Osram's LEDs Turns the Noma Earth Tubes into an Interactive Light Installation

The three impressive Noma Earth Tubes are part of a municipal refurbishment project in the north of Manchester. (All Photos Courtesy of Osram)

The impressive Noma Earth Tubes with a height of 5.60 metres are part of the 80,000 square metre Noma municipal refurbishment project in the north of Manchester. The three towers supply fresh air to the co-op support centre located beneath it in the centre of the upgrading zone. In addition to their primary function the climate towers also fulfil an aesthetic task, making the public space much more attractive for both visitors and residents. This vision has been rendered possible thanks to state-of-the-art LED lighting solutions from Osram.

Traxon supplied RGB LED lines according to customer requirements that with their innate flexibility could be simply adapted to the individual shapes of the specific towers.

The task consisted of highlighting the shape and structure of the three ventilation towers with a creative and interactive light installation capable of fascinating but also integrating observers. The lighting had to visualise various topics such as local and global events and enable visitors to influence these externally. The aim was enabling the light object to continuously develop but to still maintain its level of fascination. To breathe life into this vision, the managers contacted the specialists from Osram Lighting Solutions. With its Traxon product spectrum the company offers flexible and customisable solutions as well as the requisite experience needed to succeed with such complex projects.


The lighting was subdivided into three elements – the 'ribs' attached around the towers, the round 'covers' and the curved upper 'crown'. Traxon supplied RGB LED lines according to customer requirements that with their innate flexibility could be simply adapted to the individual shapes of the specific towers. A customised, all-round cylindrical media screen shell was created for each tube for this purpose, consisting of 5,760 individually controllable LED light points per tube. A round media screen was created for the upper side of the ventilation towers using Traxon RGB Media Tube LED modules – the screen is located precisely above the ventilation grid without disturbing the air flow and functionality of the towers. A total of 10,800 individually addressable LED light points are integrated into the three covers, with each tower featuring a luminous ring as a crowning effect consisting of Linearlight Flex IP LED modules. Control of the complete lighting system is via an e:cue control server. 


The flexibility of the Osram solution is demonstrated by the four different methods of lighting: organic video, motion tracking, gesture control and Twitter mode. These all give the towers their own identity and enable complete interaction with passers-by - motion sensors project shadows onto the towers for example in accordance with the movements of people nearby. Colour sequence commands are executed via tweets and implemented in a matter of seconds. It is not only motion and atmosphere on-location that can be visualised though - moods and responses to global events can also be rendered using colours and light patterns. The towers were illuminated in the national colours of France for example following the terrorist attacks in Paris.

At this year’s Lighting Design Award the project, illuminated by Cundall Light4, gained a special mention in the "Community and Public Realm of the Year" category.


Project partner:

Lighting designer: Cundall, UK
Architectural lighting specialist: StudioTech, UK

Disclaimers of Warranties
1. The website does not warrant the following:
1.1 The services from the website meets your requirement;
1.2 The accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of the service;
1.3 The accuracy, reliability of conclusions drawn from using the service;
1.4 The accuracy, completeness, or timeliness, or security of any information that you download from the website
2. The services provided by the website is intended for your reference only. The website shall be not be responsible for investment decisions, damages, or other losses resulting from use of the website or the information contained therein<
Proprietary Rights
You may not reproduce, modify, create derivative works from, display, perform, publish, distribute, disseminate, broadcast or circulate to any third party, any materials contained on the services without the express prior written consent of the website or its legal owner.
XLamp® XP-G3 LEDs are optimized for directional, high lumen lighting applications where efficacy and optical control are critical, such as roadway, portable and horticulture. The compact and proven 3.45 mm XP platform has an excellent ecosyst... READ MORE

Nichia further demonstrates its commitment in UV-C LED technology with its release of the high output NC4U334BR. Tokushima, Japan — 6 October 2021: NICHIA, the world’s largest LED manufacturer and inventor of the high-brightness bl... READ MORE