The Spire will also be lit for the first time, using only as much energy as a domestic iron. Dublin’s winter lights were officially switched on last night and will remain on until January 1st. Sixteen locations around the city will be lit up by Dublin City Council, including the Spire for the first time, with colourful projections and lighting displays. The Viking Boat in the Liffey and a new installation in the Liberties’ Bridgefoot St Park will also be lit up for the first time. Generators that use hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) will be used as a fuel source for the projections and installations for this year’s winter lights, the third time the council has done so.
Localised battery storage power will also be used for some installations. The battery packs will charge during offpeak hours and the stored energy from the batteries will be used during peak hours to power projectors and installations, thus eliminating any additional draw on the grid during peak periods.
The council said the power used to light the Spire is comparable to that used in a domestic iron (1800w) while Smithfield Square will be illuminated using the same amount of power as a dishwasher (3000w).
Dublin City Council said there is a walking trail map as well a QR code at each location providing a children’s story along the route. The locations are the Windmill Digital Hub in the Liberties, Bridgefoot Street Park, Smithfield Square, Wolfe Tone Square, the Millennium Bridge, the Liffey Viking Boat, Barnardo Square, the Spire (from November 19th), O’Connell Street monuments, Custom House, George’s Dock, the Triumphal Arch, Samuel Beckett Bridge, Seán O’Casey Bridge, the Mansion House (from December 3rd) and Merrion Square Park (from December 1st).
Lord Mayor of Dublin Caroline Conroy said: “Christmas really is a magical time for everyone and what better way to get you into the festive spirit than to visit this year’s Dublin winter Lights. “Whether you’re five or 85 I guarantee you’ll enjoy it. So come on into town, visit the lights and feel the magic this Christmas.”
A children’s art competition for primary schoolchildren is also taking place as part of Dublin’s winter lights. All artwork will be projected on to Barnardo Square beside Dublin Castle while the three winning artworks will receive a prize and their work will be used on the Lord Mayor’s Christmas cards this year.
Author; Sarah Burns for The Irish Times