Pharos plays its part in London's New Year celebrations

The spectacular pyrotechnic and lighting show for the Mayor of London's New Year's Eve festivities, produced by Jack Morton Worldwide, is an extraordinary collaborative effort involving multiple control systems at multiple locations incorporating multiple disciplines - all perfectly synchronised for this most time-centric event.

In Durham Marenghi's stunning lighting design, temporary Arena Color fixtures and high power searchlights installed by Stage Electrics and supplied by ELP/Syncrolite are integrated with the permanent lighting installations on the London Eye and County Hall. At the climax of the event, the lighting is synchronised with the fantastic midnight firework display, designed by Darryl Fleming of Kimbolton Fireworks.

Year-round, 640 Philips Color Kinetics ColorCasts illuminate the Eye, supplied by Architainment Lighting and controlled by two PharosJack Morton Worldwide © Mark Livemore LPC 2s. The façade of County Hall is floodlit with Philips Color Kinetics ColorReach Powercore LEDs, also supplied by Architainment and also controlled by another Pharos LPC 1.

This is the sixth New Year's Eve that Pharos has been involved, ever since the London Eye lighting refit in 2006. In the afternoon of 31st December, the discrete Pharos systems are uploaded with special programming for the event, their internal clocks are synchronised with a GPS timecode receiver, and then they're left to perform by themselves. Programming is accurate to a hundredth of a second and is in step with the ChamSys lighting consoles and the fireworks controller.

Naturally the focus is on the breathtaking midnight sequence but the show design includes lighting for the whole evening during the build up to the celebrations. Pharos Technical Product Manager Simon Hicks has programmed the Pharos systems for Durham for the last five years. He explains, “This is the time when we can really show off what we can do with the Eye - for the rest of the year the lighting is mostly static with a few subtle effects to mark certain occasions.”

Durham has also commented that, “Lighting is used to complement and enhance the firework display as well as creating an exciting and dynamic atmosphere of anticipation before the midnight chimes of Big Ben to entertain the 250,000 people gathered in Westminster to witness the event and the millions who enjoy the broadcast on the BBC."

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