Feature, Transport

Revealed: Winner of contract to light London bridges

Signify, formerly Philips Lighting, will supply around 13,000 luminaires for the prestigious scheme, which gets underway in 2019 with the initial lighting of four bridges: London Bridge, Cannon Street Railway Bridge, Southwark Bridge and the Millennium Bridge.

SIGNIFY, formerly Philips Lighting, has won the contract to illuminate London’s iconic bridges as part of the ambitious Illuminated River project, Lux can reveal.

It will supply around 13,000 Philips Color Kinetics LED luminaires and its Interact Landmark control system for the prestigious scheme, which gets underway in 2019 with the initial lighting of four bridges over the River Thames: London Bridge, Cannon Street Railway Bridge, Southwark Bridge and the Millennium Bridge.

The concept is by American artist Leo Villareal, who was named winner of an international design competition in December 2016 by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. Villareal’s team includes renowned British architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands and consulting engineers Atelier Ten.

The project is being part-funded by TetraPak heiress Lisbet Rausing and her husband Peter Baldwin, the banking family, the Rothschilds and Blavatnik Family Foundation.

It’s the first time there has been a holistic strategy to light up all of central London’s bridges. The aim is to create a multi-level visual experience for the bridges viewed by pedestrians on the bridges, from London’s riverbanks, from the air, from tall buildings and by boat. 

Signify was awarded the project because of its global breadth and expertise in lighting and ability to deliver such an important, large-scale, connected lighting project. Also, a key factor was Signify’s experience of working with lighting designers and architects on the management of dynamic, architectural lighting scenes.

Signify will provide lifecycle services to remotely monitor and manage the connected bridge lighting for the next 10 years. The Interact system will detect and manage faults and perform remote diagnostics and maintenance. 

Up to 15 bridges will be illuminated: London Bridge; Southwark Bridge; Cannon Street Bridge; Millennium Bridge; Blackfriars Railway Bridge; Golden Jubilee Bridge, Waterloo Bridge; Blackfriars Bridge; Lambeth Bridge; Vauxhall Bridge; Westminster Bridge; Grosvenor Bridge; Chelsea Bridge; Albert Bridge and Tower Bridge.

‘London’s bridges are world-famous but had become overlooked in terms of their potential to transform our capital city at night,’ Sarah Gaventa, director of the Illuminated River Foundation, told Lux. ‘What we are doing now, in partnership with Signify, to transform the bridges and riverfront, is groundbreaking.

‘We’re using dynamic, energy-efficient LED lighting for the first time on up to 15 London Bridges with Signify’s Interact Landmark system to create public art on the largest scale ever seen.

 ‘Light is one of the most powerful means of breathing new life into leading cities and metropolitan areas, heralding a new era of urban design and beautification,’ said Maria-Letizia Mariani, President of Europe, SVP, Signify.

‘We’ve lit bridges around the world and seen first-hand the positive impact that dynamic architectural lighting has on transforming local communities and economies. It’s wonderful to give the people of London stunningly-lit bridges with some lit up for the first time.’


  • See the latest outdoor LED luminaires and control systems at the 2019 LuxLive exhibition and conference, taking place on Wednesday 13 November and Thursday 14 November 2019. Entry is free if you pre-register. More information HERE.