Tower Bridge, one of the world's most recognisable landmarks, has been transformed with a new low-carbon lighting system in time to mark the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The new state-of-the-art, energy efficient lighting system will have its first official switch on this evening and then will gleam white this weekend to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Tower Bridge will be firmly in the global spotlight this summer and - thanks to an innovative funding deal reached between Mayor of London Boris Johnson, bridge-owners the City of London Corporation, and London 2012 sponsors EDF and GE - an LED-lighting and cabling system has now been fully installed at no cost to taxpayers.
The new lights brighten up the bridge, enhance its architectural features and replace static lights with bulbs that can vary in intensity and colour, while at the same time cutting energy consumption considerably.
The new lights will take centre stage for during the 2012 Games when Tower Bridge will be fitted with its giant Olympic Rings and Paralympic Agitos for the 45 days of the Games. Passers-by will see the new system being tested over coming weeks ready for spectacular one-off lighting displays during key moments of the Games.
Londoners will enjoy benefits from the deal long after the Games, as the new lighting system will be in place for 25 years. In total 1,800 special energy-efficient LED lights have been fitted, along with 2,000 meters of energy-efficient LED linear lights, 5,000 meters of cable and 1,000 junction boxes. Final planning permission for the project was granted in November 2011 and work began immediately to install the new system.
Tower Bridge, already the world’s most recognisable capital landmark now has a world-class lighting system to suit its status.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “Tower Bridge is already a global icon and this much-loved landmark is now even more spectacular thanks to a world-class illumination system.
“As London gears up for a summer like no other, this fantastic lighting makeover is another example of how the capital is benefiting from the Games. Tower Bridge can now play a starring role in our celebrations, starting off this weekend by being bathed in a stately white light for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
“What’s more, thanks to the commitment and generosity of all the partners, including the City of London Corporation, EDF Energy and GE, this is a lasting legacy for decades to come, achieved with zero price-tag for the taxpayer.”
Phil Marshall, President and CEO, GE Lighting EMEA said: “We are incredibly proud to have been involved with the lighting scheme at Tower Bridge. 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 to the future of Tower Bridge and to London’s sustainability commitments. Furthermore, during London 2012 as part of the overall celebrations, there will be an evening light display every evening at on the Bridge, ensuring those in the city can fully enjoy the new lighting scheme and see Tower Bridge as they never have before."
Vincent de Rivaz, Chief Executive of EDF Energy, said: “As an official partner and the official electricity supplier of the London 2012 Games, it has been a delight to work with the GLA and GE to give Tower Bridge a dramatic makeover. We are proud to be able to help show off London’s most famous bridge over the Diamond Jubilee weekend and throughout the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“EDF Energy powers some of London’s most iconic landmarks with low-carbon electricity, including Tower Bridge. Thanks to its new state-of-the-art lighting, Tower Bridge has further reduced its carbon footprint to become a standout symbol of sustainability, encouraging visitors and residents to live a lower carbon lifestyle.”