Dervan Alleyne, director public and sports lighting solutions, Signify UK&I looks at how lighting plays a part in the city experience.

Lighting plays a vital role in the way people experience a city, its landmarks and architecture. Whether buildings and structures are lit naturally or artificially, lighting is the medium that can bring an emotional value to architecture – helping create an experience for the visitors or occupiers. Therefore, it would be safe to say that architecture and landmarks demand and deserve a highly stylized design aesthetic that pushes boundaries.

As landmarks evolve, lighting designers must figure out how to illuminate these distinctive structures not just to illuminate them but to do so efficiently. Here is how.

Becoming a part of the UK’s Net Zero journey

The World Green Building Council has estimated that the built environment makes up around 40% of all energy-related carbon emissions. The built environment is, therefore, a carbon-intensive sector in the UK economy. With increasing pressures from the British government to focus on a Net-Zero future by 2050, industries with a high carbon footprint will need to revisit the drawing board to reform their strategies and align with the UK's plan for a green future.

In the context of lighting and architecture, it is vital to create a balance. To do so it is important to remember three key aspects of architectural lighting: aesthetics, function, and efficiency. Aspects of function and aesthetics cannot be overlooked - spaces and buildings must be illuminated for visitors/occupants to have the desired experience while also staying safe.

Energy efficiency, the need of the hour in the wake of the climate crisis, can be achieved by choosing efficient LED lighting and installing connected lighting to ensure no wasted light. If lighting can serve the right recipes with these critical aspects, consider the job half done. The Government's ten point climate action plan is a significant and continuing commitment to the UK’s greener future. Also, funds like the Public Sector Decarboanisation Scheme present an opportunity for the built environment and the government must ensure the availability of these funds.

However, a simple first step is to swap out the inefficient lighting for efficient LED lighting as it can be upto 80% more efficient than traditional lighting. Our data suggest that switching to LED lighting could reduce 218.5 thousand tonnes of CO2 emissions, saving the sector upto € 215m for Urban spaces (Bridges, Monuments, Building Facades, Parks & Plazas). Additionally, a switch to LED lighting can reduce 106 thousand tonnes of CO2 emissions, saving Government Buildings i.e. Municipal buildings in the UK&I and enable a saving of upto € 104m in monetary terms.

Next steps – connected systems and it advantages

Connected systems can play a significant role in enabling lighting for landmarks and architectures to become manage energy consumption to become operationally efficient and ensure the experience for people is adequate. In addition, these lighting installations serve much more than a utilitarian purpose of providing light. In many cases, they spark increased tourism, economic development, community pride and neighbourhood revitalization

This is not possible unless the lights can harness the power of connectivity made possible by the Interact connected lighting system. Intelligent drivers and sensors are embedded into the light fixtures to create either a wired or wireless infrastructure allowing for full remote control and management of the lighting. A remote cloud-based system can also allow multiple sites to be connected to one common platform/dashboard. It then becomes much easy to take complete control of all the lighting across multisite and countries, from anywhere, at any time. Interact offers a flexible, cost-efficient, scalable system that meets unique needs and is easy to understand and operate. It is easy to take advantage of IoT technology to suit the needs of every facility.

But this is just the beginning. Interact landmark, a solution for lighting up landmarks to light up the city's spirit using the power of data to manage lighting assets, manage scenes and create a social impact. With connected lighting, it is possible to monitor, manage and program dynamic architectural lighting using the software, making it easy to create and trigger light shows from anywhere while simplifying maintenance to protect your investment.

When coupled with our best-in-class energy-efficient LED lighting, it ensures maximum energy efficiency.

Another such example is the Color Kinetics lighting solution that empowers lighting professionals to achieve their unique visions—and inspires new engagement and interactivity that can breathe life into landmarks and municipal spaces – historic and modern – with dynamic and innovative uses of LED light -– ensuring citizens are filled with a sense of pride!

Whether you're looking to replace failing, energy-intensive garage lighting, increase safety with public garden lights, drive tourism with historical site lighting, foster civic pride and unity using innovative architectural lighting on and in government buildings, or establish a more connected and sustainable city, connecting LED lighting systems that attract visitors, make cities better places to live and work, and strengthen the identity of a region.

The connected solution – in action

The recently completed lighting project of the Tradeston Bridge in Glasgow is a great example of how existing infrastructure can be improved with architectural lighting and a connected lighting platform. Since its earliest foundations, the River Clyde has served Glasgow, channelling immigration, trade, and commerce and blossoming into its industrial heart. However, the riverside became a blank canvas for a vibrant new identity when the shipyards faded away.

As part of this regeneration, Tradeston Bridge has recently been enhanced by a vibrant new lighting project that complements its eye-catching, wave-like structure and form. The lighting project was facilitated by Glasgow City Council as part of the City Deal' Clyde Waterfront and West End Innovation Quarter' program, which will deliver £113.9M capital investment and regenerate the river corridor for regional economic growth.


Light is one of the most powerful means of breathing new life into leading cities and metropolitan areas, heralding a new era of urban design and beautification. At Signify, we have lit bridges, monuments and landmarks around the world and seen first-hand the positive impact that dynamic architectural lighting has on transforming local communities and economies. The limits are defined by your imagination.