Thousands watch the solar-powered spectacle
Radio New Zealand and Ratna Venkat
Ninety-thousand solar-powered LED lights on the Auckland Harbour Bridge lit up the sky marking Auckland Anniversary.
Lines company Vector has spent $10 million in a bid to showcase the landmark better.
The lights were switched on for the first time at 910 pm for a six-minute show accompanied by music.
Hundreds of people gathered at Little Shoal Bay to see them for the first time – including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who said that the lights would put not only Auckland but the whole country on the world map.
The lights will brighten up the bridge most nights of the year, with special configurations for different events.
No Electricity Bill
Vector Project Manager Paul Cannin said that planning started early last year with construction beginning in August.
“For Vector, it is an opportunity; it is not just about the lights on the bridge. We have also installed a large solar panel down at Wynyard Quarter with a large-scale utility battery. Therefore, it is about showcasing new technology as well. These lights “will be powered by the solar energy we collect during the day. Therefore, there will be no power bill,” he said.
The Auckland Council adds:
The Vector Lights on Auckland Harbour Bridge was repeated every half hour after the launch held at 9 10 pm last night (January 27).
VIPs at the Show
Among the VIPs who attended the launch show were Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Transport Minister Phil Twyford, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, Deputy Mayor Bill Cashmore, Dr Michelle Dickinson (Nanogirl), Vector Chair Michael Stiassny, Auckland Council Chief Executive Stephen Town, Auckland Councillors and Local Board members and the media.
For those viewing the bridge from around the harbour, the music and sound for the Vector Lights show will stream in sync with the lights on Coast 105.4 FM (for the 910 pm and 930 pm shows).
The last Monday in January is not the actual day on which Auckland was established but on September 18, 1840 by William Hobson after signing the Treaty of Waitangi. Auckland was the Capital of New Zealand and in 1850, January 29 was declared as the Auckland Anniversary Day with the Auckland Regatta. The Capital was shifted to Wellington in 1865.
- 248 solar panels lit up 90,000 LED lights for Auckland Anniversary
- Special configurations to mark special events along the Auckland Harbour Bridge
(Pictures by Ratna Venkat)
- Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff and others at the launch of the Lights Show at Little Shoal Bay, Northcote on January 27
(Picture through Auckland Council by Colenso BBDO -Vector Lights)