Urban Lighting Improvement of Guangzhou

Bordering the South China Sea, Guangzhou is the first export seaport in China and the beginning of the Maritime Silkroad.  Being the capital of Guangdong Province, it is one of the center cities in China together with Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Chongqing.  Situated in the central part of Guangdong, it is the heart of the Pearl River Delta, as well as the southern gateway to China.  Pearl River is the third longest river in China, also the main river across Guangzhou, presenting the historical and traditional change, and business development over thousand years.

The improvement of urban lighting in Guangzhou along Pearl River is 18-kilometer-long, from White Swan Lagoon to Haixinsha Island, the Opening Ceremony Hub of 2010 Asian Games, from Canton Tower to Pazhou Bridge.  This project replaces all the spotlights and floodlights with LED lamps, it also adjusts the lightening duration at night from 7pm to 10.30pm (3.5 hours) in winter and spring, and 7:30pm to 10.30pm (3 hours) in summer and autumn. The design concept is to highlight the outline structure of the buildings, use LED lamp and launch remote-control system to operate the lighting during holidays and festivals. We also re-designed the lighting for 12 bridges over the river.  During the 2010 Asian Games, the athletes sailed from White Swan Lagoon towards Haixinsha Island, enjoying the beautiful landscape and lighting of Pearl River.

Pearl River Lighting - Festival Mode. Credits: AALD

Pearl River Lighting – Festival Mode. Credits: AALD

Along the Pearl River, LED lamps are vertically installed to wash the building’s façades and controlled to display a moving picture on the walls.  Meanwhile, indirect light of LEDs soften the  the façades’ brightness.  Some lamps are installed at the mid and lower part of residential buildings, showing some images of boats sailing on the façades.  This also reflects on the water, displaying a quiet and beautiful picture.

The Flower City Square on the north bound of Pearl River and the new central axis of Guangzhou becomes the new center of Guangzhou, gathering many landmark buildings — Guangzhou Opera House, Guangdong Museum, Guangzhou Library, the Second Children’s Palace of Guangzhou, Guangzhou International Financial Center and the Pearl River Tower. The Guangzhou Opera House is designed by Zaha Hadid, which looks like two shining and smooth stones beside the river at night. The Guangzhou Museum looks like a moonlight treasure box, while the Guangzhou Library looks like a huge opening book welcoming people to step in. The Pearl River Tower is designed with energy conservation in mind, including wind turbines and solar collectors, photovoltaic cells, raised floors ventilation, and radiant heating and cooling ceilings. It is one of the most environmentally friendly buildings in the world. The Flower City Square is also the venue of the Guangzhou International Light Festival that have been held there since 2011.

Guangzhou Opera House Lighting. Credits: AALD

Guangzhou Opera House Lighting. Credits: AALD

For the purpose of building a green-lighting city, the Guangzhou Lighting Construction Management Center was founded in June 2012.  And since 2013, the energy-saving improvement project of street lighting in the central part of Guangzhou has been working. This project aims to save more than 45.9 million kilowatt per hour, which means saving USD 6.8 million and reducing 45,500 tons of CO2 emission.

The urban lighting improvement of Guangzhou won the Urban Lighting Construction Award of China Lighting Award in both 2013 and 2014. And Guangzhou has become one of the leading Chinese cities in terms of urban lighting.


AALD-logo(HD)The Asian Association of Lighting Designers (AALD) is an international non-for-profit association, registered in June 2011 and devoted exclusively to the concerns of professional lighting designers in Asia. Our target is to accelerate the recognition and improvement of the professional lighting designers and establish the highest standard of lighting design in Asia. Professional lighting designers provide feasible lighting solutions concerning innovative, functional and economic purpose. They understand the role of lighting in space, and utilize their sound experience and knowledge of the latest lighting solution and fittings to fulfill the design.

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One thought on “Urban Lighting Improvement of Guangzhou

  1. As a member and chapter leader of the International Dark Sky Association, involved in the ILY, I am sad, to say the least, to see such severe light pollution promoting the apparent financial success of this city. Yes one can save some money by using LED lights, and I applaud limiting the length of the light parade. However, the gross excess and misdirection of the lights shown here are very costly in terms of dollars and have strikingly negative effects on the environment of plants, insects, birds, and humans. It is time for the Asian Association of Lighting Designers to become enlightened. Start by watching a short video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dd82jaztFIo and then visiting our website.

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