Thursday, February 16, 2006

Blingin' in Bristol

Ooff! Decking! Fountains! A pedestrian island between St. Augustine's Parade and Colston Avenue in Bristol. The picture was taken over the Christmas period and I'm hopeful that at least part of this lightshow is of a festive and temporary nature.

The blue-white street-lighting on Colston Avenue and St. Augustine's is metal-halide and provides a very high, almost daylight level of illumination. As if this weren't enough, some of the Georgian facades appear to be floodlit with HPS. The decking area features a modernistic collection of uplight/downlight columns. Now, I'm reluctant to slag off any installation featuring white light, but these uplight/downlighters are, I feel, a singularly stupid product of the Design-over-Function mindset. They're probably quite cheap to manufacture, as the lumiere carries no lens and the lamp [compact-fluorescent, I think] sits in a simple cradle atop the pole, shining upwards. The Starship Enterprise diffuser then reflects a portion of this back down again by dint of it's white-painted surface. I'm prepared to be corrected on this, but I bet a fair bit of light still escapes upwards beyond the diffuser. Really though, my main objection here is aesthetic: these lumieres seem to be trying too hard; the design-brief appears to have been Make a Statement whereas, for me, the best streetlighting is that which complements rather than dominates it's environment. Looking at this whole scene, the lighting seems to be used to define spaces in a rather T.V. Makeover kinda way. It has what I believe some call "the wow factor".

But hey, it's still better than the usual HPS/LPS mix. And it makes for an easy photo.

Decking, though...


Post a Comment

<< Home