Lights built to last

Streetlights installed by West Arnhem Regional Council (WARC) are saving money and surviving lightning strikes.

The newly installed LED streetlights are receiving a glowing reception in the Minjilang community.

Barrah Ward Councillor Daisy Yarmirr said the lighting was one of only a few electronic assets to survive a recent lightning strike in the area.

The 42 lights, which West Arnhem Regional Council installed on Croker Island’s power poles in December last year, are built tough to withstand the elements.

WARC Asset Manager Clem Beard witnessed the resilience of the new lighting first-hand.

“At a product demonstration, the presenter belted one with a broom handle about eight times, and just kept going until he broke the broom,” Mr Beard said.

The lights are being trialled in Minjilang for use in other communities.
As well as providing the benefit of well-lit streets for West Arnhem residents, the bright, low-power LEDs will save Council money in the long run, with lower maintenance costs and reduced power bills.

The fourth-generation LEDs, which operate at twice the efficiency of the first generation of the technology, are nestled behind a tough lens encased in a framework of powdercoated aluminium.

Kym Scutter from the Adelaide company behind the lighting, LED 4 Life, said the honeycomb construction meant the lights had low wind resistance, making them more stable in cyclonic conditions.

“We have been coming to the Territory for 35 years and we understand the issues you guys have to deal with,” Mr Scutter said.

“What we are trying to do is build you a rugged, robust product that we can put on the end of a pole that won’t get smashed.”

The lights have a day/night sensor, and switch on automatically as daylight fades.

Although rated at 60 watts, the lights are trimmed to 35 watts to increase longevity.

“A 60-watt lamp may have a lifetime of 50,000 hours, whereas they can last up to 96,000 hours when run at 35 watts,” Mr Scutter said.

“So all being well, and subject to lightning strikes, the lights should last up to 20 years.”