The Lighting Division of UK-based Architen Landrell has provided the lighting control system for the O2, the huge entertainment complex in London, UK formerly known as the Millenium Dome.
Architen was invited by architect/designer Philips Lighting (see Philips LEDs light the Millennium Dome) to manufacture and install another Pharos control system for the external lighting of the entire structure. The client is the facility owner AEG.
According to Architen, the client’s requirements were for most of the system to be automated but with the flexibility for easy changes for special events. As a vast number of lights were involved, Architen utilized an LPC2, giving a total of 1,024 channels of control which were used almost to the limit.
Each of the 12 yellow masts emerging from the Dome were fitted with a Martin 1200 full colour changing up-lighter at the base, six Philips blue BendiLED hoops staggered up the mast, and seven Philips ArenaVision 1kW white floodlights as a skin wash.
The 12 cylinders around the circumference of the Dome each a feature a circular, open-mesh LED Vidiwall from Philips and two blue BendiLED hoops. The legs carry 8 gas discharge up/downlights with 12x 2 self-contained emergency lighting units.
As controlling the external lighting, the control system was expanded further with a Pharos LPC1 controller to control the specialist full-color show lighting in the main entrance area, outside the Indigo Club, and within the O2’s exhibition entrance area, the Bubble.
The UPS-supported, central control system manages the timings of switch on effects and show programming for all these areas. With addition, a local keypad in the Bubble allows for ad hoc preferential pre-programmed settings/changes without affecting the other zones.
As most of the control equipment is concealed in a 19 inch rack mounted black box, Architen designed and installed a touch screen LCD controller running a custom interface which allowed the client to check the status, manually override and /or turn on or off lights for maintenance. The central touch screen LCD control system is the perfect visual portal, allowing easy control of all the lighting on site.
In addition to the touch screen control system, the set-up was designed to allow the client access to the interface through a secure webpage from anywhere in the world. The control system also has an internal link with the O2’s Wi-Fi infrastructure which allows for programming to be done anywhere on site with a laptop.
Architen Lighting Division’s Christopher Rowell said that “using the O2's secure wireless network was brilliant. Having the vast area of the Dome, where walking from one side to the other takes considerable time, it would have been a cable nightmare to enable programming in each zone. Now, you can stand outside the Bubble and reprogram or reset the lighting using the wireless network, or sit in the Bar and program as you sip your wine! The additional external internet-network allows us to be miles away from the actual system and still spontaneously implement any required alterations."
Philips Lighting’s Herman Sprokholt comments, “We are very impressed with the control system, the power and ease of lighting maintenance and making small changes. Architen’s Lighting Division have proved to be a key asset/partner in the design implementation of the scheme and we look forward engaging Architen already in an early stage in future lighting or lighting-controling projects.”