Iconic rock face seen in new light

News /
17 May 2016
Iconic rock face seen in new light
The heritage-listed pink granite monolith that dominates the city skyline in Castle Hill, Townsville has been reinvigorated by a new lighting system.

For the first time in 15 years, a pivotal landmark of the city of Townsville is being seen in a whole new way. Work by Raylinc Lighting and WE-EF has reinvigorated Castle Hill, a heritage-listed pink granite monolith that dominates the city skyline, with the installation of a new lighting system.

The system, designed by Chris Tame at Raylinc Lighting, has produced the dual benefit of improved aesthetics, and savings on energy and maintenance costs.

The site originally had an HID installation that used four 1000 W HPS floodlights. It was difficult for the council to maintain, and the existing pole and luminaires were in a state of disrepair. The installation had been running for 10-12 hours per night, every night of the year, for more than a decade. So any new system needed to withstand the rigorous running hours and conditions.

“The client approached me to provide a design and solution for replacing the installation. My design was based on the WE-EF product installed,” Chris Tame explained. “The challenges of the project were based on the distance from the cliff face and the width of the areas we needed to light.

”In addition, he said “the site had issues with the proximity of the neighbours adjacent to the new pole location.”

Previously the pole was installed in an area behind the housing area, which created access problems when the client needed to maintain the installation. The new pole location meant the installation was now in front of the housing. Careful consideration was therefore required to ensure that the new pole was not so tall that it detracted from the neighbours’ current view of Cleveland Bay and Magnetic Island.

Another design consideration was glare and lighting spill into houses and surrounding bushland. To prevent this problem occurring, Raylinc supplied 12 WE-EF FLC141 36 W LED narrow beam 3000 K projectors fitted with glare shields. The LED projectors were stacked vertically in two rows of six on either side of an SHS column, thus reducing the visual impact on the area. The new installation also enhanced the colour of the rock face, something that was previously not observed.

“The product technology that WE-EF developed is known as projected light,” Chris Tame explained. “Other manufacturers use reflected light.”

“One hundred per cent of the light produced by the LED chips is then distributed directly through the lens,” Chris Tame pointed out. “Reflected light technology relies on a polished reflector shaped to produce an optic. Typically, this technology cannot utilise all the light produced by the LED chip because a percentage of the light rays are lost as stray light or spill light.”

To compensate for lower light output due to the spill light, this technology needs to use about 25 per cent more power to produce a similar result. In this case, the design required four aiming points across the 300m-wide Castle Hill. The final result provided excellent control of spill light while effectively illuminating the Townsville landmark and highlighting the ‘Saint’ painted on the eastern side of Castle Hill.

The WE-EF projector solution is above and beyond the requirements as it reduces energy consumption by more than 3500 W – a saving of 90 per cent from the original installation. Additionally, the council saved on maintenance costs that were previously in the region of AU$ 100,000 every three years.

The new WE-EF LED installation is designed to produce the desired lighting levels at 60,000 hours with a depreciation of only 20 per cent of the initial lighting levels during the first 10 years of operation. The installation only requires a minimal cleaning cycle of the luminaires once every three years.

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