Bass Coast Rail Trail’s ‘dark tunnel’ receives solar illumination to connect local communities
The Bass Coast Council – Wonthaggi
AS/NZS 1158.3.1 P3/P4
To enhance their community’s safety and enjoyment of this public asset, a team of local residents successfully submitted their Rail Trail Illumination Project to the Victorian Government’s Pick My Project grant program. The application was successful and received funding for Leadsun to design and install a sustainable grid-free solar lighting solution.
A short section of the 23-kilometre Bass Coast Rail Trail is highly used by local commuters, providing access to the hub of Wonthaggi including shopping centers, parks and gardens. While the Bass Coast Rail Trail attracts and benefits cyclists and pedestrians during the day, the path was plunged into darkness at night – reducing visibility and raising safety concerns for locals.
Rail Trail Illumination Project
“At night, there was a dark tunnel in the critical section of the pathway, which is highly used as it leads to the hub. Even at dusk and dawn, it was too dim for locals to walk, ride or scoot along the trail safely,” said local resident Karen Thorp. “It’s been proven that putting lights in an area at night deters crime and makes the area safer for women and children. So, we knew the rail trail needed lights!”
To enhance their community’s safety and enjoyment of this public asset, a team of local residents successfully submitted their Rail Trail Illumination Project to the Victorian Government’s Pick My Project grant program. The application was successful and received funding for Leadsun to design and install a sustainable grid-free solar lighting solution
Nuanced lighting with adaptive controls
Leadsun’s technicians programmed the lights for five hours of full brightness from dusk and then dimmed the lights to conserve power. Built-in motion sensors trigger the lights to maximum brightness for 30 seconds upon detecting any movement during the night. Also, with no ongoing power costs or carbon emissions and minimal maintenance – the solar installation met the community’s eco-friendly goals.
Rail trail lights connect towns and boost wellbeing
The solar lights bought delight and freedom to residents. With a safe, accessible trail connecting the Wonthaggi community, the improved visibility enables more people, especially women, girls and children, to safely use the path beyond daylight hours.
“During the dark time of the pandemic, it was good to have the lights brightening up the trail and provide a safe space for local people to get out in the fresh air and exercise. The lights helped us all feel more joyful and connected,” said Karen.
“A longstanding local told me, ‘I’m so happy, the trail lights are such a great idea. I wish they’d existed when I was a teenager! But now, my children can finally enjoy the trail as teenagers and be safe’ – so she was extremely pleased.”
“Leadsun were generous and reliable. They installed the lighting quickly and gave us more value than we expected, which was incredible and appreciated by our community. Leadsun deserves all the credit they can get.”
Leadsun Products Used
- P Category lighting compliance – AS/NZS 1158.3.1 P3/P4
- Number of lights – 48
- Solar module series – AE3
- Solar size – 80W and 55W
- LED output programming – Dusk 100% Illumination for 5hrs then dimmed with PIR adaptive control until dawn
- Pole footing type – Ragbolt
- Pole type – EZYLift hinged poles, 5.5m high
- Additional solutions – EDGE
Acknowledgement of Country
We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which this project was undertaken, the Bunurong People. We recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture and we pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.