As the gateway to one of the main entrance points into the Olympic site, the A118 Road in Stratford has been given a makeover with new feature lighting commissioned by Thames Gateway and Design for London, funded from their Olympic budget.
Although an existing lighting feature had been specified for the site, comprising small catenary mounted LEDs, the clients felt these were too reminiscent of Christmas fairy lights and not sufficiently distinctive to draw the public attention along the high road and up towards the site.
In developing the concept for the new feature lighting the idea of a catenary system was retained but the luminaires radically altered, with suspended glowing globes in a golden yellow colour chosen in order to symbolise gold medals.
The project engineer at the adopting authority, the London Borough of Newham, involved Aquila Design for their specialism in providing bespoke exterior solutions. Aquila advised that in order to achieve the required shade of golden yellow a RGB colour change system was required, and this in turn opened the door to many other possibilities for the clients. During the Olympics the lighting can be used to create a Union Jack pattern if (when!) Britain wins gold. After the Olympics the lighting will continue to be a feature marking important events and occasions, for example green for St Patrick's Day, Pink and Red for Valentine's Day, and festive red and green at Christmas.
The street lighting (supplied by Urbis Lighting) comprises 6 x 13m columns running along the carriageway with twin 140W CosmoPolis lamps in Paseo 600 luminaires that also feature an LED beacon light in warm white. A further 3 x 9m supporting columns were placed along the central reservation. The columns needed to be manufactured in advance to enable ground works completion, and this influenced the size and design of the globes, with the clients and Aquila working together to find the optimum size. Globes of 200mm and 300mm were considered, but finally a 400mm diameter opal acrylic globe was selected. The final system supplied by Aquila Design has 148 glowing globes suspended on stainless steel support cables with full LED colour change capability. The units are controlled by a single DMX controller housed within a feeder pillar on the central reservation, allowing individual control of the LEDs within the globes for scrolling, starbursts, colour fading as well as simple colour selection.
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