Feature Lighting for Heritage Lyttelton Timeball

feature lighting

Nexa are very proud to have played our part in the award winning feature lighting of the rebuilt Lyttelton Timeball, which helps creates stunning evening viewing of the restored iconic tower.

History of The Tower

Pre-radio visual signals were important features of any port so that ships and the shore could communicate. The Lyttleton Timeball Station stood proud on the harbourside with the ball dropping from its mast on its stone tower, signalling the time to ships in Lyttelton Harbour.

It was a rare piece of maritime history, which was sadly, significantly damaged in the Darfield Earthquake on 4 September 2010, and damaged beyond repair in the event of 22 February 2011.

The earthquakes reduced the building to rubble.

The Rebuild

“While the dust settled, workers numbered the tower’s stones and stored them in crates, and plans were devised to fund and re-erect the tower. A full rebuild of the complete Timeball Station was simply not possible, but with so much of the building’s fabric retrieved, recorded and stored, we were able to rebuild the tower, let the timeball rise again, and put back the flagpole. The plan was ambitious and unique – a heritage building like this has never been rebuilt in New Zealand.

The $3 million project got underway in July 2017, with the timeball itself hoisted into place in late June 2018.  Proudly reopened on 2 November 2018 with landscaped grounds have been landscaped to create a pleasant spot for relaxing, catching harbour views, watching a busy port and allowing this landmark and its maritime and human history to live on. ” Heritage New Zealand

The tower was reconstructed in the style of the original stonemasonry, complete with a newly coated zinc timeball painted in its original colours.  The timeball itself drops at 1pm each day.


Jon Whitlow from Nexa partnered with Award Winning Kevin Cawley of Total Lighting Ltd to install the electrics for the new lighting.

The feature lighting makes for stunning evening viewing of the tower against the night backdrop.

This lighting has now gone to win two awards for Total Lighting Ltd:

Lighting Design | Award of Excellence | Protecting the Night Environment from Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand (RASNZ)

Lighting Design: Total Lighting Award of Excellence | IES The Lighting Society

Great to be part of a project that restored such an iconic heritage building in Christchurch. Look out for this Victorian piece of engineering next time you’re heading into Lyttleton.


feature lightingfeature lightingfeature lighting

feature lightingfeature lightingfeature lightingfeature lighting .   feature lighting