This piece was originally published in the March/April 2019 issue of electroindustry.
Mighty Lights, a privately funded dynamic LED installation on Big River Crossing (launched in 2016), has dramatically
expanded Memphis’ downtown revitalization by adding a connected LED lighting system on the iconic Hernando de Soto Bridge. The installation, which debuted on October 27, 2018, features a cloud-based architectural lighting system. This is the first connected LED lighting system of its kind that can remotely monitor both the Big River Crossing and Hernando de Soto Bridge from a single dashboard and remotely manage content, creating a citywide immersive experience for onlookers.
The Mighty Lights installation on the Hernando de Soto Bridge includes nearly 10,000 individually controllable light points. These durable architectural lighting fixtures are specifically designed to withstand harsh weather, excess vibration due to automobiles, and extreme heat. The cutting-edge LED technology featured in the Mighty Lights installation can produce more than one billion intensely saturated colors in a variety of beam angles, ensuring that every truss and cable on both bridges is defined and vibrant. The LEDs can also create hundreds of possible light distribution patterns and configurations to create static displays or fluid and animated color shows that commence every hour on the hour after sundown on Big River Crossing and the Hernando de Soto Bridge.
“The Mighty Lights is reinvigorating one of the region’s most vital centers of activity and contributing directly to the social and economic prosperity of the community,” said Roger Karner, U.S. President of Signify. “By integrating the Big River Crossing and Hernando De Soto Bridge, Mighty Lights reimagines how residents and visitors will experience the iconic Memphis riverfront while also capturing the attention and imagination of millions of people and thousands of cities around the world.”
The Mighty Lights on the Hernando de Soto Bridge radically transform and enhance the Memphis waterfront by illuminating more than four miles of riverside parklands. There are expansive viewpoints ranging from Harbor Town and Greenbelt Park in the north to Tom Lee Park and Big River Trail through the Arkansas floodplains in the south.
“The Mighty Lights have helped to increase tourism, economic development, and community engagement in downtown Memphis,” said Todd Richardson, President of Memphis Bridge Lighting, Inc., the nonprofit orchestrating the Mighty Lights. “The glow and hourly light shows are a unique and fun experience for Memphians and visitors that will capture imaginations and bring a broad range of people together in times of celebration and commemoration.”
Quantifying Impact and ROI
Using the Social Impact Analysis app, a software service within the Interact Landmark platform designed to help the City of Memphis and Memphis Bridge Lighting Inc., designers selected Memphis as a pilot market to collect accurate feedback on the social and media impact of the Mighty Lights. Along with the Big River Crossing’s eco-counter, information from the app will help the city to facilitate better engagement with citizens, improve strategies to boost tourism, and enhance value for the local economy.