Smart Lighting Webinar Series for Australian Councils. For Real.

We recently held a webinar on how councils can ensure that funding through the Federal Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure (LRCI) Program stimulus package finds its way to projects that also reduce emissions and cut energy costs. If you missed the webinar, you can now join the 64 councils who attended and catch up on the recording here. If you were there, you would have found out that street lighting is the area where there is the biggest potential to strike while the iron is hot. There are massive opportunities here for your council and things can move quickly. With the guidelines now public we can confirm that yes, street lighting is indeed eligible. This is good news! 

Over the last decade and a bit we’ve provided a lot of free information for councils who are: embarking on their residential LED, major road LED and smart lighting journey; wanting to understand the broader national and international trends that they need to be aware of; working with local government associations and regions in all states to set up bulk procurement and smart lighting programs; and we’ve kept the information flowing on best-practice smart lighting case studies from around the corner and around the world. We’re able to do this because we have worked with nearly every council in Australia who has completed an LED or smart lighting project. (This last article is a little out of date, we’ve now worked with 118 of the 134 but who’s counting!).

>> Cut to the chase and register for Webinar 1: Procuring LEDs – Lessons from Real Projects
>> Cut to the chase and register for Webinar 2: Procuring Smart Controls – Lessons from Real Projects
>> Cut to the chase and register for Webinar 3: Smart Lighting Strategies, Guidelines and Policies for Local Government

Update - Guest Speakers Announced! 

We've now got our first handful of guests confirmed. These are local government and smart lighting leaders and legends who have been involved at the coal face of LED and smart lighting projects, policies and opinions. They will speak from the experience of planning, procuring, designing, advocating and managing hundreds of projects throughout Australia over the last decade. We'll talk to them about what works and what they'd do different - from real experience.

Locked in are:

  • Adam Gray, who has been a local government and sustainability leader for decades working with regional council groupings, the Local Government Association of South Australia and most recently involved in leading the project management of projects for City of Marion, City of Charles Sturt in SA and providing support for dozens more.
  • Josh Salter from City of Greater Geelong in Victoria currently involved in managing one of the largest individual council LED projects in Australian history who can talk of what works and what doesn't when procuring LEDs and smart controls
  • Michelle Van Gerrevink, now at City of Darebin and formerly City of Glen Eira where she was involved in completing Australia's first ever major road LED bulk changeover project incorporating smart sensors.
  • Noel Twyman from Citipower and Powercor who was involved in the first DNSP-approval of LEDs in Australia waaaay back in 2013 that led to the first Australian LED bulk changeover in 2014. He'll give the DNSP point of view and explain how lighting technology is approved and the best way for councils to advocate for new technology and work with asset owners.
  • Theresa Jones from University of Melbourne who is one of the most engaging speakers we've seen for a long time and has provided the most enlightening context on biodiversity and health impacts of lighting at the recent Expotrade Smart Lighting Summits
  • Georgia Palmer from the Local Government Association of Tasmania to outline how Tasmanian councils have worked with other state Local Government Associations, distribution businesses and LED bulk procurement panels to get the best outcome for Tasmanian councils.
  • Tom Walker from SA Power Networks who has been a leading supporter of LED and smart lighting projects in SA and worked with councils throughout the state to deliver trials and can explain how smart controls are approved and installed from the DNSP perspective.

Webinars Webinars Webinars

Of the hundred or so webinars we’ve delivered since 2011, every one has been free of charge for councils. And every one has been based on real projects that we’ve delivered with real councils. The list from the links above is only a smattering, there are 537 local governments in Australia and since we began our journey in 2004, we’ve worked with 260 of them, covering 86% of the population, in every state and territory.

Which is why we chortled a tad when we saw that councils are being asked to pay $500 to watch a series of webinars from the Street Lighting and Smart Controls (SLSC) Programme on how councils can procure LEDs and smart lighting solutions. More so without consulting or working with the team who have, well, worked on nearly every project ever completed and been involved in advising and setting up LED and Smart Lighting procurement panels for local government for nearly a decade. 

SLSC are kind of a competitor of ours but kind of not. We don’t mind amplifying the voices of competitors and industry groups who add value to councils and will happily provide a shout-out to them as per our “grains of salt” in this article last year. But we feel we also need to highlight things that we don’t think you should spend your valuable time and money on. 

Because seriously, who pays for webinars in 2020? And who charges for webinars in 2020? Even before Covid-19 struck, that’s poor form.

So, we’re going to put on a series of free webinars. A month earlier.

Our webinar series will be a little different. It will be based on hundreds of real projects throughout Australia over 15 years! As well as the technical side, we'll explain how procurement practices in local government and with distribution businesses (DNSPs) actually work. In the real world. Based on real projects that have actually been successfully implemented and seen over 500,000 LEDs purchased and installed throughout Australia. Not just theoretical. But for real.

So, we invite you to come along to a series of webinars for councils to ensure you don’t get led down the path of thinking there’s some utopian land out there where councils can procure lights that aren’t approved by DNSPs. Now how many webinars should we put on…? Let’s see… how about three! You can register now and as a bonus we’ll have local government guests who have delivered real projects from all corners of Australia. 

