|Date||June 26, 2021|
A long dreamed project that became reality. More than connecting shores, connecting people.
If you live in Tasmania or were visiting it between the 16th and the 22nd of June, you could not miss the impressive look of the Tasman Bridge during Dark Mofo.
We are certain that you even shared a photo or two of the red bridge in your social media channels or via SMS with friends.
The lights adorning the side of the famous bridge is a project that has been in the making for a long time. Finally, by partnering up with Decrolux, this so dreamed project came through. The Tasman Bridge is approximately 1.4 km long and has lighting under the pedestrian walkways, shining back onto the bridge structure. We needed almost 3km of LED light to relight it.
Planning began mid-2019 with Decrolux working closely with the Industrial Fire & Electrical (IFE). The IFE was already involved with ongoing works on the Tasman Bridge which included switchboard upgrades.
The designing process involved a light fitting that would equal the output of the fluorescent lights. So Decrolux get samples and a lighting control system made. Created a mock installation at the IFE workshop in Derwent Park and, after meeting with all the stakeholders - including the Traffic Management, Department of State Growth and Electrical Engineers - few adjustments were made and it was time to light things up.
Decrolux then partnered with Enttec, an Australian Manufacturer for the light-control system. Enttec were awesome to work with, and the LED mapping software gives endless flexibility, with good fail-safe features.
The way we have designed this light system is so that every 15-metre section can become a different colour. The lighting is RGBW, which in layman's terms stands for Red, Green, Blue and White.
The white is a 3000k colour temperature, which we also call Warm White. This is actually the colour with which the bridge will be lit for the majority of the time.
The purpose of this project was not only to modernise the lighting for the bridge but also to give it some extra character during special occasions, and that is exactly what you have seen during Dark Mofo.
The idea is to use the Tasman Bridge as a reminder of those special occasions and somehow to humanise the bridge.
“The connection between the city of Hobart and the Tasman Bridge should go beyond commuting capabilities,” says Jared Grace, Lighting consultant from Decrolux.
What a fantastic debut for this upgrade. This project was exactly what Tasmania needed after a year of uncertainties caused by a worldwide pandemic.
After its baptism during one of Tasmania's biggest events, the Dark Mofo, Hobart citizens can expect much more from one of our most famous landmarks.
“In the future, the bridge can be lit not only Red for Dark Mofo but also Pink for Women's Health Week, Blue for Men's Health Week, Purple for The Canes, and Blue & White for North Melbourne Kangaroos.” completed Jared.
This way the bridge can become a symbol of awareness and shed some light on many social issues and inform us all about big events.
In total, the project took nearly two years between leaving the blueprint and become a reality.
The IFE had two teams of workers managing the install. Firstly they ran the optic-fibre cables and installed the control gear. Then they worked along the bridge removing all the old fluorescent lights and replaced them with the new LED modules, testing each section as they went.
For this project, we used 1920 pcs of Chameleon 14W RGBW light modules 1500mm(L), 180 LEDs per metre, 12mm Rigid PCB, Custom Aluminium Extrusion. 100 pcs of Meanwell 480W Power Supplies were used, which powers the LEDs and decoders.
We also installed an S-Play main controller, with the light scenes already programmed. And last but not least, 8 Pixelators - Signal Boosters – approximately every 300m, and 200 P-link CVC4 Decoders, one every 15 metres.
All to reach the desired effect we were aiming for.
“The bridge now can do more than just connect both shores of the Derwent River, it will be able to dialogue with all Tasmanians,” says Jared.
From now on we will all be looking anxiously at our postcard waiting to see its new colour code.