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Technical environment

Technical environment

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Correctly illuminating bridges, ,

Bridge lighting

Public & Outdoor – correctly illuminating bridges

Bridges are not just functional structures that span rivers or barriers. Bridges also frequently function as landmarks. Properly illuminated, they characterise the night-time appearance of a town, city or an entire region. High quality lighting is important in such applications to appropriately highlight the architecture and also to create an attractive environment for pedestrians in the dark. Different bridge constructions such as girder bridges, cable bridges or historical arched bridges require their own lighting concepts. ERCO LED outdoor luminaires with up to seven different light distributions offer designers a wide range of creative freedom. In all situations, robust luminaires for outdoor use are needed that can withstand adverse weather conditions, that can be mounted flexibly, and that require little maintenance so that they can be used even in hard-to-reach places. We show you which ERCO outdoor luminaires are suitable for the illumination of bridges and give you tips for perfect bridge lighting.

Correctly illuminating bridges

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Lighting bridges perfectly: what you should know

Correctly illuminating bridges

Accentuate, floodlight or design with grazing light: select the right light distribution

ERCO offers LED outdoor luminaires with up to ten different light distributions. The selection ranges from very narrow to wide distributions. With narrow distributions such as narrow spot (approx. 8°), very slender bridge details such as wire cables and pillars can be illuminated with accent light. Light distributions such as oval flood (approx. 20° x 60°) or extra wide flood (approx. 90°) are particularly suitable for illuminating larger areas. Special grazing light wallwashers enable you to emphasise surface structures through strong shadows. Grazing light is particularly effective on historical trussed bridges with interesting surfaces and reliefs. ERCO's high quality optics enable you to achieve maximum illuminances on the target surface via precise LED technology, even with low wattages.

Correctly illuminating bridges

How to use light colours correctly

Using light colours correctly aids the perception of different materials with bridges. Warm light colours such as 3000K are suitable for warm-toned materials such as wood, as found in trussed bridges. For cooler surfaces like steel or concrete, as used for cable bridges, we recommend cooler light colours such as 4000K. RGBW luminaires for coloured light are suitable for scenographic bridge lighting concepts, with wide flexibility ranging from saturated to pastel colours.

Correctly illuminating bridges

Illuminate from any location

Extreme heights, difficult to reach places and minimum space: bridge architecture can be a challenge when installing luminaires. Robust ERCO projectors for outdoor use with numerous mounting options enable almost any lighting concept. No matter whether you want to install projectors onto the girders of a trussed bridge, to the high pylons of cable bridges or on the ground – ERCO offers suitable mounting options. ERCO outdoor luminaires require very little maintenance. The LEDs we use have an average failure rate of less than 0.1% over 50,000 operating hours – a value above the market average. This makes them perfect for mounting sites that are difficult to access, and you can expect economical and trouble-free operation.

Correctly illuminating bridges

Setzen Sie auf verantwortungsvolle Beleuchtung

Sustainable lighting solutions for ecologically exemplary applications are particularly important for bridge lighting. The night sky as well as flowing water below bridges should be kept dark and free of spill light to avoid harming the ecosystem. ERCO lighting tools make a significant contribution to this thanks to their high-precision optics and excellent glare control. They direct the light to exactly where you need it – without spill light. To completely avoid light pollution, we recommend that you make sure to correctly align the luminaires so that no light shines into the night sky. ERCO luminaires are aligned very easily and are freely adjustable. The right brightness also helps to protect the environment. This is why our luminaires for outdoor applications are dimmable. In this way, ERCO outdoor luminaires help to bring together the needs of people, animals and plants at night.

Correctly illuminating bridges

Ensure good visual comfort for pedestrians

Balanced lighting is important for safety reasons alone. Drivers and pedestrians must not be exposed to glare from the illumination of roads and footpaths or from architectural lighting. Pedestrian bridges should be illuminated uniformly bright and with soft contrasts. This allows pedestrians to move safely and quickly grasp their surroundings. ERCO luminaires with oval distribution illuminate routes and paths to particular advantage with softly diminishing light beams. ERCO luminaires also feature excellent glare control and thus ensure maximum visual comfort. In the case of bollard luminaires and surface-mounted luminaires, ERCO Dark Sky technology prevents light from escaping above the horizontal plane – the light is guided solely onto the ground. Because the optic is concealed, neither pedestrians nor drivers are dazzled by glare.

Correctly illuminating different types of bridges

Correctly illuminating bridges

Girder bridges

A girder bridge is a bridge with one or more beam supporting structures that enables different lighting concepts. Wide-area lighting with high lumen-output uplights makes the substructure visible to pedestrians at night and, if the surface is bright, can also serve as general lighting for pedestrian underpasses. Narrow light distribution along the bridge girders, on the other hand, highlights the architecture.

Correctly illuminating bridges

Suspension bridges

Suspension bridges often cover enormous distances and are perceived as regional landmarks simply because of their dimensions. To illuminate them appropriately and prestigiously is of great importance. Variations in design are manifold, ranging from accent lighting of the cables to planar lighting of the pylons.

Correctly illuminating bridges

Arch bridges

Arch bridges offer exciting design possibilities. On historical masonry for example, grazing light emphasises the surface structure. Projectors with narrow distribution accentuate important architectural details. Ground washlights illuminate accessible areas for pedestrians.

Example lighting and arrangement of luminaires

Pylons can be strikingly highlighted by positioning projectors with very narrow distributions close to the surface to be illuminated. A form of grazing light is created and the pylons become visible from a distance. A slight inclination of about 10° towards each pylon is recommended so that no spill light shines into the sky.
Arrangement: α = 10°


Projectors with an 8W LED module and narrow spot light distribution are suitable for illuminating a 30m high pylon. The luminaire is positioned directly next to the pylon to achieve a grazing light effect.

Outdoor luminaires with various light colours

Correctly illuminating bridges Correctly illuminating bridges

In addition to 3000K and 4000K colour temperatures, ERCO outdoor luminaires are available in four further spectra on request. With 2700K and 3500K as well as further colour rendering indices, an exciting diversity is at your disposal. For scenographic lighting, ERCO projectors, floodlights and wallwashers with RGBW always offer the right light colour for your next bridge project.

Technical features

Correctly illuminating bridges

Suitable for adverse weather

Outdoor luminaires are specifically developed to meet the requirements for lighting in urban environments. The housing is made of corrosion-resistant material and is therefore especially weatherproof. The no-rinse surface treatment ensures a reduced dirt deposit. All ERCO outdoor luminaires have at least an IP65 protection rating, making them dustproof and protected against jets of water from all directions.

Correctly illuminating bridges

Mount anywhere

Whether on the ground, on facades or high masts – projectors enable you to design flexibly. Find suitable accessories for any mounting situation – for example on cross-arms, ground stakes or mast clamps. We offer projectors with corresponding connection threads for mounting to on-site G1/2 threaded holes.

Correctly illuminating bridges

Quality of light with precision

ERCO luminaires project their light via highly efficient lenses. This creates precisely defined beams of light without spill light. With a 6 watt LED module and spot (15°) light distribution, they still achieve an illuminance of 50lx at a distance of 10 metres.

Correctly illuminating bridges

Robust in­ground housing

Corrosion-free in­ground housings mean the ground-recessed luminaires can be walked on and driven over. Both covered and flush recessed versions are available.

Correctly illuminating bridges


"ERCO individual" offers extensive options for the customising of product ranges:

Suitable luminaires for illuminating bridges

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