Lighting Design & Specification

Bloor Viaduct LightveilThe Luminous Veil, a once controversial suicide prevention barrier installed along Toronto’s historic Prince Edward Viaduct — popularly known as the Bloor viaduct — has become Toronto’s latest and most spectacular illuminated art installation, courtesy of artist Dereck Revington and Mulvey & Banani International Inc., the engineering firm that worked with Revington to translate his vision into reality.

On July 4 at 10:00 pm, 35,000 programmed LEDs sparked into life along the viaduct, itself a multi-arched steel and concrete marvel. Built in 1918 over the Don Valley to connect Bloor Street to Danforth Road, the 500-metre long, double-decked structure functions as an essential east-west transportation corridor: the upper deck, for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians; the lower deck, for subway trains.

But until 2003, the structure also had a darker side. With a history of 500 suicides, it ranked as North America’s second most fatal standing structure, after the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The Luminous Veil put an end to suicide attempts. And now, it’s become an LED life force of its own.

The safety barrier consists of over 9,000 rods, each 5 metres tall, spaced 12.7 cm (5 inches) apart and held in place by an angled steel frame. Opponents initially feared the barrier would block spectacular views of the valley below, and compromise the look of the viaduct. Instead, Revington’s design is almost transparent.

Although the design had always included illumination, budget considerations delayed implementation until this year as part of Pan Am/Parapan Am Games celebrations.



Bringing Revington’s design to life
Through a tendering process, the contract for realizing the lighting concept was awarded to Mulvey & Banani International Inc. (MBII), a Toronto-based interdisciplinary firm focused on electrical and related disciplines. The company works on commercial, institutional and infrastructure projects around the world, and has illuminated bridges elsewhere, including the Queen Street bridge over the Don Valley, and the Peace Bridge over the Niagara River, connecting Buffalo, NY and Fort Erie, ON.

For the Luminous Veil, Paul Boken, an MBII lighting associate and the de facto project manager, explains that “we put together an all-encompassing design team that worked with Dereck on every single step, from how to get the power up there to how many circuits we needed in the electrical panel, how many lights we needed, and what kind of software we needed to make it happen.”

The design team consisted of a lighting design group, engineering team, and civil engineers (see below for a list of team members). The tendered electrical contract was awarded to Guild Electric, for what Boken describes as “the running and installation of all project wiring and luminaire installation.” Guild brought in Westbury National to oversee the installation of all control wiring and systems programming. “The bridge has a network backbone like that of an office tower,” says Boken.

The design team worked closely with Revington throughout the entire implementation process. “That was key to the project’s success,” says Boken. “Dereck really knew when to stand firm and when to bend.” Despite a tight budget and schedule, the process came in $500,000 under the original $3.8 million budget and three weeks ahead of schedule.

The end result
Using 35,000 LED diodes, 45,000 feet of cable, and 3 computerized lighting DMX controllers, the system is capable of producing patterns of light in 16.5 million possible colours. Nothing you see is pre-programmed, explains Boken. Instead, the lighting system creates lighting patterns from local conditions such as wind speed, temperature, time of day, and other data collected from a weather station on the top of the bridge. The more intense the weather conditions, the more colourful and intense the light.

“Theoretically,” says Boken, “you will never see the same effect twice. From the Don Valley looking up, you appreciate the overall macro movement, whereas when you're on the bridge itself, you appreciate the micro movement that's happening, say, within 20 feet of you… The whole thing is alive. It's breathing.”
Check out other Mulvey & Banini International Inc. projects: http://www.mbii.com/success-stories/featured-engineering-projects.

