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Thorn taking part in historic lighting event for UNESCO International Year of Light

  • Thorn taking part in historic lighting event for UNESCO International Year of Light
Oct 05, 2015

As part of the activities of the UNESCO International Year of Light, Thorn was involved in the "Night of Heritage Light" from the Society of Lighting and Lighting (SLL) lighting up nine locations declared UNESCO World Heritage across the United Kingdom on the 1st October 2015.

Thorn are delighted to be involved in creating the Night of Heritage Light in the United Kingdom and seeing these UNESCO World Heritage sites in a way that nobody has before. The main aim was to celebrate the UNESCO International Year of Light. This project shows the potential of light to present the world around us in a completely new way, but it also demonstrates the versatility of light and the technology behind it.

Iain Macrae, Head of Global Lighting Applications at Thorn says: “Lighting is an art as well as a science, and it's been really exciting and a lot of fun for us to take part in this event with the SLL. We hope it will inspire the next generation of lighters, and remind others of the huge role lighting plays in their daily lives."

Blenheim Palace near Oxford was one of the first sites to be approached. For those who know the history, this is the home of Winston Churchill and has many links to the Royal family over a number of centuries. It also makes it a difficult site to get access to. After that the Tower of London was added, next came Giants Causeway and eventually the whole idea grew into something bigger. Skip forward through months of planning, site visits, negotiation and design and the 1st October 2015 had arrived when nine different world heritage sites would be lit up.

The whole event was backed by UNESCO, The Society of Light and Lighting, world renowned design teams like dpa, Michael Grubb and Speirs & Major; and a number of manufacturers including Thorn. Teams turned up at the nine world heritage sites across the UK and Northern Ireland. With cars full of lighting kit from over twenty suppliers, light was added to bring these sites to life in a way never seen before, just for one short night. Most of these sites have never been lit due to their protected status. The public were invited to attend and world class photographers captured the installations. Media including the BBC provided news coverage.

The results are truly inspiring. Visitors of the sites were amazed by what light can do. The Night of Heritage Light was a true celebration of the UNESCO International Year of Light.

You can find more information and pictures here:




The nine locations were - Giant's Causeway, Edinburgh Old & New Towns, Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal, Liverpool Maritime, Ironbridge Gorge, Blaenavon Industrial, Blenheim Palace, Tower of London and the Jurassic Coast.

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