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Lighting installation for UK’s largest urban water feature

02 April 2012
by Jock Wallace , under Architectural lighting | Installations


We have helped commission the lighting for Bradford’s City Park, the UK’s largest urban water feature. The Park was designed by Gillespies and Arup on behalf of Bradford Council and was officially opened in March. It features a 4,000sq.m mirror pool and the UK's tallest urban fountain which reaches a spectacular 100ft. A wide range of lighting elements has been incorporated into the development to deliver a ‘playful’ night-time environment and to also aid navigation around the park.

“We were very excited to be involved in this nationally-important project,” says Phil Haldane, Head of Development, who explains that our technicians programmed the advanced eCue Lighting Control Engine that interfaces between the project’s various elements. “This work shows our technical expertise at system programming and the way we can slot in as part of a project team no matter how high-profile or technically demanding a project is.”

The City Park lighting installation is managed via a central lighting control system, which responds to both the rising and falling water levels in the Park’s pools and to artistic requirements. Because of this, the our team faced the challenge of triggering various lighting scenes depending on the water levels in individual pools.

“Pool level data was provided to our system as DMX 512 values,” says Phil. “This information was fed into a eCue Lighting Control engine and we  programmed this to the control specification provided by Arup to deliver the desired outcomes. We also programmed wall-mount control interfaces, touch panel interfaces and web access to the system for remote control and monitoring.”

Our programmers faced a number of other challenges. For example, they had to set up a number of Interface Software Pages to allow special scenes to be set-up for individual events and also for test functionality. Timing the various features was also a key element of the work and careful integration in the software programming was required to make sure the systems switched on and off when required.

“We programmed switch off times at defined points so that different light fittings would not run throughout the night,” says Phil. “However, enough elements needed to stay on to give general and safety lighting.”