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Technical Approvals and the Public Lighting Approvals Network (PLAN)

The public lighting industry in Australia is in the midst of a major transition. Advances in technology and a growing demand for improved efficiency has seen a move away from the conventional high intensity discharge (HID) lamp towards alternatives such as fluorescent, induction and, in particular, LED street lights. The transition, however, is far from complete. 

In Australia, the process for a new lighting technology to be accepted into the standard inventory of products is guarded by a strong set of standards and requirements. Whilst this ensures that a high level of quality is maintained, it also requires the allocation of a significant amount of time and resources.

Traditionally, Australian Distribution Network Service Providers (DNSPs) and state road authorities conduct assessments of new lighting technologies. However, with the influx of new technologies, undertaking these internal assessments is becoming increasingly stressful on internal resources. 

In light of this, Ironbark Sustainability has established an efficient and thorough administrative and technical advisory service to support transparent and consistent technical recommendations for new street lighting technology and products. This support program is administered via a network that allows for effective communication and easy sharing of information. 

Known as the Public Lighting Approvals Network (PLAN), the service is offered free of charge to approval authorities with all assessment costs incurred by technology manufacturers and suppliers. Information generated through this process can be used by suppliers to have their products considered for approval and use by DNSPs, local governments and state road authorities.

Currently the services of PLAN are used by approval authorities from Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and New South Wales.

PLAN Technical Assessment Process

In its most basic sense, approval authorities refer initial enquiries from suppliers of new lighting technologies to Ironbark. Ironbark then provides a filtering process to assess the technology for compliance with Australian Standards and the other specific requirements of the relevant approval authorities. As the technology requirements across jurisdictions are similar this process enables high levels of efficiency for street lighting technology approvals.

The technologies that are not compliant are advised as such and the technologies that do comply can be referred on to approval authorities with an accompanying document that provides a detailed assessment of the design, photometrics, energy and financial profile of the technology. This provides approval authorities with a way to defer technology analysis until basic standards have been met and all relevant information has been collated.

If you are a lighting manufacturer or supplier wishing to have your light approved for use in Australia you can contact Ironbark at PLAN(at)realaction.com.au or 1300 288 262 for details.

Product Compliance

Street light luminaires submitted to the PLAN technical assessment process will be assessed against all relevant requirements of SA/SNZ TS 1158.6 and AS/NZS 60598.2.3.

For the benefit of lighting technology suppliers, Ironbark has consulted with the five Victorian DNSPs and developed a set of common technical requirements for LED street light luminaires, known as the SSL Street Lighting Design and Performance Guidelines - Victoria. Any LED street light luminaire will therefore also be assessed against the requirements of the Guidelines. As knowledge and understanding of LED technology improves, these guidelines will be frequently updated. Information on the Guidelines can be obtained by contacting Ironbark at PLAN(at)realaction.com.au or 1300 288 262.

Any Category V (or main road) street light luminaire will also be assessed against the VicRoads LED Road Lighting Luminaires Specification available for download from the VicRoads website here.

Ironbark’s Accreditations and Memberships

Ironbark is a member of the VicRoads Product Compliance Consultant Panel, and as such is approved to review a variety of products for VicRoads approval, including Category V (main road) LED road lighting luminaires.

Joining PLAN and Accessing Assessment Reports

All completed PLAN technical assessment reports and supporting documentation are available for access by registered PLAN users. Note that this information is confidential given its commercial nature.

If you are a DNSP or public lighting approval authority that would like access to any past or future PLAN technical assessment reports please contact us on 1300 288 262 or PLAN(at)realaction.com.au.

For any other questions about the network, please contact us.

Where to
find us

Ironbark Sustainability

Suite 8, 70-80 Wellington Street
Collingwood VIC 3066

1300 288 262
info@realaction.com.au