Synchronized lighting welcomes riverside tourists
Stockton-on-Tees, a town on the River Tees in North East England, is renowned for its restaurants, pubs, and historical markets, which date back to the 1300s. The Tees Barrage holds the River Tees permanently at high tide, making it a popular water-sport destination. Stockton is also the home of the annual International River Festival, considered one of the North East's top summer family festivals.
As part of a £38 million regeneration effort of central Stockton, the Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council commissioned LITE Ltd. to relight the Millennium and Princess of Wales Bridges and illuminate the riverside. The relighting was an opportunity for the town to add dynamic color-changing lighting effects to the popular riverside in time for the river festival. LITE Ltd. partnered with Color Kinetics, the Stockton-on-Tees electrical team, and lighting designer Staintons to relight the area.
The previous lighting system was challenging to maintain, as the metal halide lamps mounted underneath the bridges failed frequently and had to be swapped out by Abseilers, who rappelled down to access the fixtures. The Stockton Borough Council welcomed the opportunity to replace the bridges' unreliable lighting system with a comprehensive LED lighting solution. The long lifetime and reliability of the Color Kinetics fixtures made it possible to bathe both bridges with color-changing light while eliminating the need for frequent maintenance.
The new system allowed Staintons to synchronize the lighting effects playing across the two bridges and the riverside to create continuity within the lit area. Now, color-changing effects reflect on the water of the River Tees, transforming the environment with light.
Bouygues Energies and Stockton-on-Tees electrical team installed ColorGraze Powercore luminaires end to end along the steel girders on the Princess of Wales Bridge, illuminating the side of the structure. The Millennium Bridge is illuminated by ColorReach Powercore luminaires atop columns on the riverbank, which project light onto the bridge's tall beams jutting into the sky. ColorReach Powercore luminaires are positioned at the base of both columns on the pontoon supporting the beams, uplighting them and illuminating the water. Finally, strands of iColor Flex LMX (now specified with iColor Flex LMX gen2) were strung along the banks on both sides of the river, spanning the 547 yards (500 m) separating the bridges. A Pharos LPX controller synchronizes the lighting effects across all the luminaires, providing the unified lighting effect that the Stockton-On-Tees Borough Council envisioned for the riverside.