Each year there are about 200 million crossings over the 15 bridges going to and from London. By 2022, up to 15 of these bridges will be illuminated with LED lighting from Signify, formerly known as Philips Lighting. Signify reported that the Illuminated River Foundation awarded it the contract to reinvigorate the city’s renowned River Thames bridges and further distinguish London as one of the world’s most attractive capital cities.
The company won the contract to supply its Interact Landmark system and Philips Color Kinetics LED luminaires to illuminate the bridges with dynamic, artistic lighting effects. These dynamic lighting effects will be controlled via the central management software. In addition, over a ten-year period following the LED lighting installation, Signify will provide lifecycle services to remotely manage and monitor the connected bridge lighting.
The company points out that the planned project will be the first time central London has adopted a holistic strategy to light up its bridges. The goal of the project is to produce a multi-level visual experience for bridge viewers including pedestrians on the bridges, from London’s riverbanks, tall buildings, from the air, and by boat.
Illuminated River Foundation Leading the Project
The Illuminated River Foundation is leading the project after it ran an international design competition for the lighting design. A design from acclaimed, international artist, Leo Villareal and London architects, Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands won the competition.
Then, following a rigorous evaluation, Signify was awarded the project because of its global size and expertise in lighting and its ability to provide such an important, large-scale, connected lighting project. Another key factor in choosing Signify was the company’s experience of working with lighting designers and architects on managing dynamic, architectural lighting scenes.
Phase one beginning now will illuminate four of the fifteen bridges by mid-2019. So, the world-famous London Bridge, Cannon Street Railway Bridge, Southwark Bridge, and Millennium Bridge will get connected Philips Color Kinetics LED luminaires by the middle of next year.
Also, as part of the project, Signify’s Interact Landmark system will remotely manage and monitor the lighting on all four bridges. For the first time, the Cannon Street Railway Bridge will be illuminated along with both the tops and undersides of the other three bridges. Signify says that the new illumination will facility safety and enable far more extensive, three-dimensional lighting effects to enhance the areas surrounding the bridges.
Five Facts about London’s Illuminated Rivers Project:
Once completed the 2.5 mile-long Illuminated Rivers project will be the longest public art commission in the world, equivalent to 44 football pitches laid end-to-end along 4.5 nautical miles of the River Thames. The Interact Landmark software from Signify will centrally manage the new connected lighting for the artwork.
Signify LED Lighting to be Installed
The installation plan includes more than 22,000 connected Philips Color Kinetics LED light points, capable of displaying over 16 million colors to create dynamic lighting effects on up to 15 London bridges. Also, over the course of the project, 13,000 luminaires will be placed on the 15 bridges. These LED lights will be controlled individually or centrally to create dynamic, unique scenes.
The bridges include the London Bridge; Southwark Bridge; Millennium Bridge; Blackfriars Railway Bridge; Golden Jubilee Bridge, Waterloo Bridge; Blackfriars Bridge; Lambeth Bridge; Vauxhall Bridge; Westminster Bridge; Grosvenor Bridge; Chelsea Bridge; Albert Bridge; Tower Bridge. London has had a bridge on or near the site of the London Bridge since medieval times. Heated pavement on this commuter favorite helps prevent ice during cold spells.
The Millennium Bridge, London’s first new pedestrian bridge for over a century and was designed to provide a “blade of light” across the Thames, linking St Paul’s Cathedral with the Tate Modern and Globe Theatre on the South Bank. In cooperation with Foster & Partners, the designer of Millennium Bridge, Signify will dynamically light the underside of the bridge for the first time, creating additional light to enhance the blade of light across the river.
Rough Energy Savings Estimate
Signify estimates a reduction in 50-70% in the annual electricity consumption for architectural lighting using connected LED technology compared with conventional lighting. The Interact Landmark software will detect and manage faults and perform remote diagnostics and maintenance, thereby enhancing asset management and reducing costs.
“London’s bridges are world-famous but had become overlooked in terms of their potential to transform our capital city at night,” commented Sarah Gaventa, director, Illuminated River Foundation. “What we are doing now, in partnership with Signify to transform the bridges and riverfront, is groundbreaking. We are using dynamic, energy-efficient LED lighting for the first time on up to 15 London Bridges with Signify’s Interact Landmark system to create public art on the largest scale ever seen.”
“Light is one of the most powerful means of breathing new life into leading cities and metropolitan areas, heralding a new era of urban design and beautification. We’ve lit bridges around the world and seen first-hand the positive impact that dynamic architectural lighting has on transforming local communities and economies. It’s wonderful to give the people of London stunningly-lit bridges with some lit up for the first time,” said Maria-Letizia Mariani, President of Europe, EVP, Signify.