Local Firm Brings Light to Olympics
(Originally published by Crain's Detroit Business, July 30, 2012)
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London's Wembley Arena district will be hopping for the Olympics, but the exterior colored lighting display will be handled from here.
The venue will host the badminton and gymnastics events, and adjacent Wembley Stadium is the largest of the six venues hosting soccer. So there's a good chance TV viewers will see exterior shots of the area, and the eye-popping Olympic colors being emitted from the LED lighting that fills the district, including a series of glowing poles that line the plaza between the two venues.
The lighting display will be controlled, not from London, not even from England, but from the offices of Illuminating Concepts in Farmington Hills, via an Internet connection.
Four years ago, Illuminating Concepts obtained the contract to design the lighting for the Wembley district. The company designs custom light-emitting diode displays for amusement parks, casinos and other large-scale projects, as well as municipal street lighting systems whose poles can also display images or words.
Less than two weeks before the Olympic Games began, the firm was asked if it could modify the lighting, which already came in a range of colors, to include the official Olympic pink. Michael Shulman, executive director of design and business strategy, using his company's proprietary software, was able to come up with what he thought was an exact match.
In a 15-second remote test last week, Olympic officials agreed the pink was perfect.