2012 is a big year for London (and the UK) with the 2012 Olympic Summer Games, the Diamond Jubilee and 60 years of James Bond films, so a project was undertaken to update the 117-year-old bridge’s facade. Over six months, a team of lighting designers and electricians strung together some 6,500 feet of energy-efficient LED linear lights, 1,800 LED lamps, and 1,000 junction boxes along with 16,500 feet of cable. Last night, it was turned on for the first time.
The switch was flipped by London Mayor Boris Johnson and this weekend — the Diamond Jubilee weekend — the bridge will gleam in “diamond white” to mark the occasion. Over the next few weeks, in the buildup to the Olympic Games, the bridge will display the Olympic rings as well as the logo for the Paralympic Games.
The new lighting system uses GE architectural LED systems, which are expected to last for over 25 years. The entire display was designed by French firm Citelum, which previously oversaw the illumination of the Eiffel Tower and the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, and the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. To preserve the integrity of the bridge, the LED lights were heat formed so that they would fit over the bridge’s architectural details. GE is one of the main sponsors of the Olympic Games and will provide uninterruptible power generators for the main Olympic stadium as well as a large number charging stations for a fleet of Olympic electric vehicles.