Retrofit handrail lighting for Stratford-upon-Avon

In 2009, Stratford-on-Avon District Council completed a £3m landscaping revamp of Bancroft Gardens, located on the banks of the River Avon: a 25-mile-long canal completed 200 years ago to transport coal and now a beautiful rural waterway, haven for local wildlife and popular leisure destination.

The project included a new foot and cycle bridge and vantage point across the lock where the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal joins the River Avon. Fast forward ten years however, and the council faced a decision.

Faced with the existing competitor solution failing – did they replace the illuminated handrail or retrofit a new lighting system into the existing installation?

Adapting circular economy principles, they opted for the latter.

Key Project Requirements

    • Retrofit new LED lighting pods to replace existing failed handrail lighting: a direct 1:1 replacement
    • Breathe new life into the otherwise structurally sound footbridge
    • Guide pedestrians and cyclists along the bridge and stairway, without disrupting local wildlife
    • Full turnkey solution – including initial site survey to final install and commissioning

Our Solution

Working with project lead Exterior Lighting Solutions and contractor Hi-lite Electrical, we installed 100 x 1W 4000K LED power pods into the 3mm thick stainless steel handrail.

Using high-efficiency LEDs and optics to achieve maximum uniformity and a comfortable light across the bridge floor. For emergency lighting, 6 x 60W Osram drivers were integrated to guarantee light in the event of a single circuit failure.

Given the previous failure, Stratford-on-Avon DC wanted a solution that would last with minimal LED degradation. We recommended driving the pods at just 350mA; putting minimal stress on the LEDs and drivers to guarantee optimal lifespan.

The bridge’s handrail was designed with a sweeping curved profile, which is often challenging when retrofitting LED modules. However, not for our solution, which is designed to integrate into various configurations, including wooden and spiral staircases, and was therefore radiused to match the existing handrail diameter.

As the ultimate aim was to provide light to guide pedestrians and cyclists along the bridge and stairway yet without disrupting the natural habitat of species who call the river home, precision control of the light distribution was a must.

To achieve this our LED pods used a 70-degree beam angle. The result is a sharp cut-off with zero spill light onto the river and with the light directed to the bridge floor – minimal obtrusive light.


‘The lighting pods provide uniform light to the bridge floor, adding interest to the structure while keeping the structural integrity intact. Not only was the delivery quicker than expected, but Acrospire also supplied a tool for us to use on site, simplifying the installation and making it look as intended.’
Ian Higgins
Managing Director - Hi Lite Electrical

‘With natural resource scarcity on the rise and local government budgets squeezed we were very conscious of trying to reuse and recycle, where possible. There are so many LED handrail manufacturers on the market now, yet it was surprisingly difficult to find a supplier that could work with us around our existing handrail. Acrospire was the only manufacturer we came across who could supply an alternative light projector that could be retrofitted without any modification to the rail.’
Tim Berrick
Project Officer - Stratford-on-Avon District Council

Featured Product - RailLight

We’ve designed our handrail lighting system to be as simple to specify (and install!) as possible.

From initial consultation and lighting design through to on-site installation, we’re here to support you through every step of your handrail lighting project.