MBII’s Luminous Veil teams and team members
• Joe Berardi – Principal In Charge
• Paul Boken – Project Design Lead
• Alan McIntosh – Project Manager

The artists – Dereck Revington Studio
• Dereck Revington
• Johnathan Tyrell

Sub consultants
• Nick Iozzo – DPM Energy (civil design)
• Mitchell Chan – Studio F Minus (custom software designer)
• Dan Tulloch, Eric Auger – Christie Lites (mock-up construction design support)

Electrical contractors
• Guild Electric (Csaba Guzs)
• Westbury National (Doug Wildeboer)

 

 

Changing Scene

  • Prev
Francis Chan, General Manager of Ultrasave Lighting, has announced his retirement from the company ...
Pioneer Lighting Inc.’s new interactive website features easily accessible updated spec ...
Standard’s photometric data files (IES files) have been updated and optimized and are now ...
The appearance of one of Europe’s most important cathedrals has been transformed with a new, ...
A special jury of industry experts has chosen the winners of the New Product Competition at MCEE ...
BizVibe has committed to creating a continuously improving platform for electrical and lighting ...
A Hamilton, Ontario retirement and long-term care residence recently received an $18,000 incentive ...
Power management company Eaton and its Cooper Lighting division have released of the 2014 SOURCE ...
Lind Equipment’s LE965LEDC, the latest in its Beacon Light line of LED floodlights, is a 30W ...
Eaton’s Cooper Lighting division has introduced new Halo Surface LED Downlights for new ...

Design

  • Prev
The ongoing sea change between fluorescent and light-emitting diode (LED) lighting technologies ...
On Cartier Avenue in Quebec City, 34 giant lampshades backlit with LEDs and decorated with works by ...
The sturdy rectangular structure was built in the late 1470s as part of the Vatican’s fortified ...
The International Year of Light “is a global initiative that will highlight the importance of ...
It is no secret that lighting design plays a central part in the atmosphere of an interior ...
A lamp made with graphene, said by its U.K. developers to be the first commercially viable ...
Researchers from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have used optogenetics to ...
A single backbone fibre ring of LuminexGigaCore Ethernet switches unifies and simplifies all the AV ...
The evolution of lighting technology is giving birth to amazing new possibilities. Where lighting ...
From May 3 to 7, New York City’s Javits Centre hosted the 26th edition ofLightfair ...

LED Technology

  • Prev
Mention LEDs in a conversation, and what first springs to mind is low energy use. But LEDs offer ...
LED's Part 2The benefits of LEDs almost seem too good to be true, and in some cases may be. Rapid ...
Helping LED Luminaire manufacturers develop products and gain market access is the intent behind ...
You may soon be able to add “growing space vegetables” to the list of uses for LEDs. Researchers at ...
Showing off your modern lighting advancements makes a powerful statement to customers. You’ll be ...
Acuity Brands, Inc. has launched a next-generation OLED product portfolio, including the ...
Halo light-emitting diode (LED) downlights from Eaton’s Cooper Lighting Division are featured in ...
LED keeps evolving. Six or seven years ago no one thought that LED was bright enough or ...
Although a relatively new technology, organic light-emitting diodes, OLEDs, are labelled today’s ...
Organic LEDs (OLEDs) are an interesting and promising new display technology. They provide a number ...

New Products

  • Prev
Eaton’s Lumark Caretaker light-emitting diode (LED) area luminaire is ideal for area and ...
Eaton’s new Neo-Ray Index light-emitting diode (LED) pendant luminaire from Cooper Lighting ...
Legrand’s Pass & Seymour Harmony Tru-Universal Dimmer comes with self-calibrating ...
iteline Corporation’s new 4” Versa-Series pot lights provide maximum safety and ...
Researchers at Duke University have developed a new method to make fluorescent molecules emit ...
The Fluke 1000FLT performs 5 essential tests in less than 30 seconds with one compact tool ...
Eaton’s Portfolio surface-mount light-emitting diode (LED) luminaire from its Cooper Lighting ...
Eaton’s Metalux Encounter and SkyRidge light-emitting diode (LED) luminaire families are now ...
Aimed at the residential market, Legrand’s new Pass & Seymour arc fault circuit ...

Latest News

Kerrwil Publications

538 Elizabeth Street, Midland,Ontario, Canada L4R2A3 +1 705 527 7666
©2019 All rights reserved

Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy Policy (effective 1.1.2016)
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Kerrwil