Absa, a South African subsidiary of Barclays Bank PLC, recently switched on what it says is "the world's largest Light Emitting Diode (LED) display of its kind" atop the Absa Towers building in Johannesburg's central business district.
For the project, Barco company Barco LiveDots delivered what it said was its "largest LED solution to date," a 2,650-square-meter LED display composed of 2,880 TF-20 tiles. Designed by Herring Media Group, the display covers all four sides of the Absa Towers, and Barco called the project "yet another milestone project for Barco LiveDots, scarcely six months after its groundbreaking realization at the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympic Games."
Crowning the 29 story-high building, each of the four giant LED screens is almost twice the size of a basketball court (38 meters/124.7 feet long and 17 meters/55.8 feet high), and can be seen from a radius of up to 1.5 kilometers (or just under 1 mile) from the ground and 2.5 kilometers (or just more than 1.5 miles) in the air, according to Absa.
The screens — which Absa is calling collectively "Lumen" — are bigger than those that make London's Piccadilly Circus and New York's Times Square instantly recognizable, and "features the most advanced LED technology used on this scale — making it a world first," according to the bank.
According to Barco, one of the features setting the Barco LiveDots solutions apart is the ability to run, control and monitor the complete display as one single image, by one single operator. All four sides of the LED display form a unique large canvas, where video and images can be moved from side to side. At the heart of the installation is Barco's DX-700 video processor, and what's more, thanks to the active system "agent," the brightness of all four façades can be controlled separately and automatically, thus ensuring the best contrast/brightness ratio at any time of day, at any viewing location. This system also allows the operator to optimize energy efficiency with a few simple steps to limit both cost and impact on the environment.
The display also employs energy-saving technology with low power-consumption LED tiles, and Absa said it is building "one of the largest rooftop solar photovoltaic farms in South Africa" on top of Absa Towers North to offset some of the carbon emissions of the displays.
To offset the remaining carbon emissions, Absa also is rolling out a program run by Absa Insurance and EcoNavitas to subsidize solar geysers (water heating systems) by 60 percent to more than 750 households.
Learn more about LED displays.