LEDs Light Up Covent Garden


TreeHugger photograph

Christmas lights are so beautiful, sometimes, and so wasteful. But creative and good looking solutions are being found--last year Carnaby Street had festive paper chains with a holographic finish. This year Covent Garden is decking the halls with LED's. Created by UVA, a group better known for doing backdrops for bands such as Arctic Monkeys, Massive Attack and U2, they have taken an environmental approach to the job.
They have suspended 568 cylindrical polycarbon tubes, two metres long and filled with strips of full colour LEDs. They are hung in straight lines from the ceilings of the main halls. Supposedly "the tubes will be programmed to change colour and tone in a choreographed display of patterns and effects, giving the impression of snow blizzards, with lights moving all around the building." In fact they looked like icicles that changed colour: either white or pink, with the colour moving up and down in the tubes.


official UVA photograph

"There's a script. But within every scene there's some randomness. People may stand there for 15, 20 minutes just looking and they'll never see the same thing twice. There are 1.2km of LED-filled tubes, 4km of cables and hundreds of hours of programming" said one of the technical directors. Their aesthetic is sculptural, since one was an artist, and they admit "there's a lot of black" . The result: something that looks serene and under-whelming, given all the hype. Covent Garden
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Tags: Electricity | Lighting | Pollution