Capital Trail Royal Park

First Sustainable Lighting System for City of Melbourne


City of Melbourne

Lighting Compliance

AS/NZS 1158.3.1.2005 P4

Traditional Custodians

Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung and Bunurong Boon Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin

Project Overview

Almost a decade ago, City of Melbourne identified a dark section of the Capital City Trail behind the Melbourne Zoo that needed lighting infrastructure to improve public safety and security. 

The shared pathway between Royal Park train station and the nearby car park was heavily used in the evenings, primarily by people walking to their cars or cycling home after work. As carbon-free energy generation was becoming increasingly important for local governments, City of Melbourne sought a sustainable pathway lighting solution from Leadsun. 

Busy trail a security concern after dark

Unfortunately, accidents between cyclists and pedestrians were common on the path at night as inadequate lighting made it difficult for commuters to see each other. Also, established trees along the 360m section of trail could easily conceal a would-be attacker in the darkness, making the path unsafe, especially for people with disabilities, women and gender-diverse people.    

Plus, the City of Melbourne aspired to protect the environment. First, they wanted to avoid excavation-induced damage to the trees and ecosystems along the trail. Such destruction would have been inevitable with the deep trenching and cabling works required to install mains-powered lights.

Second, the council understood dark-sky principles and the importance of minimising light pollution to prevent detrimental environmental effects. Lastly, the City of Melbourne wanted to demonstrate sustainability leadership among other municipalities by electing to use renewable technology to power a reliable lighting system.

Solar lighting reliability and suitability a priority

In one of Leadsun’s first solar lighting projects, the City of Melbourne engaged Leadsun to supply and install 20 LED light and solar engine systems.

Each system houses a 10W LED light, lithium-ion battery, solar panel and energy management module in a sleek, integrated design fixed to a pole. Out of reach from vandals, the lighting’s motion-sensing technology flicks from low-level to 30 seconds of full brightness upon detecting movement, then quickly dims to conserve battery power. This feature helps optimise and extend the hours of night-time operation while not affecting the natural behaviours of nocturnal animals.

Managing the project end to end, Leadsun quickly installed the entire solar pathway lighting solution without disruption to park users. The new lights blended naturally with the environment while improving the security and usability of the pathway and park.  

Better visibility and a safer walk to car park

This important solar installation by the City of Melbourne created an optimally illuminated pathway for pedestrians and cyclists to securely travel between the train station and car park without incident, allowing people to feel more comfortable using public transport and enjoy using the space.   

Significantly, the City of Melbourne didn’t opt for fossil-fuelled grid power and, in doing so, became one of Victoria’s first local governments to implement renewable solar-powered lights.

Today, the robust lighting solution is still there. While some tree growth is shading panels and the older battery technology doesn’t provide the most potent charge, the system works consistently well with minimal maintenance.

Leadsun Products Used

  • P Category lighting compliance – AS/NZS 1158.3.1.2005 P4
  • Number of lights – 20
  • Solar module series – AE2 All-In-One
  • Solar size – 25W
  • LED output programming – 10W – Passive infrared sensors for adaptive lighting control to dim lights to 30% during inactivity
  • Pole footing type – Ragbolt concrete footing
  • Pole type – Non-lowerable
  • Additional solutions – N/A

Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which this project was undertaken, the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung and Bunurong Boon Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin. We recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture and we pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. 

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