Outdoor Lighting Policy - Part Five: Celebration and commemoration

A night time photo of Lake Burley Griffin, Commonwealth Bridge, Acton and Regatta Point.
A night time photo of Lake Burley Griffin, Commonwealth Bridge, Acton and Regatta Point.

Events in the National Capital

Events play an important role in fostering awareness and promotion of the National Capital. The lighting of these events can assist in activating the city's public spaces for the enjoyment of residents and visitors. While the impacts of temporary lighting installations need to be carefully considered on the city's urban form and identity, it also provides an opportunity for further expressing and reinforcing these qualities.

Commemorative lighting

Canberra is home to many commemorative works and National Memorials located within its nationally significant areas. Lighting can contribute to our understanding of the character and meaning of these commemorative structures and subjects. The relationship between commemorative works and their surroundings is an important consideration for lighting design.


Policy Objective 5: Provide opportunities for celebration and commemoration through lighting.

Strategies and requirements

Strategy 5a) Ensure that lighting contributes to an awareness of the National Capital through appropriate celebratory or commemorative subjects.

Design requirements:

  • Mark the gateways into the National Capital, the Central National Area and the Parliamentary Zone using innovative road and bridge lighting solutions at key intersections to celebrate these entrances.
  • Define the nodes of the National Triangle during key national or civic celebrations using vertical 'light jets' at City Hill and Russell.
  • Light areas of natural and formal landscape in Commonwealth Park, Kings Park, evergreen trees on the edge of Lake Burley Griffin and other areas where modest and judicious lighting can reveal and explain the topography of the 'amphitheatre' within which Canberra sits.

Strategy 5b) Integrate lighting with commemorative works.

Design requirements:

  • Light commemorative works with individual designs suited to the form of the structure, its location and its commemorative purpose.
  • Minimise the visible impact of lighting hardware in proximity to commemorative works.
  • Ensure that no road, path or area lighting interferes with the lighting of commemorative works, structures or flagpoles.
  • Light flagpoles to heighten their impact when viewed at night, using up-lighting designs that minimise upward light wastage and glare. Consider pole-top mounted full cut-off lighting designs where it will not affect known heritage values.