GE Lighting illuminates London's Tower Bridge

After a major refurbishment involving GE Lighting, the stunning architectural details of London's iconic Tower Bridge will be clearly visible at night for the first time in its 118-year history. The new lighting scheme was specifically developed to enhance the aesthetics of the bridge and ensure an energy efficient lighting scheme was in place.

The creation of architect Sir Horace Jones and civil engineer Sir John Wolfe-Barry, Tower Bridge is arguably one of London's most famous and widely recognised landmarks. It took eight years to complete and was officially opened on 30 June 1894 becoming the only crossing for the Thames at that time. The extensive restoration and refurbishment of Tower Bridge has been completed in time for the London Olympics 2012 and the Queen's Jubilee celebrations.

The new lighting scheme was integral to the overall project and as a listed monument, required detailed planning to ensure the aesthetics of the bridge were not altered but merely enhanced. As such, a range of contemporary LEDs from GE Lighting are now illuminating Tower Bridge.

More than 2 km of GE Lighting's Tetra Contour architectural LED lighting has been installed on the stone and metal work of the bridge. Supplied in 2.44 m lengths, it takes the form of a flexible LED light engine that can be moulded on site to fit the shape of architectural features. Controls have also been installed enabling the mood of the lighting to be changed to suit different occasions.

GE Lighting's 90W LED Floodlights, together with other lamps and fixtures, have also been installed on and around Tower Bridge, as direct replacements for the old and inefficient system.

Also as a London 2012 Sustainability Partner, a key objective of the new lighting scheme was to help improve energy efficiency.

"We are incredibly proud to have been involved with the lighting scheme at Tower Bridge," explained Phil Marshall, President and CEO, GE Lighting EMEA. "The combination of architectural and floodlight LEDs were specified to help reduce the energy used to light the bridge by up to 40 % compared with the previous system. As a London 2012 Sustainability Partner and London 2012 sponsor, GE is excited to have successfully contributed the future of Tower Bridge and to London's sustainability commitments."

"Furthermore, during the London 2012 Olympics as part of the overall celebrations, there will be an evening light display every evening at 21.00pm for 15 minutes on Tower Bridge, ensuring those in the city can fully enjoy the new lighting scheme and see Tower Bridge - as they never have before."

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, 2012, said of the project: "This city is going to be watched by the world and this grand old lady of London, one of our best loved landmarks, is now set to play a sparkling role in the celebrations. But what's more, this is another lasting legacy for stemming from the Games which will benefit the city for decades."

Interesting facts about the Tower Bridge relamping

Tower Bridge was last relamped with spotlights 25 years ago

The once-in-a-generation lighting makeover of Tower Bridge will reduce energy consumption by 40%

The City of London Corporation owns Tower Bridge and commissioned global lighting experts Citelum to design the scheme, whose other work includes Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower

The project comes at no cost to the taxpayer. GLA and Mayor Boris Johnson helped to coordinate ensuring it contributes to the London 2012 Olympics as well as the Queens Jubilee celebrations

The cost of the upgrade is being supported by EDF and GE, both sustainability partners of London 2012

Bridge owner, the City of London Corporation contributed £400,000, towards the works from its ancient Bridge House Estate fund that pays for the five City bridges.

Features such as the gothic turrets, windows, the central aerial walkway and the suspension chains have been picked out in colours, whose shades and intensity are for the first time, variable.

As Tower Bridge is a listed bridge, the modern LED equipment is less intrusive and can be installed more sympathetically.

8,270 meters of new electrical cable has been installed, along with 1,750 metres of control cabling for the LED projectors.

Tetra Contour has been installed on the bridge and is comprised of a flexible LED light engine and a rigid, optically diffused light guide that can be heat formed to fit a variety of architectural needs.

For high resolutions photos of the newly lit Tower Bridge, click here.

For more information, please visit the official London Olympics website of GE.

PDF files of this material are also available: download the Fact Sheet and the official Press Release here.

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