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Solar bollard: Australian made solar for Australian conditions

HIGHLUX

The original solar bollard first hit the Australian market in 2005.  This original model is now referred to as Solar Bollard Generation 1 (SBL1), has a 15-year track record, has won several awards, and is proudly Australian made and owned by Solar Bollard Lighting.

HIGHLUX is the distributor of the Solar Bollard for Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, ACT, Western Australia, and some parts of the NT.

With 15 years behind it, the solar bollard has a proven and market-tested claim when we promote it as having “a minimum of 10 years operational life expectancy”!

A second major design iteration for the solar bollard came with Generation 2 (SBL2) – designed and built in response to changing market demand, changes to Australian lighting standards, as well as new knowledge and technology in solar lighting.  SBL2 arrived on to the Australian market in 2018.

            

Comparison solar bollard generations
Key differences between solar bollard generation 1 and generation 2

Solar bollard Gen 1 (SBL1) remains a popular product for pathway and waypoint lighting as a reliable and robust investment in Australian solar, offering a beautiful night-time landscape with its soft white natural light.

In the photo above is the 1st generation of solar bollard (SBL1), a low power model (120mA), direct bury installation, in Jacaranda Springs park, High Wycombe, WA.  Note the soft, natural white light is directed a little outward and downward with the SBL1.  The softness of the light colour, coupled with the light’s downward direction, means a lower impact on Australia’s light pollution. 

SBL1 as a “waypoint” light can be seen from a distance. Over at the far back right in the photo above, you can see two solar bollards back there in the distance, offering a guide across the parks’ landscape.

The solar bollards in the photo above are installed set back about 1m from the path. You can see with the SBL1 there is light output on to the path as well as the grassed area – this light splay pattern is one of the differences between the first generation of solar bollard and the second generation. The next photo (below) further illustrates this difference.

In the photo above is the 2nd generation solar bollard (SBL2), base plate mounted, installed in Forbes, NSW.  With the SBL2, the soft, natural white light is directed downward on to the path.  The light splay between each bollard connects up along the path, guiding the pedestrian-eye.  The SBL2 is designed to give very little back-light, which is great for the pedestrian, the customer, and the environment!  Back-light is where light shines behind the light and, is considered “light waste” simply because it is “light where it isn’t needed”, and can add to light pollution for no real gain to the objective of “lighting the path”. 

The design of the SBL2 achieved a reduction in light waste, leaving all power from the sun to be converted to that light on the ground. No back light (because of how the LEDs are positioned within the solar bollard head) has improved the efficiency of the solar bollard, and is a reason we are able to turn the power down as low as 40mA and still achieve compliance lighting.

The improved efficiency in conversion, and the placement of the LEDs, produced a more effective bollard light (that can work in the shade). Compared with the first generation of solar bollard, fewer of the 2nd generation bollards are needed to achieve lighting compliance standards (AS/NZS).  For some lighting projects, however, back light is desired, but for pathway lighting, back light can simply be a waste, and may unnecessarily disrupt the immediate ecosystem. 

The SBL2 is designed to:

  1. Achieve AS/NZS Category P4 lighting standards cost-effectively: The position of the LEDs, as well as the asymmetric arrangement of the LEDs, creates a light output with minimal light wastage.  This means compliance lighting can be achieved with fewer numbers of bollards (compared with the SBL1), saving our customers money.

  2. Operate at full power all night every night with a 7-year warranty: on manufacture, design, and performance. No battery change for minimum 7 years.
  3. Be completely submersible: The sealed, self-contained design of the entire unit (including battery and solar components) means SBL2 can withstand flooding (3m depth), monsoonal rain, crashing waves, wetlands, and snow coverage.

  4. Provide solar that works in the shade: The SBL2 offers a wider range of power models from the lowest at 40mA to the highest at 240mA. 

A more detailed comparison between 1st and 2nd generation of solar bollard:

 SBL1SBL2
Ingress ProtectionIP66IP68
Impact RatingIK10IK10
LED ArrangementSymmetricSymmetric and Asymmetric options
Light directionOutward and downwardDownward on to path; Minimal “wasted light”
AS/NZS Category P4N/A Waypoint lightingYes, bollard spacing around 10m apart (power model determines spacing)
Warranty5 years7 years
Works in shadeOperates best in full sun, lower power model available where there is some shade. 
Range of power models from low (80mA) to high (200mA)
Yes, full sun to heavy shade

Range of power models from ultra low (40mA) to ultra high (240mA)
Best forWaypoint lighting;
Open areas with full sun or a little shade
Meeting P4 Category;
Areas prone to flooding; Areas with heavy shade; Wild-life Friendly;
Head can be suitable for retrofit
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