GE Lighting illuminates Birmingham airport’s giant Olympic rings
Passengers touching down at Birmingham’s Airport will have a grandstand view of the iconic Olympic Rings, thanks to GE Lighting. The dazzling white illuminated Rings will be clearly visible at night on either side of the Airport’s new 37m tall Air Traffic Control Tower by visitors flying in, but can also be seen from the main road between Coventry and Birmingham. The new lighting scheme has been specially developed in celebration of the forthcoming London 2012 Olympic Games.
GE Lighting has helped to make Birmingham Airport the first airport in the UK to showcase the iconic Olympic Rings, which were unveiled on April 23. The installation of the Rings coincides with the completion of the first phase of the new Air Traffic Control Tower, which is due to become operational next year. The two sets of Rings are fixed to bespoke brackets located on either side and near the top of the new faceted Control Tower. A total of 380 LEDs from GE Lighting have been placed inside the Rings, allowing the famous circles to only be illuminated at night.
Display specialist Octink, who manufactured and installed the Rings, partnered with GE Lighting to design the lighting and provide vital technical support. Each Ring is 2m in diameter and is made from a Sign Comp system, which is an aluminium extrusion selected for its lightness and ability to be formed into shapes. Thirty-eight modules of GE Lighting’s Tetra PowerMax LEDs were selected and mounted inside each of the Rings to illuminate a flex face material (non-PVC) stretched and tensioned over the top.
The lighting is operated by a safety extra low voltage supply (SELV) from the lighting controls housed in a weather tight box situated on the viewing platform located at the top of the Control Tower. The lighting is dimmable so the intensity of the white light produced can be adjusted accordingly. The LED specified uses OptiLens (a GE patented lens technology), which provides a very even and bright illumination across the face of each Ring.
“The beauty of LEDs is not only their robustness and ability to operate in harsh environments with extreme temperatures, but also their very low energy usage. LEDs can use up to about 90% less energy than conventional lighting technology,” said David Williamson, Regional Sales Manager – Western Europe, GE Lighting Solutions. “The power consumption of each Olympic Ring is around the same as a 60W incandescent light bulb, which is very low indeed.”
The Tetra PowerMax LEDs were installed inside the Rings at ground level and then on the Control Tower at a height of 135 feet over a period of six days and in extreme weather conditions. The Rings will remain on the Control Tower until the end of 2012.
David Williamson added, “As a committed Sustainability Partner and Olympics 2012 Sponsor, GE Lighting is proud to have contributed to such an historic project and to Birmingham Airport’s sustainability agenda.”