Lighting a bridge: connecting two nations

Victoria Falls Bridge during the day before being lit by Philips Color Kinetics lighting

Victoria Falls Bridge,


Solid State Lighting International, led by Ross Blakeway, pitched the idea of lighting the bridge to the Minster's of Tourism of Zambia and Zimbabwe, which is the two countries that the bridge connects. The historic bridge built in 1905 has come back to life with inspirational Philips LED lighting.

Philips Color Kinetics LED floodlights lighting the base of the Victoria Falls Bridge.
This is not your typical lighting project and for some would have been impossible. We had to be mindful of the local fauna and flora, territorial baboons, and the resident Rock Python. No civil works were undertaken at the base of the bridge and all floodlights were positioned 3 meters away.
-Ross Blakeway, SSLI
Victoria Falls Bridge lit by LED lighting

Customer challenge

This project presented many challenges, both logistically and with the structure of the bridge. The lighting could not be attached to the steel structure and had to be carefully positioned at the base without affecting the nature or wildlife. Each of the 12 fittings weighed 34kg and had to be lowered into the ravine. Each fitting had to be angled to light up the 200 metre in length structure.

The right lighting

Twelve Philips CK Reach PowerCore Generation 2 LED floodlights (Six in Zambia and Six in Zimbabwe) were positioned on either side of the bridge. The RGB controller and DMX Wireless emitter are positioned on the Zimbabwe side of the bridge and all information is communicated digitally across the gorge to a DMX wi-fi receiver that communicates with the floodlights.

The LED floodlights each consume only 290 watts of power yet they are able to throw the light up to 665 feet (202.7 meters) producing colour palate of 18,5 million colours. These lights consume 60% less energy than the 800w High Pressure Sodium lamps which traditionally illuminated a portion of the Zimbabwean side of the bridge base.

It has been calculated that the total solution will cost approximately less than $2.50 per day to run but will bring about tremendous tourism benefits.

ColorReach Powercore gen2, RGB

ColorReach Powercore

ColorReach Powercore gen2, RGB high-performance LED fixtures are premium exterior long-throw dynamic color changing luminaires for lighting tall buildings, bridges, and iconic structures.

Lighting a bridge: connecting two nations

Lighting a bridge: connecting two nations

The Team

Ross Blakeway


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