6 October 2021
Lighting a Pathway with Bollards

Bollards are diverse luminaires that are most commonly used for illuminating pathways. Knowing how to properly specify bollards and utilise the various styles and distributions is crucial in creating a successful and efficient lighting design.

These luminaires are commonly used for Functional Illumination, accompany structured areas such as pathways and defined areas. Their light ranges from unshielded to directed flat beam. With bollards, a graphic and clear form that harmonises with the surrounding architecture is ideal.

Continue reading to learn more about lighting a walking path with bollards, and about how the mounting height, spacing, and light direction of these fixtures can affect the overall design and illuminance levels.

Mounting Height

Typical pedestrian pathways require a lighting design in compliance with the AS/NZS 1158.3.1:2020, with the P Category determined by pedestrian activity, risk of crime and need to enhance prestige. The minimum light level is what dictates how far the fixtures will be spaced: the darkest place between fixtures should never be below the minimum illuminance level.

Due to the nature of light, fixtures with a high mounting height will have a lower illuminance level directly in front of the fixture and will be able to push more light out to the sides. This allows for wider spacing between fixtures.

Fixtures with a lower mounting height produce the opposite: they will appear brighter directly in front of the fixture and will quickly darken out to the sides. This causes a need for more fixtures to be spaced closer together to meet the minimum light level.

In the example below, see how various bollard heights can affect spacing requirements and light levels.



Comparing Bollard Heights

Design Parameters:
Category: PP4 & PP5
Maintenance Factor: 0.8
Luminaire Setback: 200mm
Pathway Width: 3m
Medium Bollard

The medium-sized bollard has a mounting height of 495mm. Here, the required spacing to maintain the minimum illuminance level has increased slightly compared to the small bollards and the distribution is more uniform.

Bollard Used: 84 750
PP4 Spacing: 4.3m
PP5 Spacing: 4.3m


Large Bollard

The large bollard has a mounting height of 945mm. The light between fixtures blends together uniformly and the luminaire spacing is much larger.

Bollard Used: 84 220
PP4 Spacing: 6.3m
PP5 Spacing: 6.3m




When viewed from above, the light distribution of the two bollard examples can be easily compared. The isoline shown on each graphic illustrates where the illuminance from the fixture hits the ground surface. A slight overlapping of these isolines is recommended because light is cumulative: in the overlapping area the light from each fixture is added together. This layout will then meet the minimum illuminance value required on the path.

In public spaces, uniform illumination is an important safety aspect. A typical public pathway will be larger than a residential or private pathway. A larger area will be more balanced and uniformly illuminated when the tall bollards are utilised. Smaller bollards are more commonly used in private environments.

Medium Bollard Aerial View

Large Bollard Aerial View

Directing Your Light

Another important aspect to consider is vertical illumination which is crucial for facial recognition and creating an inviting and safe space. In Example 2, observe how different light distributions can alter a pathway’s illumination and the surrounding elements.


Comparing Light Directions

Shielded Light

The light is directed downwards and is contained in the immediate vicinity of the bollard. The bollard is fully shielded, so there is minimal light output above the horizontal. The light appears the brightest directly in front of the fixture, and quickly darkens out to either side. The resulting effect is a high level of visual comfort, uniform illumination, and maximum glare control.

Bollard Used: 84 415


Wide Beam Light

This type of fixture features a wide distribution: the light is directed out to the sides instead of in front. Compared to the shielded source, this fixture does not appear as bright directly in front of the fixture, but clearly illuminates a much wider area. This bollard is full-cutoff for applications where uplight is restricted. This type of fixture is best for maintaining minimum illuminance levels with the widest spacing.

Bollard Used: 99 058



Unshielded Light

These luminaires distribute unshielded light, which is uniform and best for ambient lighting. These luminaires also offer a high degree of vertical illumination, which is important for the recognition of people as well as architectural and landscape elements.

Bollard Used: 84 310




Luminaire Spacing

Below is an example of how an asymmetric bollard’s spacing is determined. “a” is the luminaire spacing for illumination of a 3m pathway with BEGA 99 853.

Isolux diagrams can be found on all Photometric Summaries, which are located in the Downloads section of BEGA’s product pages.

Design Parameters:
Category: PP4 & PP5
Maintenance Factor: 0.8
Luminaire Setback: 200mm
Pathway Width: 3m
‘a’ Luminaire Spacing: 4.7m

Isolux Diagram Example


77 762 Shielded Light Bollard

Robust bollard with rotationally symmetrical, shielded light. The light is deflected by a reflector and directed onto the surfaces to be illuminated with rotational symmetry and free of glare. A luminaire for the wide-area illumination of footpaths, entrance areas and driveways in private and public areas.

84 602 Unshielded Light Bollard

Unshielded bollards with rotationally symmetrical light distribution. A white synthetic impact-resistant cylinder ensures a uniform distribution of the light. Robust luminaires that can divide up and structure outdoor spaces. They have an orienting, guiding and demarcating function. Luminaires for the illumination of footpaths, squares, gardens and driveways.

77 223 House and Garden Bollard

These luminaires create a pleasant light effect on footpaths, terraces and flowerbeds, as well as in house entrance areas. They evenly illuminate their immediate surroundings with unshielded light. The glass body, made of high-quality three-ply opal glass, distributes the light in an unshielded manner and is optionally available in the shape of a sphere or cylinder.

84 808 Bollard

A new garden and pathway luminaire for the private garden, house entrance and various other lighting applications on pathways and patios. A luminaire that, in addition to its lighting function, can divide and structure outdoor spaces and areas, especially when arranged in groups. Depending on the ambient brightness, it creates an impressive light graphic on the illuminated surface. Cost-effective and durable luminaires thanks to modern LED technology with a warm white colour temperature of 3000 K.

99 326 Unshielded Light Bollard

Unshielded luminaires for illuminating footpaths and entrance areas in the garden and residential areas. In order to meet the various lighting requirements, we can supply these luminaires with light emission on one or two sides. These luminaires are impressive at night with their vertical light surfaces and convincing during the day with their high-contrast design.

77 735 On-Ground Luminaire

Compact on-ground luminaire for the glare-free illumination of ground surfaces from a low mounting height – in the immediate vicinity of the installation location. The luminaires’ flat beam light distribution is particularly suitable for illuminating pathways and entrance areas or delimiting square-like areas.

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