THE TOWN of Hastings on the south coast of England has become the latest town to use light to tackle to tackle a problem area.
Lighting has transformed an unsafe and poorly-lit seaside promenade into a spectacular attraction in the town.
The 1/2 kilometre long Bottle Alley, once a magnet for anti-social behaviour, now draws tourists with a daily LED light show.
The impact of the lighting is such that it’s now being studied by other towns as a cost-effective ‘intervention’ in problem urban areas.
Bottle Alley – which acts as a lower deck promenade – is owned and maintained by Hastings Borough Council who secured external funding to repair the concrete along the length of the alley.
The original lighting was in very poor condition, with much of it in a state of disrepair and non-working condition.
Its historical nature and design meant that it was starting to show its age, and the lighting was seen as something that was so integral to its improvement that the council directly invested in it.
Aware of the impact lighting can have on the space, the council took the opportunity to work with contractors who could share this objective and support its revitalisation.
An innovative string lighting unit with steel framework was designed to withstand the salty coastal location.
Additionally, the lights included a programming facility to enable a daily evening ‘light show’ and to provide interchangeable daily programmes to support specific notable events in the year.
One local resident told Lux: ‘I think it’s going to draw people down here, isn’t it. I mean who wouldn’t want to come and see this, it’s lovely.’
The lighting display will also now support community and borough-wide events, such as the St Leonards Festival and Bonfire celebrations.
The light’s key innovation is the ability to be able to alter the speed, colour and lumen output of each pixel with the additional power to programme each individual LED to music.
This flexibility, combined with its unusual location, and the manner in which the light bounces off the walls and reflects in the sea water, gives a truly unique and magical feel.
- Hannah Brookshaw, regeneration manager of Hastings Borough Council, will discuss the concept, execution and the remarkable results of the lighting installation at Bottle Alley at 10am on Wednesday 14 November at the Safer Cities conference track at the LuxLive 2018 exhibition. The show, which takes place on Wednesday 14 November and Thursday 15 November 2018, and the 10 conference tracks are free. View the full programme of events and register HERE.
Pics: Hannah Brookshaw