Dark sky friendly heritage luminaires for area of outstanding natural beauty

Heritage street lighting on Ryde Esplanade, Isle of Wight

The Victorian charm, high-performance and UK supply chain of Streetcare and Birkdale luminaires create a picturesque setting at the heart of the Ryde Interchange scheme.

The Isle of Wight, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, is renowned for its pristine natural beauty and minimal light pollution, making it an ideal destination for stargazing enthusiasts. However, with only 1% of land in southeast England having a natural dark sky, the Isle of Wight Council recognise the importance of preserving its dark skies. The council aims to reduce light pollution, allowing both residents and tourists to revel in the breathtaking night skies that offer a glimpse into the vast cosmos.

The Isle of Wight Council, together with Island Roads, its PFI partner and its residents and local communities, desire to achieve official Dark Skies status for the island, so this is a top consideration when it comes to any new lighting installation. 

The Ryde Interchange scheme introduces many new elements to encourage sustainable travel through the Isle of Wight’s busiest transport interchange.

The interchange is used by Wightlink’s FastCat service passengers between Ryde and Portsmouth, Hovertravel’s hovercraft flights between Ryde and Southsea, and rail passengers using IslandLine trains. The interchange is also the location of Southern Vectis’ busy Ryde Bus Station.

The project also involved the creation of a dedicated cycleway through Ryde Esplanade, a new taxi rank and other public realm improvements. Here, Road Island’s challenge lay in finding a lighting solution that met the demanding performance standards and retained the area’s Victorian charm and character due to its conservation status.

Key project requirements

  • Limit sky glow with high-performance optics
  • Meet dark sky friendly requirements with warm colour temperature and reduced output
  • Match existing lantern aesthetics to blend with the conservation 

Our Solution

Having previously collaborated on a Dark Skies project in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) to supply gear trays to change the colour temperature of the installation, our commitment to quality and customer service left a lasting impression. We delivered 68 luminaires for the multi-million-pound Ryde Interchange project, creating a well-lit environment along Ryde Esplanade that blended seamlessly with the area’s heritage.

The selected luminaries were chosen to match the styling of the original lanterns and included Streetcare and Birkdale in a warm 3000K colour temperatures to meet dark sky friendly criteria. Streetcare is a compact post top lantern that offers versatile symmetrical and asymmetric photometric options. To cater to the conservation requirements, the lanterns were supplied with pressed “leaf” embellishments, providing a classic heritage appearance. 

Complementing the Streetcare luminaires, Birkdale lanterns are mounted on decorative twin and single brackets, adding to the local charm. Birkdale offers up to 75% energy savings on traditional HID installations.


Both lanterns were compatible with the chosen City Touch CMS, further enhancing the efficiency of the new lighting scheme.

We take pride in manufacturing these luminaires using only the highest quality materials, all sourced within a 40-mile radius of our new factory location.

Scott Burborough, Island Roads’ Electrical Operations Manager, said: “Right from the outset, we were impressed with the quality of Acrospire’s products and customer service.

“Having first supplied 16 light trays to change the colour temperature in a Dark Skies project we have recently completed in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; we were very happy to work with Acrospire on the Interchange project.

“Once again, we were very pleased with the service provided – the character luminaires installed are just the job. It is also important to us that the company uses a sustainable UK supply chain with all components being sourced within 60 miles of their HQ.”

Through our contribution, the Ryde Interchange was illuminated effectively and remained in harmony with its surroundings, adhering to its conservation status. The collaboration exemplified how innovative lighting solutions could coexist with the preservation of natural beauty and dark skies. Our dedication to sourcing materials locally and assembling products at our new factory location demonstrated our commitment to sustainable practices, aligning perfectly with the Isle of Wight Council’s endeavours to protect the island’s dark skies for generations to come.