Night of Heritage Lighting (NOHL)

As part of the programme of events for the International Year of Light, the Society of Light & Lighting (SLL) organised for several UNESCO World Heritage sites across the UK & Ireland to be illuminated for one night only on Thursday 1st October 2015.

The objective was to create a ‘light map’ across the UK & Ireland, and to raise awareness of the medium of light and how it transforms our perceptions and appreciation of buildings.

Lighting Up Durdle Door

Durdle Door is a natural limestone arch on the Jurassic Coast near Lulworth in Dorset, and was chosen to be lit up as part of the NOHL celebrations.

In support of NOHL and working in partnership with Michael Grubb Studios, Architainment Lighting’s Lee Shields and Neil Gamble travelled to site to help with lighting up this unique structure.


Before any lighting up could take place, there were a couple of challenges that had to be overcome. Firstly the equipment had to be carried down two hundred steps to the beach, and secondly generators had to be used to overcome the absence of any electricity.

The Lighting Solution

Neil comments “The brief was to graze the length of Durdle Door with red light, so taking into account where we could get power from, we used a Color Kinetics ColorReach Gen2 due to its capability to project over long distances. We also used an eW Reach Compact to provide the 4000K white spot at the top of the arch. The brief also included backlighting the arch, so Architainment provided another ColorReach Gen 2 which was mounted on a boat that was anchored behind the arch.

Getting the ColorReach Gen2 onto the boat was also a challenge, since it couldn’t come into the cove. The fitting had to firstly be loaded into a rowing boat and then transferred to the main boat where it was powered by a car battery.

Lee comments “ It was great to be involved in lighting up this prehistoric natural structure. The end result was amazing and enjoyed by the thousands of people who came to see this one off event”

The International Year Of Light 2015

The International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies (IYL 2015) is a global initiative adopted by the United Nations to raise awareness of how optical technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to worldwide challenges in energy, education, agriculture, communications and health.

Image Credits: Mike Massaro