Spinnaker Tower Lighting
Ever wondered why the Spinnaker Tower is illuminated in different colours or how we manage to do that? Then look no further!
Lighting Schedule 2013
Whenever you see the Spinnaker Tower illuminated different from its normal white, you can be sure that it isn't just by chance, there is a reason behind it.
Below is a list of the upcoming show lighting colours and the reasons behind them.
|Month || Date || Event/Reason || Colour |
| July || 4th || American Independence Day || Red, White & Blue |
| July || 13th || Relay for Life - Portsmouth || Purple |
| July || 21st || Race for Life - Portsmouth || Pink |
| September || 4th || World Cerebral Palsy Day || Green |
| September || 15th || World Lymphoma Awareness Day || Purple |
| September || 21st || World Alzheimer's Awareness Day || Blue |
| October || 20th || World Osteoporosis Awareness Day || Orange |
| November || 11th || Remembrance Day || Red |
| November || 14th || World Diabetes Day || Blue |
| December || 1st || World Aids Day || Red |
The show lighting may be booked for corporate or private events. Please contact our Corporate & Hospitality Manager if you are interested in this service.
The Spinnaker Tower has 3 types of lighting:
- Obstruction (more commonly known as aircraft) warning lights
- Feature lighting
- Show lighting
Obstruction (aircraft) Warning Lights
There are 7 obstruction warning lights situated on the Tower, from 80m upwards, 1 at the top of the spire (170m), 1 on the northern side of the Tower at 117m, 2 at 115m on the eastern and western sides of the Tower and 3 at 80m on the eastern, western and northern sides of the Tower.
These are the red lights that can be seen from all around the area and above - these lights never change colour! The lights are LED's, last approximately 15 years and automatically turn on and off.
The feature lighting illuminates the base of the Tower, including the back, bottom of the bows and either side and bottom of the legs. These lights are white. This system is used alongside the show lighting system every day.
The show lighting are the lights we can control to change the colour that the Tower is illuminated. These are the lights we are referring to when we say 'illuminating the Tower'. They cannot be seen from as far away due to the nature of the lamps/light fittings used.
We have used this system since July 2005 (before the Tower opened to the public), where it played a part in the Trafalgar 200 celebrations.
We use this system every evening from 15 minutes before sunset to midnight (the lights located on the View Decks come on
The show lighting system is produced by a combination of 50 Martin 200 and 600 lights; when we close) to illuminate the Tower. If we have no particular reason to light the Tower in a specific colour, it will usually be illuminated in white.
24 at the bottom of the Tower that illuminate the cruciform (the bit where the bows cross) and upwards
- 16 on the ribs (1 at each end of the 8 main ribs)
- 6 internal lights (2 on each of the View Decks)
- 4 above the Crow's Nest
The lamps inside the light fittings are metal halide, these are changed approximately every 18 months, and it takes roughly 2 - 4 weeks to change them all. The internal lights are easier to change than the external lights which involves abseilers and engineers raising and lowering lamps to/from our roof terrace.
The system we use to change the colour of the lights is called Expression 3. Using filters in the 3 primary colours, magenta, cyan and yellow, in front of the lamps we can programme the lights to create any colour possible. We tend not to programme dark colours as at night these cannot be seen.
The 50 lights can be programmed individually, grouped to top, middle and bottom or all programmed the same colour. We can also programme the lights to change alongside different factors such as tide, wind and time.