Shaping light – the products
Words by: WE-EF
Over the past 25 years, WE-EF Australia products have been used in innumerable projects throughout Australia and New Zealand. They include projects that have won awards for lighting design or where lighting is a significant part of award-winning urban design, architectural and landscape architectural designs.
In Perth, Western Australia, award-winning Elizabeth Quay is largely lit with a range of WE-EF products. The new Optus Stadium train station, Perth Children’s Hospital and the Perth Arena surrounds also feature lighting by WE-EF.
Paul Cox of Perth company H.I. Lighting is confident that interest in WE-EF will continue to be strong, despite a softer local economy. In fact, he sees mining as a growing area of work for his business. Remote mines have their own power sources, which has meant that, historically, power conservation has not been as pressing a concern there as it is for urban areas. Reliability is more important, as maintenance crews have huge distances to travel. Now that LED technology is so reliable, mining is catching up. The need for expert advice and reliable after-sales service are also key factors as mining finally shifts to LED. (Elisabeth Quay, Perth, WA. Photo by Jackie Chan)
LED obviously meant changed internal wiring but also slimmer lights. The scope for use of colour and introduction of responsive smart technologies for regulating light levels has added further flexibility to lighting options. Old lights are either on or off. With LED, a new range of possibilities opened that are still being explored, such as with R2C (Ready to Connect) lighting systems that allow for a wide range of programmable variables.
Relative newcomer Alex Skaines started his business, Integral Lighting, with the shift to LED. In fact, he has only sold LED in the last six years since he began operating. And while it’s a luxury to work on more decorative lighting projects, good lighting can enhance even an ordinary project, just as poor lighting can harm an otherwise good built outcome.
For Alex, the majority of lighting projects are streets, but even these need careful attention. Quality lighting makes a big difference. ‘Historically street lighting is seen as cheap and nasty,’ he explains, but in a first for Australia, Skaines has helped see WE-EF products written into ACT street lighting standards.
Constitution Avenue is a special case. An award-winning streetscape, the grand boulevard of Canberra forms the municipal axis of the Griffins’ competition-winning geometric design. A major overhaul of lighting, designed by Lighting, Art and Science and developed in partnership with Light Culture Australia, was part of a new 2012 concept by Jane Irwin Landscape Architecture to improve the pedestrian journey as well as the car experience and a dedicated cycleway among mature oak trees. Each travel mode had different lighting requirements. With LED in its early stages, new pole and luminaire combinations with matching custom paint finishes were developed. The lessons of that project, with multiple hybrid possibilities, wattages and lumen combinations, have made the VFL500 LED series one of WE-EFs most popular and versatile street and area luminaires ever since. (Photo by Jackie Chan)
To be continued.