New ‘Color Kinetics' lighting system installed at Cardiff Castle


A colourful new lighting system has been installed at Cardiff Castle as part of plans to improve the street scene, reduce energy use and costs, as well as helping generate additional income. 

The Signify (formerly Philips Lighting) ‘Color Kinetics' dynamic lighting system, versions of which are currently being used to light up to 14 bridges across the River Thames in London as part of a multi-million pound public art commission, is powered by highly efficient, long lasting, environmentally friendly LEDs which can be programmed and controlled to create a variety of colourful visual effects.

The new system replaces the existing 15 year old, high energy halogen lighting at the Castle, which has not worked properly for a number of years.

Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure Cllr Peter Bradbury, said: "Cardiff Castle is our most important heritage site and a key driver for attracting tourists to the city, but for some years now, at night time, it has been in darkness.

"The dramatic lighting effects that can be delivered by this system are incredibly impressive. We want to use this cutting edge technology to help us create a fantastic atmosphere, and a real buzz, that will help draw people back into the city once current restrictions are relaxed and the city opens up post-Covid.

"But the lights aren't just about making the Castle look great - they'll also help us attract more high profile concerts and events - events which generate income that can be put towards looking after this iconic building on behalf of the people of Cardiff.

"The old lighting system was incredibly energy inefficient and had reached the end of its life, so this new system is not only a massive upgrade, it's also a big saving in terms of energy use and the costs associated with that."

This initial installation covers the Castle Street facing wall of the Castle, including the clock tower. Plans are being developed to potentially expand this to cover the Keep, the main house, and other internal and external walls.

Color Kinetics lighting systems have also been used to light landmarks across the world including the London Eye, the Tyne Bridge, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, as well as other Welsh castles including Castle Coch and Caerphilly Castle.

Expert advice on how to achieve the maximum lighting impact on the project was provided by Signify and ELS. The installation was carried out by Centregreat, who have also worked on the installation of the Cardiff's LED street lighting infrastructure.