THE skies lit up in a kaleidoscope of colour as Blackpool Tower became a beacon of light.
Last night’s big switch on was a celebration of two years spent replacing the 10,000 old pygmy bulbs along The Tower’s legs for more efficient LED lights.
The burst of colour will be seen across the resort for the days around Valentine’s Day.
Head of Illuminations, Richard Ryan, said: “It looks absolutely gorgeous and really brings the Tower into the 21st century. We are very pleased with it.
“This is another fantastic moment for Blackpool – the only town where a structure like this is illuminated so beautifully. It is to the town’s credit that it still wants to do something like this. We have gone the extra mile, and the results really are world-class.”
Mr Ryan said the work to The Tower had been no mean feat, as temperatures at the top fell to minus six degrees Celsius this week.
He added: “It’s been a very, very challenging project, but I think the results are worth it.”
Coun Graham Cain, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for tourism and culture, said: “Since the top of The Tower was first lit up, we’ve received great feedback saying just how spectacular it looks, which is a testament to the hard work that has been put in.”
An illuminated heart in the middle of the Tower contains more than 900 LED lights alone, and the whole structure now boasts 5,508 LED lights, each containing 42 individual LEDs.
The stunning display delighted residents in the town centre.
Lee Scott, 38, of Cherry Tree Road, Blackpool, said: “I think it looks really nice, but it will look better when The Tower’s finished and the scaffolding is down. It’s a lot better than it used to be.”
Julie Smith, 38, of Bond Street, Blackpool, said the town should be “proud”.
She said: “I love it. This is something for the people of Blackpool to be proud of.”
Roberto Veloz, 26, of Devonshire Road, Bispham, said: “It looks really nice. I like the heart.”
And Denise Lavery, 53, of Briarwood Drive, Bispham: “It’s amazing. I’ve never seen The Tower look this nice. I’ve seen them testing it from a distance but never like this.”
The lights will be switched off at the weekend and will return later in the year when the Illuminations are switched on.
LIGHTING UP THE TOWER... FROM AN ILLUMINATING IDEA TO LIGHTING UP TIME
BLACKPOOL Tower is now more colourful than ever before thanks to a massive lighting project which has been two years in the making.
The old lights from the attraction were removed as part of the on-going refurbishment project, and over the last couple of years they have been replaced with thousands of LED lights, which are more energy efficient and make the cost of lighting The Tower a fraction of the expense of using the older lights.
Greg McLenahan works for World Wide Lighting Design, and is working for Blackpool Council on the £250,000 Tower lighting project.
He said: “The new lights are a lot more modern and up to date, and make The Tower a lot more colourful.
“It can be pink and red for Valentine’s Day, and green at Halloween – the Tower will be a lot more themed than it ever was before.”
But it’s been no mean feat installing the 5,508 lights, and Greg said the weather had hampered progress.