New LED lights on Melbourne’s Bolte Bridge need just a tenth of the energy used before

Melbourne’s Bolte Bridge has been fitted with a brand new LED lighting system which cuts the amount of electricity used for lighting by nearly 90 per cent.

The old lighting system on the bridge, built in 1999, was reaching the end of its life, so there was an opportunity to enhance the lighting and get energy consumption down.

After the successful relighting of the city’s Red Sticks outdoor sculpture, contractor Transurban approached the ULA Group to design and supply lighting for Bolte Bridge’s towers.

Working with Transurban’s engineers, ULA conducted several site tests and decided to replace 42 high-powered metal halide lights with 36 LED fittings from Griven.

The lights were installed on newly erected platforms at the base of each column, using a combination of spot and medium optics to achieve even coverage. Carefully positioning the lights at the base of each tower helped to minimise the risk of glare to motorists and reduce light spill.

Once the new lights were installed, Transurban saw energy consumption fall from 327,000kWh a year to just 36,000kWh – a reduction of 89 per cent.

Fittings and components from the old lighting system were recycled and reused wherever possible, and the new fittings have an estimated operating life of more than 50,000 hours.

The new lights also open up the possibility for colour changing, allowing the bridge to be lit specially to mark cultural events.