It was announced on the weekend that the Harbour Bridge is to be permanently lit up with coloured lighting
The Auckland Harbour Bridge will soon have permanent coloured lighting which – in a world first – will be powered by solar energy and battery, and can be transformed into special event lighting displays.
As part of the multimillion dollar energy efficiency partnership between Vector and Auckland Council, the iconic landmark will be the first bridge in the world to have all its lighting – operational, structural and special event – able to be powered entirely by solar-stored energy. The LED lights will be individually controlled, capable of transforming the bridge with lighting shows for special events and occasions.
Six hundred and thirty solar panels and one gigantic energy storage battery, producing enough energy for 200 homes, will power the bridge lights, and the energy system will also be able to supply power for use in Wynyard Quarter.
Lighting the bridge with energy efficient LED lights and sustainable energy generation represents the next phase of a ten-year partnership between Vector and Auckland Council. Together, they are already promoting the use of energy efficient technology in homes and schools via a community programme in Auckland’s southern suburbs.
And here’s a short video of what it could look like when finished
I think this is good. Many bridges around the world are lit up to help enhance their landmark status. It also adds to the likes of the Skytower and Lightpath – which can be seen from the bridge – in adding some colour to the city at night. It is of course not the first time it’s been lit up as was done temporarily a few years ago as part of a promotion by 2Degrees. What is different this time is that both sides of the bridge will be lit up and it appears the whole bridge will be, not just the central span and the spans either side of it.
While this should look great at night, it also raises a post we published back in 2012 and what we could do to make the bridge look better during the day too by painting it something other than boring grey.
I understand that the paint is there mostly for protective reasons rather than aesthetics, but my question is why can’t we have both? The way I figure it an appropriate industrial coating in some colour other than grey must be much the same cost and much the same to apply. After all, structures across the world are painted various colours just fine.
For example, the Eiffel Tower in Paris is a temporary structure made of iron and is 119 years old, but the French manage to change the paint colour periodically and still protect their historic monument. Every seven years they hold a public vote on what colour to go next. Obviously they stick to appropriate ‘monumental’ colours and avoid the pastels and neons, but it’s had a surprising number of variations from reddish brown through copper and mustard to the current chocolatey brown.
There are plenty of options for colour and we could likewise hold a vote. I like the idea of metallic bronzes or coppers, but things like green (think Statue of Liberty) or red (Golden Gate Bridge) might work too! So can’t we just pick a colour and use it instead of grey next time?
Interestingly in the post we suggested that a feature lighting system would also be a good idea. And here was one colour scheme suggested.
So how about it, let’s add a dash of colour to the old coat-hanger to give it some life during the day too.
Oh, and I hope the lighting scheme has been designed with Skypath in mind too.