China's Grand Canal Gets 6 Miles of Brilliant LightWith the continuous improvement of not only LED technology, but lighting technologies at large, the scale of outdoor architectural lighting projects continues to grow exponentially. One of the largest outdoor lighting projects ever undertaken was recently finished in China along the banks of the city of Hangzhou’s world famous Grand Canal. The Chinese government wanted to draw attention to the natural splendor of the canal as well as the history of the city, and decided that the most effective and poignant way to do it was with light. Designers sought to emphasize the snaking 6.1mi canal by adorning the paths on either side of it with aqua-colored LEDs. They also ingeniously designed and installed green and blue LED projectors to color the fog regularly produced on the river and create an ethereal layer of color over the canal. The buildings, homes, and restaurants along the canal were also studded with LEDs. The paths along the canal’s promenade were retrofitted with 70w warm color temperature metal halide HID recessed ground light for an additional element of visibility, while the paths along the banks of the canal were given warm 3w fluorescent lamps to create a meandering park-like feel.
At certain points of the canal, taller buildings peered over its banks providing lighting designers with a unique lighting opportunity. The designers decided to create ‘abstract billboards’ consisting of towering rectangular frames, the largest of which measured 98ft X 65 ft, made of cyan colored LED tubes. These abstract billboards were installed on the facades of these buildings, creating a wonderfully futuristic effect that contrasts well with the ancient history of Hangzhou.
Though there was much lighting installed on the banks and buildings on either side of the canal, the lighting designers also installed lights directly in the water. Custom poles comprised of six blue and six amber one watt LEDs were installed in clusters into the canal to highlight the natural contours of the water and allude to the city of canals, Venice. The outsides of the 16 bridges of the canal were bathed in white light, while their lanterns and other lights were outfitted with 20w CFLs for a soft, energy efficient light.
Clearly Hangzhou’s Grand Canal lighting represents how creative outdoor lighting can be. Check out the products we have to offer and unlock your lighting creativity today! As usual, leave a comment or question on our blog or Facebook or call us at 1-877-622-0897.