• Tim Cosgrove

Connected smart LED lighting illuminates London's bridges

WiFi technology has been used to control connected smart LED's on an initiative to illuminate the capital's fifteen bridges.

The Project Illu­mi­nat­ed Riv­er is an ambi­tious, new pub­lic art com­mis­sion which will trans­form the cap­i­tal at night, light­ing up to 15 bridges on the Riv­er Thames.

Once com­plete, it will be the longest pub­lic art project in the world, seen over 130 mil­lion times each year dur­ing its 10 year lifespan.

Conceived by internationally-acclaimed artist Leo Villareal and British architectural practice Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, and delivered by the Illuminated River Foundation, the artwork has been sensitively developed, paying attention to heritage, wildlife and the built environment to create something exceptional – a transformation that celebrates the role that the Thames bridges play in the enduring global identity of London, and encourages people to enjoy the river and riverside at night.

The realisation of the project has involved a unique collaboration of London’s creative talent, statutory bodies and local communities and will leave a lasting legacy for the capital in the form of a dynamic public artwork, refocusing and celebrating the Thames bridges as social, historical and architectural landmarks.Illuminated River is a beacon of London’s creativity, ambition and spirit, free and accessible for all to view. Apart from an initial investment of £250,000 from the Olympic Reserve towards the costs of an international competition to light the bridges, Illuminated River is funded through philanthropic sources, and will continue to seek the balance from private sources rather than the public purse.

The Illuminated River will give London free art. The project also means that a wasted asset and wasted resource will now be used. The team had thought through how the project is sustainable, how it will be energy efficient and use less energy. Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London Animation of artist Leo Villareal’s final design concepts for the 15 bridges. This animation focuses on the artistic concept and is not an accurate representation of London at night and omits street and footway lighting on the bridges and navigation lights. View the shortlisted entries for Illuminated River's initial competition to light London's bridges, which attracted over 100 submissions from artists across the world.

The project is delivered by the Illuminated River Foundation. The wider project team combines the expertise of numerous companies, including:Atelier Ten Beckett Rankine Core Five Iceni Projects London Wildlife Trust Montagu Evans MSA Price & Myers Temple Group FM Conway Jackson Coles Thompson EC RNLI Soure: Illuminated River Foundation

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