Ironbark a NATA-accredited Inspection Body for Street Light Luminaires

Ross McKirdy and Paul Brown

Since 2008, Ironbark has acted as the independent technical assessor for the Public Lighting Approvals Network (PLAN). In this role Ironbark has assisted the Victorian Local Government sector and approval authorities in negotiating approval of a range of energy efficient street lighting choices as well as carrying out lighting trials in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania.

Since 2012 Ironbark have been representing the Municipal Association of Victoria on the Australian Road Lighting Standards Committee (LG-002) that has carriage over the AS/NZS 1158 series.

In these roles Ironbark have independently assessed the technical and market suitability of dozens of new street lighting products against the requirements of the Australian Standard  AS/NZS 1158 series, and the specific requirements of approval authorities. These assessments facilitated the approval of energy efficient street lights such as LEDs and Fluorescent T5 by DNSPs which are now being rolled out across the state in their hundreds of thousands. In order to strengthen our standing as a respected, independent assessor of new street light technologies, Ironbark is thrilled to announce that it has sought and obtained National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accreditation as an Inspection Body.

This means that Ironbark has been assessed by NATA and found to comply with the requirements of ISO/IEC 17020 (the International Standard governing the requirements of inspection bodies) and to be technically competent to inspect street lights against those requirements of AS/NZS 1158.6 outlined in our Scope of Accreditation.

In plain English this means we are completely unbiased when assessing road lighting products and can assess whether lights meet standards and approval authority and council requirements. This is a rare tick of approval from the internationally respected NATA and very difficult to obtain.

Ironbark have also been given the gold-star (well, orange and blue logo) of independence and impartiality. This means we are completely at arm’s length from suppliers. We don’t make lights, design lights, sell lights, maintain lights and do not want to make or sell or maintain lights.

What does this mean for councils?

It means more energy efficient street lighting alternatives. As an Accredited NATA Inspection Body we can facilitate the approvals process much quicker. There is essentially now a clear one-stop-shop for energy efficient lighting technology seeking approval. 

We know from experience that it doesn’t happen overnight. There are no quick fixes and it has taken a decade of negotiation, advocacy, research and nous to get to the stage where cumulatively, Victoria is in the process of rolling out the second largest energy efficient bulk street lighting changeover in the world. (Yep, in the world. Second only to New York City (and closing fast) and streets ahead of the third-placed Los Angeles.)

As an Accredited NATA Inspection Body the approvals process will be further streamlined. 

It also reinforces that we will never push a technology or supplier or manufacturer onto a council. It always has been and always will remain each individual council’s choice to determine which approved technology they wish to purchase and install.

What are the implications for Approval Authorities, Suppliers and Designers?  

Our NATA accreditation has major implications for lighting suppliers and approval authorities as we are now essentially a one-stop-shop for energy efficient lighting technology suppliers seeking approval. As an Accredited NATA Inspection Body Ironbark can now produce NATA-endorsed reports that cover all relevant clauses of AS/NZS 1158.6 as well as assess for the requirements of the approval authorities associated with PLAN.

When Ironbark was assessed by NATA we were found to satisfy the requirements of what is known as a Type A Inspection Body.

This means that Ironbark is “considered completely impartial (i.e. performs third party inspections) and is not linked to any party engaged in the design, manufacture, supply, installation, purchase, ownership, use or maintenance of street lights”.

This means you can simply contact us if:

  • You want to understand which products are of high quality
  • You want to understand the road lighting approval process
  • You want to choose between different products for an installation
  • You want to have your product assessed to AS/NZS 1158.6

Click here for more information, answers to FAQs and relevant contact details or here to read about our road to becoming a NATA Accredited Inspection Body.

* Please note that as of June 2017 Ironbark is no longer NATA accredited.