Low wattage LED luminaires from WE-EF LIGHTING Pty Ltd were selected by lighting designer Andrew Richardson of ARUP for the New Farm Riverwalk in Brisbane, the walkway that was restored after being washed away by floodwaters in 2011.

Providing a key connection between New Farm and the Brisbane City centre, the New Farm Riverwalk, which opened in late September 2014, offers the perfect balance of elegance and engineered resilience that could see it withstand a one-in-2,000 year flood.

The original New Farm Riverwalk was extensively damaged in 2011 when floodwaters destroyed a section of the walkway. The Brisbane City Council took the initiative to replace it with a new structure designed to endure the rigorous Queensland weather conditions. The Riverwalk is a popular pedestrian traffic area with more than 3,000 cyclists, runners, walkers and tourists using the facility every day.

Brisbane-based lighting company Raylinc supplied post mounted WE-EF VFL540 street and area lighting luminaires to illuminate the main expanse of the walkway, while ETC300 series in-ground uplights and FLB400 series floodlights were used in pedestrian shaded areas and tourist lookouts.

With advantages such as low wattage and good optic distribution, the WE-EF luminaires were found suitable for the application that required fixed pole spacing, fixed pole height and fixed outreach arm length. The aesthetic shape of the VFL540 also complemented the pole profile.

Richardson explained that specifying LED luminaires may have been seen as a risky, unknown quantity because of various products available on the market; it was therefore much safer specifying a well-known manufacturer such as WE-EF.

Since the council did not have significant experience at that stage in specifying LED for exterior applications, ARUP convinced them that the LED luminaire presented a better option than a high-wattage metal halide luminaire. LED luminaires not only use 2-3 times less power to achieve the same 'P' lighting category required, but also provide a long lifespan with minimal maintenance even in a fairly harsh marine environment.

The main challenge of this project was to meet the criteria for 'P' category lighting, based on fixed pole locations, fixed pole heights and fixed luminaire overhang distances. According to Richardson, some of the limiting factors included the path width, pole height, pole outreach arm length, luminaire overhang distance and architectural aesthetics. After considering these factors, it was determined that a lower wattage and shorter pole spacing provided a better, more uniform lighting design. A lower wattage luminaire was also suited to the cable sizes and circuit quantities constraints of the electrical infrastructure.

The VFL540’s advanced control options ranging from simple power-saving dimming systems to complex asset management provided the necessary flexibility. The wide range of wattages and beam distribution offered by WE-EF meant that standard products could be specified without any customisation being required. Additionally, the full cut-off design of the VFL540 luminaire provided critical glare-controlled illumination for pedestrians and especially for the maritime vessels.

The combination of low maintenance luminaires and a new resilient walkway design makes the New Farm Riverwalk a Brisbane landmark that will last well into the future.