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Trinity Lighting LED bollard ranges

Issue 83 February / March 2015

The Sticks and Stones range of lighting bollards are based around a novel and attractive approach to colour and finishes. Along with the Alchemy range, David Morgan looks in detail at these latest innovations making their mark on the exterior lighting sector.

Although his working life began in the Australian fashion industry, Mark Cunningham is now recognised as a veteran of the architectural lighting world and has managed divisions for companies including Spectral, Etap, Zumtobel and Targetti Poulsen. In 2012, he founded his own UK- based company Trinity Lighting.

Trinity focuses on the architectural exterior and landscape lighting markets and has just launched a number of new product ranges. Cunningham has developed these products himself, doing all the design work and tapping into his many years of experience in marketing and selling other designers' work. It is understood that production of the range has been outsourced to specialist companies in the UK while Cunningham concentrates on design, sales and marketing.

The most striking of his designs are a number of LED lighting bollard ranges. The first range comprises Sticks, Stones and Alchemy versions and is based around a novel and attractive approach to colour and finishes. The bollards' extruded aluminium core can be clad in a variety of different materials so that they match the flooring or wall-cladding materials. This enables landscape designers, architects and end users to select finishes for exterior lighting in the same way that an interior designer would match lamp shades and bases into an interior scheme.

While most architectural and landscape lighting products are offered in custom powder coated colours and finishes to achieve colour coordination over a period of time, these finishes will fade and degrade, particularly in extreme, exposed and marine locations.

Cunningham has overcome this problem and achieved a far greater degree of durability with the Stones bollards, by cladding them in a solid ceramic material that will weather attractively in the same way as floor or wall-cladding materials over many decades. With the advent of very long life LED sources, luminaires will now have be able to match the much longer period between installation and servicing without starting to degrade. This makes ceramic an ideal material for this application. The ceramic cladding material used is a 10mm solid body coloured vitrified porcelain, with a micro surface protective sealant bonded to a core of 5mm thick extruded aluminium. The Sticks bollards are clad in 10mm thick Acetylated timber for applications where a wooden finish is needed. The timber is sourced from managed forest and the patented chemical treatment of acetylation ensures the wood won't rot or distort for around 50 years and is graded with the durability of teak and other tropical hardwoods.

The Alchemy series shares the same construction as the Sticks and Stones bollards but instead of ceramic or wood the panels are made of a 97% metal with resin mix that gives the effect of cast copper, bronze, brass or iron.

The appearance of the Sticks, Stones and Alchemy range is clean and simple to enable the sheet materials to be used and this gives them a rather pleasing timeless quality.

The construction of this range is modular and standard parts are used throughout so that a wide variety of product variants can be produced to customer's orders, using the minimum number of components. Cunningham has also gone to great lengths to ensure that there are almost no visible fixings. To gain access to the internal areas and control gear one of the ceramic or wood panels slides up exposing two stainless steel catches with a 450lb breaking strain that holds the bollard onto a mounting plate. Installation would appear to be a simple matter and if the bollards were damaged they could be replaced quickly. The COB LED light engine is mounted pointing downwards to the cast top plate to ensure good thermal management and gives a soft light distribution through the opal polycarbonate / acrylic blended material diffuser. On the samples that I was shown there was a visible shadow from the internal wiring showing on the diffuser which would be good to eliminate in the next iteration.

All Trinity bollards are made to order so the colour temperature and LED power can be selected to meet the project requirements up to a maximum power rating of 16W providing around 1,500 lumens. The Stones versions are available in heights from 500 to 1,400mm which is limited by the size of the Ceramic panels. The Sticks version can be supplied in a greater range of heights, up to five-metres when used as a lighting pole. The taller lighting pole versions incorporate a clear window and incorporate a standard Vossloh Schwabe LED street lighting module available in a number of optical options. Mark has also developed a second range of bollards that includes the Birdcage, Silhouette and Cascade based on a square frame construction. Into the frame direct and indirect light engines, diffusers, painted reflectors, perforated metal panels and other lighting elements can be assembled to create a wide variety of heights and visual treatments.

As a fairly recent start-up Trinity has the usual issues to address in order to turn the company into a successful venture but Cunningham's long experience in the architectural and landscape lighting markets has helped him to identify some key design features for the ranges that should differentiate them positively from existing products. Being able to provide exterior lighting in matching finishes and materials to buildings on a modular and customisable basis would appear to be a very good way to get the company off the ground. The feedback to the product samples from Mark's many contacts in the lighting design community has been positive, so hopefully the next stage to full production will be smooth and Trinity Lighting will rapidly join the ranks of successful UK-based lighting companies.

David Morgan runs David Morgan Associates, a London-based international design consultancy specialising in luminaire design and development and is also MD of Radiant Architectural Lighting.


© David Morgan Associates 2015


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