Catenary lighting solutions – achieved by attaching strings of lights to cables – can enliven outdoor spaces after dark by providing subtle spills of overhead lighting.
Not only do they light up a space and improve visibility and safety, they can also be used to create the mood or ambience you want. Think restful, playful, colourful, seasonal, festive and so on.
Catenary lighting can be installed just about anywhere that people gather. This includes dining laneways, shopping precincts, public parks and squares, carparks, outdoor theatres, bridges or festivals. They can also support any type of lighting – including pendants, lanterns, LEDs and more.
Six benefits of catenary lighting solutions
There are a number of advantage to this type of lighting solution.
1. Opens up large spaces:
The stainless steel cables used in catenary lighting installations can allow for extremely long spans while supporting high loads. The cables are usually anchored to building walls, or else purpose-built structures such as canopies.
This arrangement means there are no poles intruding into the area underneath – which in turn allows for free movement of people and for the space to be fully utilised.
2. Can be used in small spaces:
As well as opening up large areas, a well-engineered installation can be incorporated into a small space – such as narrow laneway, building entrance or atrium.
3. Encourages day and night use:
By adding lighting to a space it can be used for more hours in the day. This can act as a drawcard for people to enter the space and stay longer.
It can also be a boon for businesses such as retailers or restaurants, or where there is entertainment or live shows in the evenings.
4. Great for suspended art installations:
Since they can support large loads, the overhead cables can be used for suspended art works or displays which is visible at night. This can enable you to make a public statement or create a kind of hanging art gallery.
5. Greater flexibility:
Installations can be created as temporary and portable solutions. This means they can be dismantled afterwards, or else moved and reinstalled in another location.
6. Freedom of design:
With catenary lighting solutions there are very few if any design limitations. All projects are entirely bespoke – which means you have total freedom to decide how your project should look and operate.
Where catenary lighting is used
Catenary lighting solutions can be purely practical to provide lighting for visibility, or they can be used to create architectural statements in their own right.
Here are some real-life examples.
- Abercrombie Lane, Sydney – based upon a similar laneway in Istanbul, this project utilises approximately 1,000 metres of stainless steel cabling installed at various angles rather than in parallel lines. This creates varying light patterns at different points in the lane below.
- Steam Mill Lane, Sydney – this Darling Harbour installation comprises a series of colourful suspended “street jewellery” artworks on 6mm cables which become illuminated after dark. The largest of the pieces is 850kgs, proving the point of the capacity of engineered steel cables.
- Scotch Row Barangaroo – 4mm cable is used in this installation to support the luminaires, creating a playful theme and enabling people to use the “pocket park” and laneway spaces after dark.
- Henley Square – this beachside installation in Adelaide uses built canopies to anchor the cables and creates a kind of evening star display effect when lit up in at night.
- Skittle Lane – this installation, which has been incorporated into the atrium of the Arc by Crown building and that weighs around 1.2 tonnes, displays an artistic ‘light sculpture” comprised of over 2,000 LEDs.
At Tensile we specialise in engineered stainless steel cabling for catenary lighting solutions. If you have an idea in mind you would like to discuss, feel free to contact us.