Burj Khalifa — A canvas for colourful Facade Lighting shows
Ever wondered what goes behind-the-scenes during the jaw-dropping facade lighting show on the world’s tallest tower? Here’s a glimpse into how this monumental tower lays LED lights to perfection.
Fitting LEDS on Dubai’s famous skyscraper – Burj Khalifa- is one daredevil job to pull it off. Teams faces several challenges of sandstorms, rain, heavy winds during installation of the structure’s LED exteriors. Not forgetting the 828 metres spine-chilling height of the sky-reaching tower.
Burj Khalifa, the tallest building, is also the largest LED screen in the world. The tower hosts breathtaking light shows on special days such as New Year and UAE National day on its façade facing the lake in Downtown Dubai. Complemented by lasers, music, and fireworks, the live show continues to amaze crowds even from miles away due to its cloud-piercing height and brilliant illumination.
Here’s a glimpse of what goes behind the Burj Khalifa’s brilliantly illuminated façade.
Small lights, large screen
The super tall screen requires over 1.2 million LED lighting units, 10000 connectors and 72 kilometers of cabling to cover a total area of 33000 square meters on its facade. Discreetly installed as thin plastic strips on window edges, these strips perfectly blend with the facade with not even occupants noticing their presence. In total, these multiple tiny LED lights piece together the display of composite images or videos played on the screen.
In a super quiet bare-bone office in the tower, lighting technicians run an internal test on their laptop screen in complete confidentiality. Alongside the flickering of lights all that you can hear is the humming sound of the AC. If it appears fine on the computer screen, the show is destined to run smoothly. Astonishingly, no test displays are run externally on the facade.
LED control room
During a live show, skilled technicians glued to their screens in the control room oversee the visual performance on the façade. A media file runs on a laptop connected to a main brain server, which through a network of fiber optics signals the LEDs to display a pattern of colours. Millions of lights are controlled to create billion combinations of striking illumination effects. All that you see is a composite image of the video playing that turns the facade into a mesmerizing screen visible from great distances.
If there are issues with any of the lights, signals travel through hi-tech electrical systems to the server and indicate the location of the fault for immediate action. This is so much easier than manually checking the working condition of 1.2 million lights on the facade. Interestingly, no signal loss of light during a live show has ever occurred so far. Even if something goes wrong, a few LED bulbs can be switched off and the show will run perfectly fine for millions of eager onlookers.
With so many resources and efforts into it, Burj Khalifa light shows are an incredible sight of a kaleidoscope of images- flags, brands, and solidarity messages. Several other opulently illuminated skyscrapers in UAE create panoramic views of the city’s skyline at night.
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