Webinar 1: Procuring LEDs – Lessons from Real Projects (Thursday 30th July)

Ultimately, detailed templated luminaire specifications are rendered pointless and can be boiled down to a page of key requirements that Council can then use to choose a limited number of approved products, depending on the owner of the assets. We’re going to hear from special guests from councils who originally tried to use unrealistic LED specifications that didn’t reflect state based or DNSP requirements. They’ll share how they eventually navigated their way through the real-world situation and are now in the process of delivering large-scale LED projects and they learned a lot along the way.

Let’s avoid this situation and save you a year or so making the same mistakes. In this webinar, we’ll look at:

  • The history of councils purchasing LEDs for different types of projects
  • Understanding procurement policies, local government regulations and risks 
  • How to ensure you’re getting the right price and benchmarking prices
  • How lighting approvals work in the real world.
  • Working through DNSPs approvals processes in each state and DNSP area
  • The new world of procurement for Category V lights and examples from completed council projects and what they’d do differently 
  • Developing specs for open space and council-owned lights that align with the requirements of DNSPs and other stakeholders
  • Lessons from the LGAT-MAV LED Procurement Panels Mark I and Mark II (responsible for around 60% of all LEDs ever purchased in Australia)
  • The only parts of AS/NZS 1158 that are relevant to councils in the real world 
  • Ensuring smooth project preparation, design and management

Special Guests: Adam Gray (City of Marion, City of Charles Sturt, Gray Consulting); Noel Twyman (Citipower and Powercor); Georgia Palmer ( Local Government Association of Tasmania)

: 11:00am-12:00pm AEST Thursday 30th July 2020
Register: Here
Cost: free 

Webinar 2: Procuring Smart Controls – Lessons from Real Projects (Thursday 6th August)

This webinar will have little to do with theory and all to do with practice and experience in the real world. (Sensing a trend here?!). We’re going to bring on 3 council friends who have “been there and done that” to share their experiences. 

As we’ve said before, the SLSC smart controls specs are a great “101 document” for councils and worth reading. Kudos where kudos is due. They can also be very handy for smart metered lighting on council-owned and managed systems where there are no requirements imposed from DNSPs. However, you still need a decent level of understanding of the technology and financial implications before using them. It’s unlikely that most assets or sustainability staff will be able to use them without engaging third party support or consultants. 

When it comes to procuring smart controls for council-owned lights in the real world, you’re better off dipping in your toes in, undertaking some trials and work out what’s best for you. Develop an abridged specification to be provided to a limited number of suppliers. Again, in this webinar, we’ll look at how this plays out in the real world:

  • Smart lighting 101: the key lighting and non-lighting benefits
  • The experience of Australian councils installing smart controls
  • The advice directly from those councils who we’ve worked with on procuring and installing smart controls and what worked and what they’d do differently
  • The latest technology being rolled out in Australia and ensuring you remain future-proofed
  • Installing smart controls on DNSP-owned lights to ensure the best outcomes for councils and communities – the lived experience and why bringing specs to the table is pointless
  • Developing specifications for council-owned assets and the risks in using unworkable specifications that require you to bring in third-party support 
  • The importance of incorporating this within smart lighting strategies and policies 

Special Guests: Josh Salter (City of Greater Geelong); Michelle Van Gerrevink (City of Darebin, formerly City of Glen Eira); Tom Walker (SA Power Networks)

: 11:00am-12:00pm AEST Thursday 6th August 2020
Register: Here
Cost: free

Webinar 3:  Smart Lighting Strategies, Guidelines and Policies for Local Government - With Real Examples (Thursday 13th August)

Oooh this is going to be our favourite! We’re going to look at the importance of overarching public lighting strategies to ensuring existing public lighting assets are managed and maintained. We’ll also discuss how a good strategy can provide guidance to relevant Council staff in relation to product and technology choice, lighting levels and broader requirements. 

  • Smart lighting strategy versus policy versus guidelines – how they all fit together
  • Defining lighting types, the key purpose of guidelines, and how to ensure comprehensive application within a council 
  • Councils responsibilities around lighting
  • Lighting options and practices
  • Installation issues and/or requirements (for example around pole minimisation, existing vegetation or infrastructure, over-lighting, private developments) 
  • How to manage decorative lighting in the context of new developments 
  • A comparison of the existing and adopted Public Lighting Guidelines, Public Lighting Policy and Lighting Strategy from three different councils 

Special Guests: Theresa Jones (University of Melbourne)

When: 11:00am-12:00pm AEST Thursday 13th August 2020
Register: Here
Cost: free 

Special Guests from Real Councils

We work with lighting suppliers and manufacturers every day through smart lighting team and third-party assessments of new technologies for the Public Lighting Approvals Network, or PLAN.

However this webinars will have special guests from councils, not lighting suppliers. We'll talk to the real people involved in getting these real projects off the ground. Like people from the MAV-LGAT Procurement panel, the South Australian Public Lighting Working Group or the Western Sydney Energy Program. For real. 

In fact, we'll even use examples from real projects and bring on real guests - from real councils who have experience in successfully completing real projects, not theoretical documents that councils and DNSPs largely ignore. 

The only challenge for Ironbark will be which of the 260 real councils we've worked with to implement over 1000 real projects to invite as guests. We’ll keep you posted.

Otherwise register now and we’ll catch at the webinars at the special discounted price of, well, zero dollars per council.