Since its opening in 1906, Belfast City Hall in Belfast, Northern Ireland, has been a great source of civic pride and a symbol of Belfast's success. Its traditional Baroque Revival architecture dominates the city skyline, and its beautiful lawns and gardens make it a popular destination for residents and tourists alike. Most importantly, it houses the city's local governing arm, Belfast City Council.
City Hall was one of seven prominent European buildings chosen to be part of a pilot for the recently launched ILLUMINATE program in the European Union (EU). The program's goal is to demonstrate the viability and benefits of solid-state lighting technology through a wide range of applications in cities around Europe, and in so doing encourage the adoption of LED lighting throughout the world. ILLUMINATE gave Belfast City Council partial funding to update the exterior façade lighting of their building with a dynamic LED lighting system.
When planning the lighting upgrade, the City Council soon ran into several technical and budgetary challenges. To run cabling for the new LED lighting system would be cost-prohibitive and exceed the allocated budget. In addition, the historic building is a listed building, with strict rules and regulations around any proposed physical and structural changes, including rewiring. Color Kinetics introduced the City Council to IntelliPower, a solution that leverages existing electrical and physical infrastructures to enable the affordable installation of dynamic, digitally controllable LED lighting systems. By using IntelliPower, the installers were able to reuse the current electrical wiring, reducing the cost of the installation and allowing the Council to stay within budget.
The new LED lighting system is comprised of 433 ColorBurst Powercore, ColorBlast Powercore, ColorGraze Powercore (now specified with ColorGraze IntelliHue Powercore
), and iW Blast Powercore LED luminaires from Color Kinetics. The new system lights the façade with varying shades of warm and cool white light throughout the evening. The City Council can also produce color-changing effects for special occasions, including St. Patrick`s Day, July 12th (Orangefest), Valentine's Day, the Chinese New Year, Polish Independence Day, and Gay Pride Day. The Council estimates that the system will save around $21,000 (£14,000) in annual electricity costs, while reducing annual carbon emissions by almost 200,000 pounds (90 tons) or around half of its carbon reduction target.
"The fact that this new lighting system, while making the City Hall a more attractive and welcoming sight for everyone, will also reduce both our electricity consumption and carbon emissions is a clear demonstration of our ongoing investment in making Belfast a better, brighter, cleaner and more efficient city, today, tomorrow and for future generations," commented the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir.
The Belfast City Hall project was partially funded and made possible by the ILLUMINATE program.