The humble bollard has come a long way from its first use as cannon bollards used for mooring boats in the early 1800s. Today, bollards are used everywhere. They bring safety into the streets and are becoming a special feature in urban spaces. Lighting bollards are a common sight at night when passing by museums, hotels, airports, malls, parks, and commercial complexes. They dot the streets with lights that serve to accent the particular area’s natural landscape or architectural design.
What are lighting bollards?
lighting bollards are often equipped with light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and can be solar-powered or connected to underground electrical wiring. They serve to illuminate and add an accent to landscaping, buildings, parks, plazas, and other urban architectures.
Currently, there are four options for lighting bollard designs. They can be round or square, flat or dome top. There are also four types of lighting bollard reflectors described below:
Types of lighting bollards Reflectors
- Louver – The light points towards the ground which conceals the bulb from view. This is an ideal option for pathways, natural areas, and oceanfront properties.
- Standard Cone Reflector – The light shines 360 degrees effectively lighting the surrounding area.
- Specialized Cone Reflector – Ideal option for LED lighting bollards. This type reflects the light down and out to minimize glare and light pollution.
- Type V Glass Reflectors – This creates intense 360-degree lighting. This is an ideal option for people who want to minimize adding more landscape fixtures.
Lighting bollards come in different sizes ranging up to 1000 mm height. They are often made of durable materials such as cast aluminum, aluminum, and stainless steel to be weather-proof and vandalism-resistant.
Lighting bollards add ambient lighting to any property to show off natural landscape or architectural design. They also help improve safety by increasing visibility at night and clearly marking pathways and driveways. Below are the most common applications of lighting bollards:
Landscape and Outdoor Lighting
Energy-efficient lighting bollards are becoming popular among urban designers and landscape artists due to their aesthetic and practical use. Bollards can be designed to complement an existing architectural structure such as in hotels, resorts, and parks. They can be added to outdoor lighting systems without obstructing landscape design and require minimal maintenance.
Pathway and Walkway Lighting
These lighting bollards are typically installed in pathways and walkways that do not require much lighting and will only serve as path markers to guide people where to walk during night time and prevent them from stepping into plant beds. They are also used to provide lighting around decks as part of landscape decoration.
Lighting bollards are also used to illuminate driveways. They provide visual guidance during night time for drivers to follow along to preserve plants and protect landscape formations from getting trudged by tire marks. Lighting bollards along driveways need to be far enough from the edge so car doors won’t bang into them.
Lighting bollard models are manufactured at different heights. The smallest size can be used as ground lighting to bring depth and texture to architectural features, facades, or sculptures.
Lighting bollards are bolted with a mounting plate onto a foundation or an anchorage unit. Because lighting bollards need to survive punishing outdoor conditions, they need to be sealed against all weathers and ideally equipped with vandal-resistant caps and casings. It is best to hire a licensed electrician to install lighting bollards.
Designers and architects will need to make a choice between wired lighting and solar lighting when selecting the right lighting bollards for their site. For those who opt to go with solar-powered lighting bollards, they also have to choose between using bollards that have an integrated solar panel or installing a separate solar panel to support all lighting bollards. They also need to consider that bollards with an integrated solar panel are prone to vandalism, can only provide dim light and cannot provide all-night lighting. When choosing to install a separate solar panel, they will need to consider trenching work.