Australian Smart Lighting Summit 2014: 18th-19th August

The Australian Smart Lighting Summit is the premier platform for lighting industry stakeholders to discuss strategies to improve energy efficiency, upcoming project opportunities, new technology, and regulations impacting the sector.

The Where, When and How

Where: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
When: Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th August 2014

Day 1 Highlights

City of Melbourne’s Aaron Wood opened the Summit in cracking style and then Ironbark’s Paul Brown and the MAV’s Cameron Spence gave an update on the Victorian Street Lighting program and the lessons learnt along way. Paul outlined that it has taken 11 years to get to where Victoria is today and there have been no silver bullets. He also announced that the Australian Energy Efficiency Street Lighting Counter was now live, tallying the hundreds of thousands of lights installed across the nation.

Cameron discussed the MAV's role in working on behalf of the local government sector and the bulk procurement panel. He outlined MAV's role (assisting councils) and also explained how the procurement panel works, the public tender process that was initiated in 2012 and clarified that in Victoria street lights are approved by Distribution Network Services Providers (not the MAV or other bodies! More on that here.)

Martin Valentine's presentation on the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Lighting Strategy was a highlight and it was great to touch base with him afterwards to hear about his experiences along the journey. Ironbark have been engaged by the World Bank to assist Bahrain to install energy efficient lights. Interestingly there are many of the same barriers in Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates as there are in Australia – issues around maintenance, approvals and ownership of the lights. The Abu Dhabi Certification Schemes (scroll down to the Exterior LED Luminaires Certification Scheme) are certainly worth a look.

Martin also made the point that there are no issues with LEDs "as long as they are high quality.. We haven't had a single failure. Not a single lumen drop-off". We completely agree - there are great LEDs and there are poor LEDs. Like most things, you get what you pay for. 

The morning session also brought together Australian and international experts on standards and contestability. The panel had George Angelis from the City of Sydney, Martin Valentine from Abu Dhabi City Municipality, Steve Jenkins from Steve Jenkins and Associates and Ironbark’s Paul Brown. Delegates got a warts-and-all account of the update to the Australian Road Lighting Standard (AS/NZS 1158) and the ins and outs of contestability. 

After the lunch break the theme was lighting controls including an interactive session that focused on the uptake of outdoor lighting controls, developing technology and discuss solutions to industry challenges and the afternoon finished off with Bruce Ramus talking about making the connection between Lighting Design and Digital Media. Later in the evening the hardy souls who were ready to brave the notorious Melbourne winter joined City of Melbourne’s Ian Dryden on his famous City Lights Tour.

For those who missed day 1 of the Lighting Summit and can't make day 2 it's worth jumping online to check out the program and download the presentations when available. Check out the action via twitter (and while you're at it make sure you follow Ironbark where you get all the latest news on everything to do with energy efficiency and local government!). 

Day 2 Highlights

After a big first day the room was still humming with interest on the second day of the Smart Lighting Summit. It started with a networking event like yesterday was great way to break the ice. Manufacturers once again were in force and the range of lights and control strategies on offer were fascinating. It is amazing how quickly controls and communications have come to fruition. 

Mark Chapman's presentation was a highlight, looking at the successes and tribulations of the Sydney Outdoor Lighting Society and their pursuit over 14 years of reducing light spill into our skies. Our personal favourites were the roundtable sessions. Attendees were able to join one of four discussions tables:

  1. Lighting controls
  2. Funding, payback period and OMR charge
  3. Regulations and Standards
  4. LED and beyond

For the Standards and Regulation Working group, Ironbark’s Paul Brown was lucky enough to attend they had a great cross range of people, from regulators and DNSPs (Distribution Network Service Providers) to councils, lighting specialists and member of Standards committees. The key learnings were:

  • Have a consistent standard required for all road lights based on international standards and common sense local requirements
  • Update AS 4282 Obtrusive lighting standard
  • Understand better the gap between technology options for dimming and switching and how to manage these loads under the national market

Similar informed discussion was held on each table with a great cross section of the industry and the outcomes were summarised for all. We're looking forward to the full release of all the presentations in the next few weeks. We will email a link when they become available or you can check the conference website.

What a great way to finish the conference - we can't wait to see what has changed come next year!

Background to the Summit, Key Themes and Reflections on 2013

The inaugural Summit in 2013 was an exceptional event with hundreds of lighting industry professionals discussing the big issues. Endorsed by City of Melbourne, the 2014 line-up is fantastic and presenters will talk about the biggest lighting issues, such as:

  • Sustainable lighting design and quality installations
  • Energy efficient street lighting, public realm and outdoor lighting applications
  • Lighting standards, certification and regulations impacting the Australian market
  • The future of LED’s, smart lighting controls and solar lighting
  • Upcoming lighting projects and strategies by local councils and developers
  • Local street lighting replacement programs & public lighting strategies
  • International lighting replacement programs - the success stories and lessons learnt
  • Encouraging the production of energy-efficient lighting technology

Just like last year, presentations will be delivered through a combination of keynote presentations, case studies, panel discussions and roundtables. Certainly the feedback from the 2013 summit was that participants appreciated the interactive nature and ability to talk and engage with a vast array of stakeholders:


"It’s been a really busy, really inspiring day"
Ian Dryden, City of Melbourne

              "Very educational"
               Ralph Costanzo, Bemi Lighting

"In one word the conference was successful"
David Hickey, Sylvania
              "(one of) the best summits we’ve been to"
              Adam Carey, Citelum Australia


"The summit was excellent. I particularly like that we had lighting manufacturers; people installing large-scale lighting; lots of questions from the floor and a fair bit of interaction. It’s really important to get different views with different ideas about how things should run or what the right types of technology are. Working with conference organisers Expotrade has been very easy. I was invited to the conference in the Middle East in 2012 and both have been very professionally managed. This is the first of these events we’ve had in Australia and sponsors have come in, manufacturers, councils – it’s been a great response."
Paul Brown, Ironbark Sustainability