Philips LEDs light Snow Castle and Chelsea Bridge

Feb. 13, 2006
Philips Lighting has supplied LED fixtures for two distinct architectural landmarks: a snow castle in Finland and a bridge in London.

LED fixtures from Philips Lighting are being used in the famous SnowCastle at Kemi, Finland, not far below the Arctic Circle.

Snow castle

New LED Modules are employed in corridors, the restaurant and the bar, as well as to light ice sculptures and details such as doorways. The low operating temperatures of these devices is the key to success in an environment that could readily melt with a hotter source.

Castle Manager Marika Tomminen said that the main theme for 2006 of "snow, ice and fire" was quite challenging. "Fire is colourful and we need strong colours to compensate the whiteness of the snow." For example, corridor lighting required "fire baskets" with "branches" and Philips' LED Modules inside.

Ice sculptures in the corridors have been lit from within for the first time. "In addition to providing excellent lighting effects throughout, the Philips Lighting scheme allows us to properly light our fantastic ice sculptures using the LEDs. Previously, this was not possible using conventional lighting, as the high temperatures would have melted the sculptures," said Marika Tomminen.

In the bar and the restaurant, LED combinations provide cool blue general lighting, slowly changing from morning blue shades to a quick dynamic fading in and out of primary colors in the evening. DMX controllers have been used in the main restaurant to provide a Northern Lights effect on its ceiling.

"The LED Modules are ideal for the SnowCastle because of the low heat requirement, and the Modules' high IP classifcation - ideal where there is a danger of water ingress. In addition they are easy to use and offer design flexibility," said Philips European Marketing manager Marc Passet.

Spanning the Thames, Chelsea Bridge is among the most decorative of London's crossings and links the district of Chelsea in the north with Battersea in the south. To show the bridge to its full potential, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea were keen to adopt the latest lighting technology.

A tailored Philips lighting solution using LEDline2 in combination with Decoflood was installed to enhance the architectural detailing.

The main challenge for the lighting design put forward by Atkins Odlin was to provide sufficient contrast between the upper and lower sections of the bridge, thereby reducing the dominant illumination of the arches.

This was achieved by giving emphasis to the handrail using bespoke LEDline modules. In all, some 238 modules, each measuring 1.2 metres in length, were installed by Proctors Electrical in conjunction with the main contractors, Conway.

Chelsea Bridge

Sealed for life, the IP65 module can be fixed to uneven surfaces by a single universal bracket, ensuring maximum flexibility in mounting and aiming. Thus it provided the versatility to allow the light to underline the balustrade along its entire length. Incorporating a secondary optic to spread the light further, cool white modules were specified to contrast with the warmer tones of light projected on to the suspension cables, arches and the bridge's twin towers.

Philips Decoflood luminaires were positioned centrally within each arch to complement the balustrade and provide dramatic contrast. Warm white MASTERColour CDO-TT lamps were used within the archways, which also gave a greater sense of volume and depth to the space.

By using these layered lighting techniques the form and function of Chelsea bridge has been revealed in all its glory. As Tony Felstead, street lighting engineer for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, explains, "All the structural elements of the bridge are now highlighted in a more balanced way. No one feature dominates and the overall effect is much more three dimensional."