Teams of lighting designers and electricians spent the last six months crawling across the granite ledges and steel suspension chains of London’s landmark Tower Bridge, stringing some 6,500 feet of energy-efficient LED linear lights, 18,000 LEDs, and 1,000 junction boxes with 16,500 feet of cable. There is one thing left to do.
This evening, London Mayor Boris Johnson will turn on the lights to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The bridge will gleam in “diamond” white throughout the weekend for the royal celebration, but the light show’s just beginning. Next up: During the 45 days of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games held in the British capital this summer, the bridge will sport giant Olympic rings and Paralympic agitos symbols.
The new lighting system, which is using GE architectural LED systems, will remain in place for the next 25 years. It replaces a quarter of a century old legacy system and will cut the landmark’s energy consumptions by 40 percent. The French firm Citelum, whose lighting designs illuminated the Eiffel Tower and the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, and the Valley of the Kings in Egypt, built the lighting set up.
The GE LED technology lets Citelum blend many shades of colors of variable intensity. The lights can be “heat formed” to fit a variety of architectural needs and enhance the Victorian gothic turrets, stone towers, and walkways that make this the 117-year old bridge one of the world’s most recognizable sights.
GE, a sponsor of the 2012 London Olympics, partnered with EDF Energy on the project. GE’s support for the games runs from uninterruptable power generators for the main Olympic stadium to advanced medical diagnostic equipment. GE will also provide a large number charging stations for a fleet of Olympic electric vehicles.
Bright Lights, Big City: The new LED lighting for London’s Tower Bridge will be 40 percent more energy efficient than the legacy system it replaced.