Recently, an artificial sun rose over Trafalgar Square in London – an hour before the first appearance of the real sun. Then once the real sun set, the artificial one kept going for another three hours – giving Londoners a total of four extra hours of sunlight.
The Trafalgar Sun was created by public art group Greyworld, in conjunction with fruit juice brand Tropicana’s ‘Brighter Mornings’ campaign. The lighting equipment for the project was supplied by entertainment lighting specialist White Light, who also provided a demo/rehearsal space and equipment to the Greyworld team over the project’s six-month development period.
Finding the perfect light involved many experiments at Greyworld’s base and at White Light’s newly-expanded warehouse in south London. The space available there allowed trials of materials and lighting fixtures, scaled down experimental mock-ups and, ultimately, the construction of the full-size, nine-metre diameter sun for testing prior to the big day in Trafalgar Square.
The final structure consisted of a truss ‘Christmas tree’ framework supporting 46 tungsten lighting fixtures, 36 5kW Fresnels (principally Robert Juliat Cin’k) and 10 2kW Fresnels. Wrapped around this was a flame-retardant Nylon skin; two fans inside the structure provided ventilation to cool the sun. The lights were fed from a 350KVA mobile generator powering ETC and Avo dimmers controlled from an ETC Ion console which allowed Greyworld to add lighting shifts to the sunlight.
Photo courtesy of Digital Deluxe