Howrah Bridge (Rabindra Setu), the lifeline of the culturally affluent city of Kolkata, is the sixth-longest cantilever bridge in the world. An engineering marvel at the time it was commissioned in 1943, the bridge stretches 655 m (2,150 ft) over the Hooghly River and carries over 100,000 vehicles daily between Kolkata and Howrah. Synonymous with West Bengal’s identity, the bridge’s storied past is of great significance to the residents of Kolkata and its magnificence attracts many tourists from around the world every year.
The attention Howrah Bridge draws means that the iconic structure must always be in its best form and condition. Kolkata Port Trust requested an upgrade of the bridge’s existing lighting system from conventional light to LED to reduce energy usage, maintenance costs, and create dynamism. The new lighting system was intended to reinvent the landmark and elevate an ancillary location, Millennium Park, 2 km (1 mi) away, as its viewing deck. This meant that while the lighting control was located at the bridge control room, the sound equipment was placed in the park. Both systems needed to operate in sync for an exceptional viewing experience. Kolkata Port Trust sought to transform Howrah Bridge into a tourist destination that would come alive with a light and sound show at a pre-determined time every day.
A lighting system with 650 dynamic colored LED light points, including Color Kinetics ReachElite IntelliHue Powercore and Color Kinetics ArchiPoint iColor Powercore, was selected to illuminate the structure’s impressive architecture due to their precise beam angle, color consistency, high CRI, and reliability. The luminaires can produce 16 million colors and switch between hues in less than 0.01 seconds.
This installation features programmable light shows that can be synced with music, making it attractive for tourists and residents during the evening hours. It provides greater flexibility to display multiple lighting scenes, including a daily scene, a special weekend scene, festival scenes, and the freedom to design new scenes for social messaging on a variety of relevant occasions. Color Kinetics Light System Manager controls and manages the various light shows and Color Kinetics Data Enabler Pro supplies power and data to the system.
The Color Kinetics lighting system reduced CO2 emissions from 101.905 kg CO2e to 37.304 kg CO2e. Moreover, energy efficiency improved by 63%, leading to significant average annual energy cost savings of 2.6MN INR.