They provide a safe, secure outdoor power source for market stalls, town centres, open days on university campuses, stadiums, shopping centres, heritage sites, parks and more.

Pop Up Power Supplies Limited work closely with some of the UK’s leading contractors, architects and civil engineers, creating bespoke outdoor power solutions and retractable service units for their projects.