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Radar sensors control the lights in Sydney Harbourside Car Park

Lights with in-built radar sensors detect moving cars as far as 100m away at the Harbourside Car Park in Sydney. Photo:

The word radar usually sends a shiver down drivers’ spines. But when it comes to car park lighting, radar sensors can be used to create a more effective presence detection system.

At Sydney’s Harbourside Car Park, radar sensors with radio frequency controls have been incorporated into a set of new LED bulkheads. They can detect cars at a greater distance than microwave sensors and send a radio frequency signal to lights in standby mode, which then turn on to full output.

‘Traditional microwave sensors detect movement from about eight metres away, but if a car is moving at say around 20 kilometres per hour, by the time the light turns on, it’s 30 metres ahead,’ explains Enlighten CEO Steve Cahill, who supplied the new luminaires.

‘The main carpark driveways are 200 metres long and cars can move relatively quickly, so the sensor in the fixture ensures lights are turned on 100 metres away, resulting in drivers having good visibility well ahead of the vehicle.’

The upgrade to the carpark, which is owned by Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority and managed by Wilson Parking, included replacing the outdated 400w metal halide lighting with Enlighten’s Chamaeleon LED bulkhead fixture in all areas and Cetus LED low bay lights in car park entries.

The four level carpark also had light sensors installed along the external perimeter of the car park, which automatically switch lights off on detection of natural daylight. This has halved the lights’ operation from 24 to 12 hours.

Overall, the installation has resulted in a 76 per cent reduction in energy consumption.