The Great Belt Bridge in Denmark is one of the biggest suspension bridges in the world. With a span of 1624 meters and a height of 254 meters, it’s indeed an impressive landmark and a beautiful piece of architecture.

As there is no road lighting on the 18 km link, the bridge lighting makes an important point of reference at night, for drivers as well as sailors.

In February 2021, the Client decided to replace the old bridge lighting with a new and improved solution, as part of an energy and maintenance optimizing plan.

The Client desired a modern solution with controllable dynamic lighting, suitable for visual communication. The new lighting should be ready in time for Tour de France Grand Départ Copenhagen Denmark, which was to take place in July 2022.

Light Bureau was tasked to develop the new architectural lighting and in close collaboration between all involved parties. The solution was designed and built in just 17 months.

The lit surface of the two pylons and anchor blocks is more than 40000 m² (approx. 6 football fields). As it wasn’t possible to carry out light tests on the bridge, a 3D-model was developed to test all specifications and to verify the design.

The system consists of 396 luminaires, all individually controllable and directed towards separate areas on the bridge, which makes it possible to transform the structure to a digital canvas at night.

Symmetrical positioning of hundreds of luminaires on the 254 meter high pylons was a true challenge. Light Bureau developed a new and innovative adjusting system made up of laser sights and remote controlled night vision cameras, for precise focusing of the lighting at night. Thereby the lighting designers could pinpoint the precise aiming points remotely from Light Bureau’s office in Copenhagen, while the constructor adjusted the luminaires on the bridge with great precision.

Custom glare shields are developed to reduce light pollution to both sky and sea. To reduce light pollution further and save energy, the intensity of the lighting is dimmed down to 25% at night. The light intensity has been carefully trimmed to remove hotspots and merge the light smoothly. Compared to the old lighting system a considerable energy saving of up to 80% is expected.

The system allows the Client to contribute visually at cultural events and express important statements. The standard light scenario is white, and for special events the pylons can be coloured in static or dynamic colours, gradients or in more communicative ways e.g. as coloured flags.

June 2nd 2022, precisely one month before deadline, the new lighting was inaugurated, with yellow colours to celebrate that Tour de France was going to cross the bridge.

When the Danish racing cyclist Jonas Vingegaard won the Tour, it was celebrated with red and white colours, symbolizing the Danish flag.

At Copenhagen Pride 2022, diversity was celebrated with rainbow colours. Probably the highest Pride flags in the world and a scenario that definitely demonstrates the quality of the architectural lighting.

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