Light touches

Recent emphasis on outdoor living has led lighting manufacturers to respond with imaginative contemporary designs. Nicky Churchill looks at the latest crop from the UK and the Continent.

The lead up to the millennium, coupled with the environmental commitment of the new Government, has prompted the return of civic pride in both the regions and the capital. Add to that the fashion for al fresco living prompted by the recent hot weather, and the result boils down to one thing: there is an increased desire to improve our outdoor spaces.

If used correctly, exterior lighting can play a major role in the enhancement of the environment, whether it is the architectural lighting of historical buildings, brighter and safer street lights or lit walkways in our pedestrianised areas and parks. New schemes are being introduced all the time and in recognition of this, the Lighting Industry Federation has introduced two new categories in its annual awards scheme – street lighting, and town centre and amenity lighting.

Nimbus Design

Quebec Sierra is an elaborate design from a range by German manufacturer, Nimbus Design. This sculptural external pole fitting is made of brushed stainless steel, with rotatable lamp tube and adjustable reflectors. The design is also available as a bollard and uses a compact fluorescent light source. It can be obtained here through GFC Lighting.


Philips has recently invested 5 million in an Outdoor Lighting Application Centre in Lyon, France, to promote urban lighting and tackle issues such as light pollution. Last year, the company introduced the Lightcolumn, incorporating a new technology; Remote Source Lighting. The source is situated in the base of the lamp and the light transported upwards, via optical lighting film, to hit the reflector plate at the top of the mast. The system allows controlled light leakage through perforations in the column for decorative effect. This year, Philips has applied the same technology to the new Verona bollards.

Concord Lighting

From the Concord Bega range come these compact location luminaires, the smallest of which stands just 190mm off the ground. Manufactured from die-cast aluminium and fitted with crystal glass lenses with optical texture, they offer a full 360 degree of light distribution. Two light sources are available – 75W halogen or 35W metal halide. And if you’re into all things sci-fi, then these Darth Vader lookalikes will strike a familiar note.


Italian manufacturer iGuzzini has launched the Nuvola street lamp, initially designed by Renzo Piano & Meccano for the Lingotto complex in Turin and now available in the company’s catalogue. This incorporates Piano’s Lingotto floodlight mounted on to an aluminium pole, with light projected upwards and bounced back off the flag-waving diffuser at the top. Glare and shadows are thus avoided. Nuvola is available in both 6m- and 10m-high versions, using 250w metal halide and 400w metal halide lamps respectively.

Thorn Lighting

Thorn Lighting has gone Scandinavian with the introduction of its strangely familiar Nordic Design range of both indoor and outdoor fittings. For external use, the hemispherical Equator bulkhead can be wall-mounted or fixed to a slim 60mm x 300mm bollard with its eye-lid design serving to direct the light downward. Or you might prefer the bollard from the Avenue range with its conical diffuser creating an all-round pool of light.


New from Lampas for this year is the L304/L305 range which includes both a sleek pole-mounted light fixture and an exterior bollard. The fittings are 3300mm- and 1050mm-high respectively. Made from galvanised steel and only 120mm in diameter, the design incorporates an opaque polycarbonate lamp cover with an optional semi-circular perforated steel cover. This Danish range is available in the UK through GFC Lighting.

Outdoor Lighting

British company Outdoor Lighting has introduced the Sentry and Senturion single- and double-sided bollards, designed by sculptor William Pye (perhaps best known for the water-wall at the British Pavilion at the Seville Expo in 1992). It is an unassuming walkway luminaire with a clever stepped design incorporated into the body of the fittings to diffuse the light downwards. Constructed of die-cast aluminium, the two designs are offered with three different lamp options and four finishes including an intriguing patinated copper; and, for those with a more generous budget, solid bronze is also available to order.

Marlin Lighting

Also from Britain comes the Sterling Bollard by Marlin Lighting, a company that is currently pushing its exterior lighting portfolio into what it believes is a growth market. Recognising the British concerns relating to vandalism and corrosion, Sterling is a very robust fitting which is made from “copper-free aluminium which is phosphor chromatised before powder coating”, this apparently means that it has up to 20 times more corrosion resistance. Sterling is available with three lamp options and comes in two versions – a straight louvre or stepped cone louvre for reduced glare.

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