This study reconsiders current public lighting design and suggests alternative practices that were determined through a case study involving a main street shopping strip. Using design as an investigative method this thesis seeks to inform and inspire practitioners and decisionmakers by illustrating the possibilities of change. Australian cities are witnessing an unprecedented growth in urban density and if we do not change our thinking, the quality of our urban spaces will not match this growth. Public lighting can encourage evening pedestrian activity and help to revive the street as a social domain. People have emotional and psychological responses to light and thus it is a powerful design tool that influences urban character and amenity. Street lighting can fashion unique identities for neighbourhoods, soften cities and create places that people will want to connect with.