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LED lighting plays prominent role in Olympic Games

LED lighting played a major role in the London 2012 Olympics, particularly in the celebrations surrounding the Opening and Closing ceremonies.

Many of the events at the Olympic Games in London benefitted from the use of LED lighting, which was selected in some cases for its longevity and sustainability, and in others for its color-changing capabilities and wow factor.

London 2012 Opening Ceremony

The latter was the case in both the Opening and Closing Ceremony, when LEDs were used to create patterns, text and animated effects in the crowd sections.


Because of GE’s role as a major global Olympic sponsor, its competitors are not permitted to discuss directly their role in providing lighting for the Olympic venues. However, it’s clear that Philips supplied the lion’s share of the lighting at the Olympic Park, including the iconic masts powered by vertical wind turbines, and also the LED-based lighting for pedestrian thoroughfares.


Philips also supplied lighting schemes that enabled TV broadcasting from the main venues, including the Olympic stadium, the Aquatic Centre and the Velodrome. Lessons learned from these installations are summarized in a document by Philips on the Olympics Learning Legacy website .


Despite a commitment to maximize the use of sustainable technologies, the London 2012 organizers were not able to specify LED lighting for many of the key tasks, including the main lighting schemes for the Olympic Stadium and other major venues. We’ll see whether LEDs have an even bigger impact at the games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.