Upgrading Melbourne’s first original seaport

Nelson Place, Williamstown, Victoria

The City of Hobsons Bay needed to upgrade luminaires in the heritage streetscape of Nelson Place, Williamstown, a seafront village, which is Melbourne’s first original seaport! As one of Victoria’s oldest settlements, Williamstown and indeed Nelson Place (which was for many years the heart of Williamstown), required lighting that pays homage to its history and architecturally enriched streets.

Lined with heritage style buildings converted into restaurants, galleries and hotels, this iconic location has developed into a popular maritime village, all the while retaining its heritage aesthetics. Nelson Place also sits alongside tree lined parks, museums and is a thriving retail and hospitality precinct.

Until 2020, the luminaires in this precinct were old 250 W high pressure sodium. The City of Hobsons Bay wanted to upgrade to LED technology, increasing efficiency and energy savings, whilst also improving the environmental impact. At the same time, there was a strong necessity to preserve the style of the luminaire that was used.

The City of Hobsons Bay engaged Buckford Illumination Group for this project. Having recently supported the luminaire upgrade of another seaside city with Glenelg Shire Council (Portland CBD), Anthony Strangis of Buckford Illumination Group explains that “Buckford Illumination Group had a strong understanding of some of the challenges and considerations in upgrading lighting to a seaside, heritage style precinct, having worked closely with Glenelg Shire Council previously”.

For Nelson Place, there were several considerations:
– Retaining heritage ambience
– Environmental impact
– Energy savings and efficiency
– Tough corrosive coastal conditions
– Longevity and warranty
– Importance of ambience, as well as the challenges of the area being located right on the seafront, where the salt laden air can be highly corrosive.

Many modern luminaires are square and sleek in form; however a modern sleek form would not have done justice to the surroundings. Here, the WE-EF ASP530 series was selected for its unique heritage housing with modern LED technology and quality optics.
The colour temperature selection was equally important as the style of the luminaire when it came to the overall ambience of the area. Here, in a first for a Melbourne-based precinct, the recommendation was put forward to implement a 3000 K colour temperature throughout the area, as opposed to the traditional adoption of 4000 K in these types of city and precinct areas.

3000 K is a warmer colour, with less blue content, thereby creating a more enchanting, welcoming feel while also bringing the warmth out of the heritage architecture. At the same time, with less blue content, 3000 K is less disruptive to local ecosystem.
The adoption of this warmer colour temperature required Buckford Illumination Group and The City Council to work together with Jemena, the local Distribution network service provider, to have this colour temperature approved for use.

In upgrading from high pressure sodium to LED 3000 K chips, energy efficiencies could be realised and the overall impact to the environment improved. With salt laden air at the seafront location, marine grade aluminium was a key selection criterion as was a strong corrosive-resistant coating, to ensure maximum longevity.

With the previous installation at Glenelg having been very well received and not requiring any maintenance since its installation, there was a high level of confidence in the WE-EF product, with it establishing itself a strong reputation for quality and reliability and also being backed by a comprehensive 10 year warranty.

With the well regarded 5CE+ Primer anti-corrosion coating process that is now standard for all WE-EF products in Australia and New Zealand, quality is assured. In fact, there are many coastal applications of WE-EF luminaires that have withstood the tests of tough coastal conditions for 20+ years.

“The WE-EF ASP530 series installation blends well into the heritage aesthetics and the 3000 K colour temperature selection creates a beautifully warm and inviting precinct.”

Anthony Strangis

The Result

The WE-EF ASP530 series installation blends well into the heritage aesthetics and the 3000 K colour temperature selection creates a beautifully warm and inviting precinct wherein which areas are not overlit and 105 W per luminaire is realised in energy savings”, tells Anthony Strangis of Buckford Illumination Group.

The local council and indeed the Nelson Place community are happy to see luminaires that respect and honour the heritage ambience of the iconic location and thanks to the adoption of modern LED technology, gone are the days wherein contractors were frequently replacing light globes on old high pressure sodium; since the installation there has been no maintenance required at all.

Portland CBD, street and area ASP530
July, 2022