London landmarks highlighted with LED light
When several bridges and waterfront landmarks in London were given a makeover for the summer of 2012, designers turned to the leader in LED lighting solutions’ Color Kinetics. In total, seven bridges and six landmarks were illuminated for various summer events. Color Kinetics supplied LED luminaires for three River Thames bridges: the London Bridge, the Waterloo Bridge, and the Golden Jubilee Bridge.
Lighting designer Paul Cook, who worked on all three bridges, wanted to create a lighting scheme that would be unique for each structure, yet also synchronized every hour to produce a breathtaking light show. He carefully inspected each bridge to devise a way to make them distinctive and coordinated.
The design needed the ability to highlight important occasions. "The colors and patterns of light that I used were strongly influenced by the summer's events, enabling the lighting to link with all other celebratory decoration in both the London boroughs and across the nation," said Cook.
Cook chose LED lighting for a number of reasons. LED lighting enables designers to create custom light shows that are extremely accurate in their synchronization, are cost-effective, and energy-efficient—three very important requirements.
It took a team to make Cook's vision a reality. Cook worked with Architainment Lighting Ltd., a specialist lighting solutions provider who supplied the range of Color Kinetics LED solutions, and who offered technical support for all of the bridges. Technicians at controls provider Pharos Architectural Controls programmed the lighting shows. "Strong back-up enabled the project to be delivered on time to a very high standard," said Cook.
London Bridge was fitted with 36 ColorBlast Powercore LED wash lights—12 on each of the two supporting piers and six on each bank. Four ColorReach Powercore LED floodlights illuminated the arches of the Waterloo Bridge, and two ColorBlast Powercore luminaires lit each of its four piers. ColorBurst Powercore spotlights illuminated the suspension wires and arms of the Golden Jubilee footbridge. Cook used individual Pharos LPC controllers on each of the structures. He programmed the bridges and other riverside landmarks, including the London Eye and the National Theatre which are both lit by Color Kinetics luminaires, to be coordinated and synchronized in their timing. The result—a stunning light show that illuminated the waterfront and the city every night.
Although only intended to last through the summer games, keeping the installations up permanently is currently being discussed. "Although proposed as a temporary project, a closer look at the costs showed that some of the work required could be permanent and so provide a great legacy for this section of the Thames," said Cook.