Enhancing the theatrics of the world’s first tensegrity bridge

Kurilpa Bridge, Brisbane, QLD

The beautiful and iconic Kurilpa pedestrian Bridge that crosses over the Brisbane river needed some enhancing by way of light.

The tensegrity-inspired design and engineering by Arup, was the first of its kind when constructed in 2009. Very sculptural in aesthetic, with a multi-mast and cable-stay structure, the bridge is a spectacle in and of itself and also features viewing and relaxation platforms, rest areas and an all-weather covered area.

Owned by the Queensland Government, it was already illuminated, however, the precision, vibrancy, intensity and saturation was really lacking and there were many issues with flickering and outages regularly occurring, thus the challenge was accepted by Lighting Designers and Engineers at Webb Australia to find a better solution, together with Raylinc and WE-EF LIGHTING.


As a very uniquely designed pedestrian bridge, there were several considerations:
– High performing luminaires that could direct light where it is needed, with strong saturation of whichever colour is running
– Luminaires with sharp, precise optical control to highlight the appearance and sculptural features, enhancing the visual experience for onlookers and passers-by
– An option to adopt an RGBA solution as opposed to typical RGBW to enable to use of warmer colours more than cool whites
– A luminaire manufacturer able to customise a bespoke solution to meet the specific needs of the application and willing to provide a sample for the project stakeholders
– Luminaires of robust quality able to withstand environmental conditions requiring minimal maintenance and providing longevity
– Discreteness of luminaires; integrating in an invisible way to the architecture
– Ensuring the Queensland Government could change the lighting on demand as they need to – with different colours to mark different occasions and celebrations in the future
– A comprehensive warranty
– Strong service support both on installation and for any post commissioning issues

The Project Challenges

The very unique bridge had an existing lighting installation that was suboptimal and required an upgrade. There was a strong desire to see the structures more precisely illuminated and with a far greater colour saturation. Webb Australia liaised with Raylinc here who recommended WE-EF FLC200 series projectors be considered for the project, for a number of reasons; according to Troy Henderson of Raylinc, “WE-EF luminaires were recommended because of the known robustness and reliability of the products, the 10 year warranty and because we at Raylinc knew that the WE-EF would be willing and capable of customising an RGBA solution with precision optics”. Raylinc also were confident that WE-EF could “provide samples to meet the application needs of the project” and exceed the expectations of the client.

“WE-EF luminaires were recommended because of the known robustness and reliability of the products, the 10 year warranty and because we knew that the WE-EF would be willing and capable of customising an RGBA solution with precision optics”

Troy Henderson, Raylinc Lighting

The Solution

WE-EF’s FLC200 projector series were selected because of their perfect suitability to the task of highlighting the fine details of large structures such as the cables of suspension bridges. More specifically, the symmetric, very narrow beam ‘sharp cut-off’ [EES] optics provides excellent accentuation of such details, also from afar.

Realising such very narrow beam distributions with colour mixing projectors is a very special challenge for a projector manufacturer – due to the extremely focused beam. Without quality engineering, projectors struggle with colour mixing, for example, with flecks of colour, coloured edges and shadows appearing.

WE-EF LIGHTING engineers however, not only modified the lenses, they also modified the entire system consisting of a diffuser, lenses and LED modules in a very specific arrangement – balancing perfectly the requirements of colour mixing, beam angle and efficiency. The light quality achieved, especially with regard to the colour mixing, delivers a high quality standard.

For Kurilpa Bridge, Webb Australia drafted preliminary lighting designs with this solution, but they needed physical samples for their client in order to validate the solution would work before ordering 45 x FLC260-CC RGBA projectors, glare shields and linear spread lenses for the project.

Here, under time pressure, our German engineering team were able to coordinate the delivery of two samples to the project location site to do an onsite demo. The client and Webb Australia were very pleased with the demo. After the successful demonstration, Webb Australia liaised with the WE-EF Technical team in seeking a slightly modified stirrup with different mounting hole spacing. The luminaire selection was then confirmed and the 45 projectors were ordered together with special stirrup, glare shields and linear spread lenses.

The Result

The 45 FLC260-CC projectors were installed, with luminaires being located on each side of all of the main bridge support poles, just above the bridge deck level. Ultimately the Queensland Government and Webb Australia are both extremely happy with the result, particularly with the significantly enhanced saturation of colour and the aids with which they can change colour using the DMX system. Additionally, the sharp cut-off of the optic selected really precisely accentuates the features of the unique bridge beautifully. We were proud to be involved in this project and we look forward to supporting the effective illumination of many more bridges in the future.

December, 2022