Lighting up London’s Bridges


    April 30, 2019


    How do cities successfully build upon their heritage and make a lasting impact on how they’re perceived? A strong identity is vital for major global and European cities, if they’re looking to compete with other destinations for tourism as well as build thriving communities.


    Creating an identity relies heavily on visual elements. So when it comes to urban areas this could include everything from how famous landmarks are displayed, and the way prominent features such as rivers are seen, all the way to how safe and friendly an area looks and feels.


    This is where urban lighting, and architectural lighting, can make a huge difference.

    How light transforms a city


    Light is one of the most powerful means of breathing new life into cities and metropolitan areas and is becoming more and more of a focus when it comes to urban design and beautification.


    That’s why we’re so excited to be the connected lighting partner for London’s Illuminated River project – the first ever project designed to holistically light up to 15 bridges in London with dynamic, energy-efficient LED lighting.


    Once complete, the project will be the world’s longest public art commission and will reinvigorate the city’s famous River Thames bridges - not to mention further differentiating London as one of the world’s most attractive capital cities.

    Illuminated Rivers: Phase One


    We’re making great progress on the first phase already. In fact, we’ve just finished the pre-commissioning which is the testing and programming of all connected lighting points for London Bridge.


    At this stage we’ve programmed over just under 2,000 light points on the bridge. And that’s just one bridge! These light points give us an enormous range of possibilities: they are capable of displaying over 16.9 million different light colours combined to create stunning lighting effects across London’s bridges via Interact Landmark’s architectural lighting management system.

    Also, we’ve just finished the pre-commissioning process for all four bridges associated with phase one of the project: Southwark, Cannon, Millennium and London bridges. This process involved the testing and programming of all connected lighting points. So far we have successfully programmed over 6,000 light points for the first four bridges.


    Our Color Kinetics LED luminaires are tested, programmed, and tagged at our pre-commissioning centre located here in the UK. This ensures that they’re of the highest quality and can meet the needs of all stakeholders including the Illuminated River Foundation, the artist, Leo Villareal’s Studio as well as the London boroughs where the bridges are located.

    In fact, it takes around 240-person hours to prepare and test all the Color Kinetics LED lights for just one bridge. The luminaires are then packaged up, labelled and coded individually. This ensures that they correspond with the specified plan and are shipped out to London Bridge, before being put in place by expert teams from Proctor's Electrical Services at our installer, FM Conway.


    It might seem like simple logistics, but this process is absolutely essential to ensure the quality of the installation, particularly for such a large scale project.

    Of course, being connected, these lights will be monitored remotely by Interact Landmark from Signify. This software will scan and detect faults automatically. In the meantime we can’t wait to see the lights in action once the first phase goes live later this year.

    About the author:

    Photo of Iain Byrne at the pre-commissioning

    Iain Byrne

    Project Manager, Illuminated River Project, Signify

    For further information, please contact:

    Signify Global Media Relations
    Neil Pattie
    Tel: + 31 6 15 08 48 17

    About Signify


    Signify (Euronext: LIGHT) is the world leader in lighting for professionals, consumers and the Internet of Things. Our Philips products, Interact systems and data-enabled services, deliver business value and transform life in homes, buildings and public spaces. In 2023, we had sales of EUR 6.7 billion, approximately 32,000 employees and a presence in over 70 countries. We unlock the extraordinary potential of light for brighter lives and a better world. We have been in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index since our IPO for seven consecutive years and have achieved the EcoVadis Platinum rating for four consecutive years, placing Signify in the top one percent of companies assessed. News from Signify can be found in the Newsroom, on X, LinkedIn and Instagram. Information for investors is located on the Investor Relations page.

    Meydan Bridge

    More blogs

    • A supermarket with connected 3D-printed luminaires

      July 05, 2021

      A supermarket with connected 3D-printed luminaires

    • Growing tomatoes and cucumbers without sunlight at RIAT

      May 05, 2021

      Growing tomatoes and cucumbers without sunlight at RIAT

    • 12 Signify products win prestigious iF Design Awards 2021

      April 23, 2021

      12 Signify products win prestigious iF Design Awards 2021