Brisbane bridge shines under a new light

Brisbane’s Kurilpa Bridge has been relit to dramatic effect – in a scheme powered by up to100KWh of solar-power.

Completed in 2009, the dramatic bridge has had its lighting system upgraded with a new LED lighting system specified by Cameron Gunning of Vision & Sound Technology. Providing a pedestrian and cycle crossing over the Brisbane River, Kurilpa Bridge connects the city's central business district with the city's south bank and its major cultural precinct. 

As the world’s largest structure based upon a ground-breaking system of balanced compressive and tensile forces, Kurilpa Bridge is a 470m long multi-mast, cable-stay bridge with a 120m main span.

The lighting project of exclusively Griven fixtures was managed y belectrical contractors Stowe Australia, working with Griven distributor, the ULA Group. 

Kurilpa Bridge features two large viewing and relaxation platforms, two rest areas and a continuous all-weather canopy, which has become a symbol for art, science, technology, and healthy living. Its structural elements seem to be floating in the air delivering to the bridge a completely new identity and a unique appearance. Its innovative architectural style and advanced technology have deeply transformed Brisbane’s image to that of a city rich in walking and cycling opportunities.

 At night, the bridge is lit up by a sophisticated LED lighting system, which can be programmed to produce an array of different lighting effects. Depending on the different lighting configurations, between 75 per cent and100 per cent of the power required is provided by solar energy. Solar panels are mounted directly on top of the bridge, generating a daily output of 100KWh.

Some 32 Griven Jade 16 in RGBW colour configuration with narrow optics have been installed in carefully selected points of the bridge in order to enlighten its structure, made of huge metal tubes, up to the top. Moreover, 10 Griven Emerald deliver a splash of coloured light to the whole structure. In order to avoid any unpleasant glaring effect to pedestrian and cyclists and to better direct the light beams, these fixtures have also been equipped with specially developed anti-glare shields.

 The Jade is a newly engineered rounded spotlight, which houses sixteen high power RGBW LEDs, as well as in-built electronics and power supply unit. It features either on-board control for standalone operation, or master-slave selectable for multiple unit synchronisation, or it can be controlled by an external DMX512 controller. 

The Emerald features 60 RGBW power LEDs and a capacitive touchscreen display that allows for a direct access to all on-board functions. 

Cameron Gunning comments: ‘The LED fixtures are very robust and reliable with consistent colour matching across luminaires. Both fixtures offer very accurate optics and powerful output in a really compact housing. The slim line design of the Emerald and small footprint of the Ruby fixtures provides an unobtrusive addition to the bridge structure.’


  • The art of lighting bridges will be discussed at a special presentation in the Masters of Light series at lightspace dot london, part of the LuxLive 2016 exhibition in London on Wednesday 23 November. Entry is free if you pre-register at


Photos: Adam Axten