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Contarnex Europe Limited
Frangible Aviation Structures and LED Obstruction Lighting Specialists

Archive for March, 2012

Contarnex Lights the Shard

Posted on: March 11th, 2012

Tallest Building in Europe Equipped with CEL Aviation Obstacle Lights


_MG_5906The Shard of Glass at London Bridge is the tallest skyscraper in London. After completion in 2012 The Shard became the tallest building in the European Union at the time of construction.

The building stands at 310 meters tall and has offices, restaurants, a hotel and public viewing gallery at level 72 as well as private apartments. Over and above the gallery additional levels take you higher to the very top aircraft warning lights located at level 94 where the feature shards meet the sky.

Renzo Piano’s skyscraper design of The Shard is a triangular pyramid shape and is fully glass clad from the base to the top.

The red lights can be seen from across the city and these give aviation traffic their visual reference to the tall buildings, particularly for the local lower level helicopters routed to fly along the River Thames.

The Aircraft Warning Lights are LED technology for their extreme reliability and their very low power consumption. CEL was chosen as their light heads are very small and lightweight approx. 3kg and offer very low ‘flow distortion’  particularly useful for meteorological mast and turbines where wind needs to be unaffected. The feature shards at the top of the building have two compliant medium intensity obstruction lights fitted.

The remaining intermediary light levels are also equipped with CEL aviation Medium Intensity Type C – Led Obstruction lights at 45m separation levels to ground thus resulting in 18 lights on 6 different floor levels.

All the red warning lights are networked to the Shard Local Area fiber-optic Network for their building management system in the unlikely event of any equipment and cable failures.

CEL was instrumental at the early stage of building design, meeting with ARUP the consulting engineers and the nominated contractors MACE, further safeguarding consultation with the CAA, to delivery and final commissioning over a 4 year period.

CEL was delighted to have delivered successfully on such a signature building and have since delivered to numerous tall building projects worldwide.

Shard London Bridge skyscraper is equipped with 18 medium-intensity Type C steady-burning obstacle lights.  Majority of them are 180° lights fittings to control the light distribution where you need it, and minimize light leakage towards the building.

The lights are located at six different levels.  On top of the building two 360° medium-intensity lights are installed. Rest of the building is equipped with 180° medium-intensity lights at the other different levels.  All the lights are networked through the CEL-CSW-48-16-F controllers that are located near the light heads.

Our products were chosen for this project due their long and reliable lifetime. In addition, low power consumption, small and compact size and easy-to-install – functions were seen as main advantages. A 5-year warranty was also a strong sign of reliability for the architects and decision-makers to choose these particular lights. “We want to be active in building sector in the future. Our product portfolio covers extensively the needs of aviation obstacle light systems on tall buildings ”, says Paul Turpeinen, of CEL Aviation.