In Asian culture the dragon is a respected creature with the power of rulers and the strength of warriors. The nonthreatening creature is revered for its tradition of bringing prosperity and luck to its people. Rather than cascading from the sky like other Asian dragons, the Vietnamese dragon rises from the water as an impressive symbol of the Vietnamese culture.
The dragon is a treasured cultural symbol in Vietnam, representing good luck and prosperity for the Vietnamese people. When the up-and-coming vacation city of Da Nang commissioned a new bridge, the city's government chose to design and build the structure in the shape of a 2000 ft. (610 m) long dragon. The commissioners wanted the bridge to be lit in a way that accurately depicts the significance of the dragon for locals.
When Philips Color Kinetics was chosen to illuminate the steel structure, the team traveled to Da Nang to speak with the government on ways in which the LED lighting solutions could synchronize to traditional values of good fortune. During that visit, the team learned that the project architect in charge of designing the bridge was based in New York. With the client's permission, the team traveled to meet with the architect to understand the meaning of the structure and engage in the cultural background of the bridge.
Philips Color Kinetics fixtures were carefully tested on a gold surface prior to installation to ensure the bridge glowed a warm golden color.
The team soon faced a challenge: since gold signifies wealth and prosperity in the Vietnamese culture, it was decided that the surface of the bridge would be constructed in a material this color. When an RGB light is projected onto a gold surface, it does not appear as its true color, but rather as a mix of gold and the hue emitted by the fixture. In response, the team thoroughly tested fixtures on a gold surface until the correct colors were found.
The Philips Color Kinetics team made three trips to Da Nang to oversee the design and installation of the lighting system.
Since 2012, Philips Color Kinetics has installed fixtures on two additional bridges: Thuan Phuoc Bridge and Tran Thi Ly Bridge.
Partnering with Philips Vietnam, they collaborated with the locally contracted lighting designer to determine the best fixtures for the main structure of the bridge. After several mock-ups, the team decided to use ColorBurst Powercore LED spotlights. By precisely placing the spotlights on the upper curves of the bridge, the dragon was etched into the sky.
To create a backdrop for the magnificent creature, the team installed a combination of ColorReach Powercore and ColorReach Compact Powercore LED floodlights, with strands of iColorFlex LMX LED nodes. The lighting system was tested in sections to ensure no unpredicted failures occurred at the end of the commissioning process.
The lighting fixtures, which were tested to withstand the constant vibration caused by traffic going over a bridge, were each carefully aimed to ensure the intense light would not be a distraction to commuters. This lengthy process was instrumental in garnering the approval of the government and locals.
Since 2012, Philips Color Kinetics has installed fixtures on two other bridges in Da Nang, the Thuan Phuoc Bridge and Tran Thi Ly Bridge. The combination of impressive architecture and LED lighting has helped attract more tourists to the city, and is helping local businesses to thrive.
Despite the various challenges, Philips Color Kinetics and Philips Vietnam worked with the local lighting designer and project owners to successfully complete the award-winning bridge that will breathe life into the city for many years to come.