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Street Lighting Henderson, KY
 

Henderson, Kentucky transforms downtown
with help of prismatic lighting



Historic Henderson, Kentucky has even more to offer visitors than in the past. Recently, city officials applied for and received a grant through Governor Paul Patton’s Renaissance Kentucky program to renovate its downtown Commercial Historic District, which borders the scenic Ohio River. Officials hoped to transform the area into more of an entertainment district with new shops, restaurants and a concert series that would lure more people downtown.

The project involved upgrading sidewalks, redesigning the accessibility ramps for the handicapped and replacing the existing cobrahead lighting system. The city wanted to install historically styled luminaires that closely resembled those used to light the streets during the 1940s.

 

To set the lighting project in motion, Julie Martin, executive director for the Downtown Henderson Project, began researching lighting systems by travelling to various cities throughout the country to examine the systems they had installed. Martin said her travels helped determine what she wanted for Henderson.

“Early on we decided to use luminaires with a glass globe,” she said. “Even though the glass was more expensive initially, we felt that we would be happier with its appearance and performance over the long term. Glass is brighter and cleaner and will not yellow like acrylic.”

Fixtures installed along the tree lined, 100-foot roadways are Madeira® luminaires from Holophane with 175-watt super metal halide lamps. The units are mounted on 12-foot cast aluminum octagonal-shaped Victorian poles.

Because the district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the luminaires selected had to be approved by the Kentucky Heritage Council. To assure the fixtures closely matched those used earlier, the city submitted a number of photographs to Holophane for the company’s designers to study.

“The Madeira luminaires are almost identical to the units used during the 40s,” said Martin. “Because they are historically styled, they complement the buildings in the area, which were constructed during the late 1890s and early 1900s.”

A total of 173 luminaires were installed along First, Second, Main and Elm Streets, with 19 fixtures placed along the riverfront. The luminaires are mounted in the concrete pavers about two feet from the curb. Illumination levels are 2 footcandles maintained.

One of the challenges the city faced in designing the lighting system was preventing light trespass into the windows of the second-story apartments that line the streets. The Madeira units have precisely engineered optics, which prevent the light from shining where it is not needed.

“We have a pedestrian downtown so we wanted to provide sufficient illumination on the sidewalks,” said Martin. “Yet, we did not want the light so bright that residents could not sleep. This was especially important since the lighting fixtures were installed at about the same level as the second floor apartments.”

The single-head luminaires are spaced about 62 feet on center. The units include banner arms with an eyehook at the bottom that allows the city to display triangular-shaped banners. Electrical outlets at the top of each fixture are used to plug in Christmas lights.

“The luminaires are beautiful and provide us with a certain amount of flexibility,” said Martin. “We have heard nothing but praise concerning the lighting from everyone—including visitors. Merchants are saying it’s the best thing to happen to the downtown in a long time.”

The Madeira luminaires, which are controlled by a photocell, are illuminated from dusk until dawn. The city is responsible for maintaining the units and has applied for a grant to install additional fixtures in other areas.



 

 
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