Just as the London Olympic games continue on this week and next, so will my blogs about them. One Smart Planet blogger writes, “Fans of Olympic technology can think of the ongoing London 2012 games as the LED championships,” and that’s exactly right. LED lighting is an integral part of almost every aspect of the games, from illuminating the city’s historical landmarks to creating the scoreboards and decorative elements in the stadiums.
Let’s start with the pinnacle moment of the opening ceremonies: the lighting of the rings using the Olympic torch. (I overlooked this key moment in my last blog about LED lights in the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremonies.) It looked so realistic when I watched it last Friday, I wasn’t quite sure how they did it, though I did suspect outdoor LED lighting played a role.
Turns out the giant rings were made completely of RGB LED strip—almost 46,000 feet of it, to be exact. It took 20 people three months to build just those rings…imagine how long it took to create the other major elements of the show! After the rings were “lit” with the torch, they turned red, rose up into the sky and started spitting fireworks, creating a “molten steel” effect, as if they had just been forged by a blacksmith. Incredible!
Outside of the stadiums, the London Bridge has undergone a major retrofit thanks to LED wall washers. New LED lighting installed on the bridge highlights all of its different architectural elements, including Victorian gothic turrets, towers, suspension chains and an aerial walkway, and uses 40 percent less energy than the old lighting system.
Stay tuned for even more Olympic LED installations tomorrow!