Launched on the 23rd of December 2005, Hong Kong’s “Circle of Light” has entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s “Largest Permanent Light and Sound Show.” Thirty-one participating buildings located on either side of Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour make up the “Circle of Light” as they explode nightly into a dazzling display of visual effect firepower. The 17-minute performance aims to highlight the unity of architecture within Hong Kong while educating the audience on Hong Kong’s history and cultural diversity.

The kaleidoscope of effects include 14,894 dynamic lighting fixtures, Stella Ray YAGS producing thousands of high powered laser beams, world class pyrotechnics, and a sound simulcast. The simulcast can even be dialed into via mobile phone. The nightly show is programmed and coordinated via the Internet through Laservision’s Digital Data Pump II show control systems, which have been installed in all of the major buildings.

The massive show took more than three years to complete. The Laservision team individually examined each building from a variety of angles and popular viewing locations. The most prominent of these viewing locations being the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade which is located directly opposite the city. The participating buildings in the final show include; AIG tower, Bank of China, Central Plaza, Cheung Kong, CITIC, City Hall, Coliseum, Exchange Square 1, Exchange Square 2, Grand Stanford, Hard Court, Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Hong Kong Shanghai Bank (HSBC), International Finance Centre I, International Finance Centre II, Jardines House, Mass Mutual, Museum of Art, New World Centre, Panorama, Peking Road, Peninsula Hotel, Queens Government Offices, Star House, Sun Hung Kai, The Centre, The Hopewell Centre, The Peoples Liberation Army Headquarters, TST, and Empire Centre.

The Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) alone has incorporated 716 intelligent lights including 450 Color changing fluorescent fixtures in the glass stairwells, Martin Exterior 600 and 200 fixtures on five levels, eight searchlights and over one kilometer of LED lighting around the top of the building. Although Victoria Harbour is a great asset for fireworks, it is a significantly larger body of water than most other Harbours Laservision has conducted projects on or around.

Lasers and searchlights have been incorporated into the Harbour Lighting Plan to increase the use of airborne special effects. The high powered 50W Stella ~ Ray lasers enable animated beams of light to span the harbour connecting the audience on the Tsim Sha Tsui with the show opposite them. Many implementation issues had to overcome protocols of the Aviation Department, Fire Department, Hong Kong Police and the Marine Department before Laservision could incorporate lasers and fireworks into the Harbour Lighting Plan.

Show Control

Laservision’s Digital Data ~ Pump II (DDP) provided the technical solution for the show. The Australian born technology represents a mass storage device for the simultaneous creation and coordination of large-scale Multi Mediums, such as lasers, surround sound, fountains, large format projection, and pyrotechnics. The DDP II system represents a highly integrated, fully digital multi media capture, playback and editing device. Each DDP II is capable of 15 Universes of 512 lighting channels totalling 7,680 channels.

The DDP is capable of independent playback of almost unlimited numbers of shows simultaneously, and is able to individually control those shows at any of the forwards or backwards speeds without interfering with the operation of any of the other shows. This is again a world-first concept in media playback platforms for entertainment attractions and allows DDP II to be used in some of the most complex and demanding installations in the world.

One of the newest innovations in large-scale media control is the ability to communicate with more and more devices using internet-enabled protocols. The variety of triggers and trigger features available mean even the most complex triggering scheme is possible and shows can be programmed graphically from a central console and distributed automatically to remote DDP's. The DDP II incorporates two touchscreens; each touch screen is fully remotely configurable.

The entire “Circle of Light” installation uses more than 14,894 lighting fixtures controlled by 26,562 channels. The show consists of 30 DDP IIs generating a staggering 50 Galaxies with a capacity of 253,440 lighting channels alone, more than 82 Xenon searchlights producing over 1 million watts of light, over 2,624 Robotic Intelligent lights controlled by more than 40,000 control channels, 775,720 LEDs spread across 7km, and over 2.5 kilometres of Cold cathode (low-voltage neon) installation.

View Laservision’s Hong Kong installation at www.laservision.com.au.