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In Subdivision Lakes Motivated Community To Have A New Path Lighting System
Designed For Their Jogging & Bike Trails.
Our client was a residential suburb located approximately 60 miles inland
from the Gulf of Mexico. Many bayous and streams run through this part of the
world, and subdivisions abound in this area. One subdivision was located near a
series of lakes located near a walkway that had absolutely no path lighting,
street lighting, or landscape lighting of any type.
Challenges Client Was Facing
Although great care had been taken to landscape the area around these ponds
and lakes, (all of which were man-made, incidentally), the original developers
had not installed any path lights along the trails and sidewalks that meandered
through grounds. The city had installed street lights along the road to light
one of the sidewalks, but it was not enough to evenly illuminate the walkway,
and many portions of the sidewalks and the adjacent trails were pitch black.
This was more than an aesthetic
problem. The lack of lighting presented trip hazards to residents who desired
to use the trails for exercise at night. There were also reports of large
alligators in the lakes. The city hoped that by installing a specification
grade path lighting system along all the trails and sidewalks they could recover
the usefulness of these trails and provide a safe environment for residents to
enjoy their community 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
There were a number of unique design considerations that we had to factor into
creating this network of path lights. First, there was an environmental issue
to take into account. Alligators were not the only wildlife to frequent the
ponds and lakes at night. There were whitetail deer, coyotes, raccoons,
rabbits, and herons. The inhabitants of this town insisted that we develop a
path lighting system that was bright enough to protect human safety, but low
level enough so as not to disturb the many species that shared the lakes with
They also wanted the fixtures
mounted at a low enough level so as not to interrupt a view of the lake from the
pathways. This was probably one of our most eco-conscious systems designed to
date, and one we thoroughly enjoyed working on.
Software Helped Us Develop A Custom Skate Park Lighting System Unique To This
Our photometric analysis software proved invaluable in the planning and
development of this path lighting system. We had already determined based upon
the lighting requirements of the environment that we would have to use bollards
as luminaires. The trick was determining how far to space them out. Putting
them too close together would create too much light, which would defeat the
romantic and sentimental intention of the system. Too little light, and there
would be insufficient luminance to guarantee human safety with alligators
roaming around in the shadows.
We ended up proposing two
options to the client. One consisted of spacing bollards at intervals of twelve
feet to provide overlapping path lighting. The other option called for spacing
the bollards at 20’ to create spaced illumination, with areas around the bollard
brighter than the areas halfway between each fixture.
Final System Proposed
The client selected the 12’ spacing option on the provision we restrict the
output of light to the path and sidewalks as much as possible. To accommodate
this request, we selected louvered, 24”, low-voltage bollards with metal halide
lamps designed for low maintenance, long life, and high output. The light was
directed downward by the louvers on the side, evenly distributing an impressive
level of light at the ground level only without obscuring the light of the moon,
stars, and reflected house lights on the lake.
Lighting carries a wide variety of industrial & commercial lighting fixtures. If you can not find what you are looking for call us toll free at 1-866-654-3961 and we will find it for you. Our home office is located in Houston, Texas with
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