Full width banner Why catenary lighting 3320x1000px

Why all lighting designers should consider catenary lighting

June 2019, by Gemma Snelling, Marketing Manager

When designing lighting for public spaces, we are presented with a multitude of options – lumens, colour temperature, power and mounting. Where do you begin? For UK lighting designers, catenary lighting probably isn’t the first thought that springs to mind, but it is gaining in popularity due to its many benefits for the right application.

What is catenary lighting?

catenary - /kəˈtiːnəri/
noun - a curve formed by a wire, rope, or chain hanging freely from two points that are not in the same vertical line.

Fundamentally, it is another method of mounting your lighting, without utilising columns.

Content banner image Catenary lighting 2340x800px

What are the benefits of catenary lighting?

Catenary lighting is gaining popularity in the UK, having been a popular solution in Europe for many years.

Whether you're considering for space saving or for decorative effect there are many benefits to be gained from suspending outdoor luminaires, take a look at our list below:

Reduce (or eliminate!) street clutter

Lighting from overhead increases the footprint usability, free of columns and structural supports, floor space is reclaimed for pedestrians.

Space optimisation

With the restrictions of column mounting removed, designers now have a blank canvas to create more visual interest and maximise a space’s potential by illuminating previously under-utilised areas. Artwork and seasonal decorations can also be incorporated.

Precise, directional lighting – where needed

By using catenary lighting, luminaires can be positioned over the area where the light is needed. As a result, the intensity of the lighting can be reduced to provide excellent uniformity.

Light for interest

Light, as a general rule, is not interesting (controversial I know!). Catenary lighting however is intriguing (perhaps because it’s currently underutilised). It creates visual interest and provides opportunity to add decorations or art, this can help rejuvenate a public space, encouraging people back into the area.

Improved security

Encourage night-time use and perception of a safer environment through improved lighting uniformity.

More economical

Catenary lighting can prevent over lighting a space, which reduces upward light pollution and energy consumption compared to traditional installation methods. For new schemes there is also no capital expenditure for columns or installation costs.

Is catenary lighting right for your project?

You’re probably thinking that catenary lighting is not right for every project, and you would be right. However, there are many applications out there where it should be considered as an option, for example on narrow streets or pedestrianised areas where the priority is regaining public space.

To help you plan a successful catenary lighting project, our design team have put together a handy infographic taking you through the following steps:

  • Defining the purpose
  • Defining the lighting requirements
  • Establishing cable net arrangements
  • Assessing the site conditions
  • Engineering conditions
  • Maintenance planning

Download infographic


Now you have worked out the details and logistics, find out more about Sephora Catenary here >