A playspace with paramount priority to environmental preservation

Old Kingston High School in Tasmania has been thoughtfully transformed into a beautiful community space of play and inclusivity, with the masterplan created by Playstreet Landscape Architects. Preserving the natural Tasmanian environment, Aboriginal history and way of life, while taking a contemporary approach to play were key to this transformation.

With a creek running through the area, Kingborough Environmental Council requirements demanded strong sensitivity to protecting the rich local wildlife. With an understanding of the dramatic impact that light pollution has on the habitats, breeding and migration of animals and birdlife, key stakeholders were determined to ensure that lighting was really restricted to those areas being used by humans at night.


Key project considerations for this wildlife-sensitive space included:

– Light only where it is needed: For human amenity – with the specific purpose of lighting pathways for safe movement
– Strong consideration of the abundance of wildlife species: Adhering to National Guidelines: of both Dark Sky standards (ADSA) and adhering to the National – Light Pollution Guidelines for Wildlife
– Precise optical control: Precisely placing light where needed and controlling light distribution and cut offs with no upward light spill, to minimise light pollution
– Safety for locals: Enabling the enjoyment of a pathway for travel and exercise with minimal disruption to the precious ecosystem, making use of as warm a colour temperature as possible to minimise blue light while ensuring human safety
– Smart controls: with the ability to program luminaires to switch on/off and dim at certain times, with the behaviours of both humans and wildlife at the forefront
– As warm as possible
– Durability and longevity: With a desire for minimal maintenance and downtime to improve long-term cost efficiency and luminaires that will last the test of time, the key stakeholders wanted to use exterior luminaires made from high-quality, robust, corrosion resistant materials
Warranty: Ensuring a comprehensive warranty was of critical importance in delivering peace of mind for the installation.

“2200 K is still providing great facial recognition along the pathway, which is a popular cycling/walking track”

Shay Allison, Southern Lighting and Distribution

Project Challenges

The original local inhabitants of the space (in particular along the creek) include pademelons, native hens, snakes and skinks, eastern barred bandicoots and brown bandicoots, a wide range of birds and possibly the critically endangered Swift Parrots. Given the abundance of wildlife, huge care needed to be taken to protect the ecosystem and minimise the disruption to the circadian rhythm that artificial light can have.

Without people in a space, there is simply no need for artificial light at night – moonlight is all our wonderful wildlife need! However, many people nowadays, need to find time to fit in a daily walk or activity that may be during the early hours of the morning or late evening – when it is dark.

The need to give people accessibility to safely use the pathways of this great parkland for walking, cycling, playing and exercise, while minimising the impact on the wildlife, required careful planning and consultation between the stage 1 and stage 2 Engineers (JMG Engineers and Planners and CES respectively), Playstreet Landscape Architects, Kingston Parklands, Kingborough Council, Southern Lighting and Distribution and WE-EF LIGHTING.


A custom exterior lighting solution was devised for the parklands by Southern Lighting and Distribution using WE-EF VFL530 luminaires, which incorporated:

  • Lighting along the Creek Pathways: In a Tasmanian first, all luminaires along Whitewater Creek are a warm 2200 K colour temperature. Here, there are 22 x VFL530s with [P65] optic installed. With only a 6% blue wavelength in the 2200 K colour temperature.
  • Park and Play Areas: Within the park, 2700 K temperature lighting was chosen with a range of specific lens optics ([P65] and [S65]) strategically selected and positioned to enhance the play areas and ensure the highest level of visual comfort and safety for visitors, all while maintaining a warm and biologically suitable colour temperature.


“Kingston Parklands has created an organic oasis amongst the ever-expanding Kingborough community. During the day, the sprawling layers of the park provide a consistent hub of amusement and activity for all ages. At night, the Parklands unwind into a harmonious sanctuary that promotes the natural rhythms of day & night, creating a safe and healthy precinct for humans and wildlife.” – Shay Allison, Southern Lighting and Distribution

The lighting solution to Kingston Parklands is a great demonstration of balancing the needs of humans while minimising disruption to wildlife. “2200 K is still providing great facial recognition along the pathway, which is a popular cycling/walking track” explains Shay Allison of Southern Lighting and Distribution.

This project is a “Tasmanian first” when it comes to 2200 K colour temperature luminaires being used all along the creek pathway. With only 6% blue wavelengths suitable for sensitive environmental areas, Liz Quinn, Manager for Environmental Services for Kingborough Council describes this as “a monumental way forward for dark skies and wildlife alike”.

Canberra City, Constitution Place lit up with WE-EF LIGHTING, view from above
September, 2023