In December 2006 Color Kinetics added another global landmark to its growing list of prominent installations: the British Airways London Eye.
Situated on the South Bank of the River Thames and often called the “Gateway to London,” the London Eye is the world’s largest observation wheel at nearly 450 feet (135 m) high, and is visited by more than 10,000 people daily. It was previously lit by fluorescent tubes that proved costly to maintain, and required the manual installation of gels to produce colored light for special events.
Color Kinetics was approached to replace this system with an LED-based alternative. Approximately 640 ColorCast® 14 units were supplied, installed and programmed by UK-based Architainment Lighting Ltd. and Lighting Technology Projects. Each unit may be individually programmed to generate millions of colors that are seamlessly produced by Chromacore® technology, as opposed to the use of colored gels. This technology gives the London Eye the cost-effective ability to display precise colors for corporate clients and special occasions, while predominantly displaying white light.
“The London Eye has become a 21st Century symbol for Britain, and it’s a thrill to see this long-planned project come to realization. We’ve achieved an ambitious goal in bringing dynamic, visually appealing color to the structure while at the same time eliminating the maintenance costs and requirements of the previous fluorescent system. We’re extremely pleased with the results, and believe Londoners and visitors alike will agree,” said Kevin Dyer, Head of Technical Operations for the British Airways London Eye.
The Color Kinetics-illuminated London Eye is visible from more than a mile away. Because Color Kinetics’ lighting systems are compatible with the industry-standard DMX protocol, the ColorCast 14 units integrate seamlessly with two Pharos LPC2 controllers, enabling the creation of dynamic light shows on demand. The rugged, exterior-grade units incorporate Powercore® technology to directly accept line voltage, eliminating the need for external power supplies and easing installation.