Images of Canberra – A lava lamp or Telstrayama?

johnboy 28 September 2009 29

[First filed: July 07, 2009 @ 10:01]

Over the last few weeks I’ve been thinking I should get out of a frosty night and try to get a photograph of Black Mountain Tower with its new party lighting scheme.

Fortunately Kako Si has been kind enough to send in her photos.

From what I’ve heard they’re testing a coloured lighting rig for special occasions and it will soon be returning to classic white.

Perhaps the NCA could usefully formulate a protocol for coloured buildings?

Got an image of Canberra you want to share with the world? Email it to

UPDATED: By special request of the drunks at the party I was at on Saturday night (and the very best sort of drunks they were!) here’s a poll on how you all want the lighting used:

Parti-Coloured Telstrayama

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29 Responses to Images of Canberra – A lava lamp or Telstrayama?
harley harley 1:31 pm 17 Jul 09

Friska said :

They should make the lights glow RED *giggles*

I don’t get the giggle. It’s been red all this week.

Unless you’re making a yama influenced joke…

Friska Friska 12:45 pm 17 Jul 09

They should make the lights glow RED *giggles*

Wraith Wraith 12:10 pm 17 Jul 09

Looks awesome, should be more of it in Canberra.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 12:10 pm 17 Jul 09

Thanks for that info carmick.

carmick carmick 10:58 am 17 Jul 09

Aparently Raine & Horne Commercial Canberra in conjunction with Telstra completed the Black Mountain Tower external lighting project. There is a brief summary of the project below.

In the past the external tower lighting was manually turned on at dusk by the on site security and manually turned off at midnight.
During 2008 it was decided to reduce the external lighting hours from dusk to 10pm really as a ‘token’ power saving initiative.
An investigation was conducted into alternative lighting methods during 2008 with an emphasis on power saving, reduced maintenance costs and the ability to control the lights by some other method.
Approaches were also continually made by various organisations regarding changing the colours of the lighting (world diabetes, breast cancer awareness etc.) so this was also taken into consideration.

The consultation process started in July 08 when Raine & Horne Commercial Canberra approached Affinity Electrical Technologies to better illuminate Black Mountain Tower with the possibility of using colour changing lighting.

Raine & Horne Commercial gave Affinity Electrical a very broad brief to illuminate Black Mountain Tower with the following scope:

· Significantly reduce the amount of power consumed to illuminate the Tower

· Reduce the maintenance on the light fittings, due to the difficult access issues

· The ability to change colours for special events, due to access issues it needs to be changed remotely and a lighting control program installed to manage lighting run times. Unlike other institutional buildings in Canberra that regularly change colours, Black Mountain Tower, by nature has access issues that the others buildings don’t have including height, positioning and exposure to elements.

The system chosen was manufactured by Show Technology in particular their ArchiLED products. Information regarding the installation is:


Previous power consumption

· 8 x 400watt fittings = 3200watts

· 8 x 1000 watt fittings = 8000watts

· 4 x 400watt light fittings = 1600watts (further saving – July 2009)

New power consumption

· 18 x 150watt light fittings = 2700watts

LED Lamp life = 50,000 hours

The lighting is still in the testing phase but when fully commissioned there will be further information posted on the Black Mountain Tower web site in the near future

Has anyone got any ideas how the lighting should be used in the future???????

s-s-a s-s-a 9:51 am 12 Jul 09

I hope they keep it going, the traditional white was getting a little boring, and the idea of having a large tower changing colour ever few minutes does seem kinda cool.


Saw it last nite for the first time. Very cool!

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 11:46 am 09 Jul 09

kakosi said :

Thanks – I have it in a few more colours on my flickr pages.

Some really cool photos there, nice work!

Roma Roma 10:48 am 09 Jul 09

Im a fan of the lighting but we nearly veered off the road heading towards civic a week or so ago because we were watching it change colour lol.

CapitalK CapitalK 12:21 pm 08 Jul 09

Deckard said :

CapitalK said :

who is Mal?

Malcolm Fraser I’m guessing.

Yeah – sorry, I should have taken a moment to think, or at least let Google think for me

Thumper Thumper 12:15 pm 08 Jul 09

I love the old space needle, it looks awesome on slightly foggy winter nights.


I think the lights looks beautiful!!!

Nambucco Deliria Nambucco Deliria 8:55 am 08 Jul 09

Deckard said :

CapitalK said :

who is Mal?

Malcolm Fraser I’m guessing.

Surely Mal Meninga?

Deckard Deckard 7:19 pm 07 Jul 09

CapitalK said :

who is Mal?

Malcolm Fraser I’m guessing.

martyo martyo 5:49 pm 07 Jul 09

is that so junkies can’t find it?

kathysav kathysav 5:06 pm 07 Jul 09

I really like the lighting – fits in with the war memorial etc.

toriness toriness 2:21 pm 07 Jul 09

harvyk1 said :

I hope they keep it going, the traditional white was getting a little boring, and the idea of having a large tower changing colour ever few minutes does seem kinda cool.

same – and same for all the other buildings that are lit up in colour for ‘special occasions’ – make them pretty colours all the time!

CapitalK CapitalK 1:34 pm 07 Jul 09

who is Mal?

jennybel75 jennybel75 1:13 pm 07 Jul 09

Yes for the humour, but as I’m sure you know it’s called Black Mountain – the tower is the only part that has a link to Telstra

Yes, I do know it’s actually called Black Mountain, but thanks for the clarification for those who might have forgotten/ been confused/ have no sense of humour.

ant ant 12:56 pm 07 Jul 09

It looks a bit like the statue of Liberty’s torch with that lighting.

Back when it was built (amid outcry at teh desecration of a hilltop) it was known as Mal’s Needle but that name fell into disuse.

kakosi kakosi 12:34 pm 07 Jul 09

Speaking of names – it has a website but nothing on it to explain the Psychedelic colour show.

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