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Candela Light has been working with Birmingham City Council to refurbish an outdated lighting system in the Edgbaston Canal Tunnel under the supervision of Highways Electrical Asset Team as part of the Birmingham Cycle Revolution project. This project aims to get more people cycling and increase the proportion of cycle trips across Birmingham from less than 2% to 5% by 2023 and 10% by 2033, through the development of a high quality city-wide cycle route network.

The unreliable nature of the lighting assets in the tunnel had been highlighted to Birmingham City Council by a group of stakeholders;  their main concern being that the lack of lighting in the tunnel was causing a safety issue. The tunnel is located on a heavily used canal towpath linking the City Centre and the University of Birmingham residential campus at The Vale, and was considered as a priority for replacement by both Birmingham City Council and the Canal and River Trust (CRT).

The main goals of the lighting replacement project were to upgrade the inefficient and unmaintainable existing tunnel lighting assets, and to replace them with energy efficient units capable of providing a lighting output to create a safe environment for pedestrians and cyclists.

The work was carried out by a local Birmingham based business Candela Light Ltd, who by replacing old, damaged lighting units and replacing existing cabling, have reduced maintenance costs and improved the reliability of the lighting in the tunnel. The works have resulted in a reduction in energy consumption associated with lighting the Edgbaston tunnel and tunnel towpath and have created an environment with lighting that can now be applied to other tunnels and towpaths on Birmingham’s Canal Network

With input from the CRT a solution was developed using 30w LED floodlighting units, supplied by local lighting company Candela. 16No existing 70w lighting units were replaced with 16No 30w LED units.

Gareth Hennessy of Candela Light Ltd said: “Being a local business we are delighted to have worked with Birmingham City Council installing the LED Tunnel Lighting, improving not only safety and security for the residents but making our City more usable for both pedestrians and cyclists.”

Since the completion of the lighting upgrade works in the Edgbaston Canal Tunnel Birmingham City Council has received positive feedback from users of the canal network. The following is a sample of the comments received by Birmingham City Council to date:

“This is an example of how the funding of the Birmingham Cycling Revolution can improve safety not only for cyclists but for walkers and all local residents”

“…..the lighting installation is an intelligently designed, modern system.   As you can see the light is directed to illuminate as far as possible just the path (boats have powerful, engine-driven headlamps), and without causing glare. The previous system wasted power by shining light from the remaining functional luminaires in every direction, including straight into one’s eyes and along the length of the canal beyond the portals.   I understand the new system is LED based, in which case it should have a long, maintenance-free lifespan”

“…..excellent refurbishment works in Edgbaston Tunnel!”

“I was very impressed by the lack of light spill.   When I first approached the tunnel I thought the lights were off!  I also like the way they are in a vandal-proof position but don’t waste energy illuminating the entire tunnel”

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