Peter Freeman’s ‘Travelling Light’
JUNCTION 21, M5
When creating a 44ft lighting beacon for junction 21 of the UK’s M5 motorway, light artist, Peter Freeman, called on Architainment Lighting Ltd to supply LED technology to realise his vision.
To illuminate the mesmerising, stainless steel structure with a variety of colour changing light shows, Freeman chose to use Philips Color Kinetics iColor Flex SL (current equivalent iColor Flex MX gen2) fittings, each offering individually controlled tri-colour LED nodes acting as pixels. The sculpture, named ‘Travelling Light’ and commissioned by Locking Castle Ltd, incorporates 2,100 nodes, allowing for intricately designed lighting effects that correspond with days of the week and special occasions.
Cosmic colour patterns are displayed for summer and winter solstices, and flames cover the sculpture on bonfire night. Regular daily effects include gentle scrolls through the primary colours with added sparkle. The beacon itself sits on a 49ft manmade mound, creating 93ft of total height and resulting in visibility from miles around. The installation is controlled by Philips Color Kinetics’ Ethernet-based software/hardware solution, Light System Manager (LSM), and facilitates the authoring, management and control of complex and large-scale light shows.
Commenting on the project, Freeman said: “Light and the changing seasons are a very important element of living in the southwest. With Travelling Light, I wanted to create a visual spectacle that would express an exuberance of colour, reflect the passage of time, and lighten the journey of drivers heading into the region.”