Battery Powered Outdoor Art Exhibitions

Illuminating the Streets of Durham at Lumiere

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Durham Lumiere has solidified its position as one of the premier global light festivals. During the biannual event, light artists transform the streets, parks, and buildings of the City Centre into mesmerizing works of art.

Mick Stephenson: Diamond Garden

For Durham Lumiere 2023, event organizers Artichoke reached out in the 11th hour to inquire if Tracer could assist in powering Mick Stephenson’s Diamond Garden Installation. Nestled in the
shadow of the historical Durham Cathedral, the art piece featured a 240 Watt LED array that required power for 7 hours each night.

The mesmerising diamond installation serves as an emblem of renewable energy’s importance, instilling knowledge about Durham’s coal history and fostering sustainability among local schoolchildren who created solar lights, illuminating the space around the diamond.

Stephenson's first hand on with Tracer BP2910

The Challenge: Powering Outdoor Art Installations

To power a 240W LED light array in the Diamond Garden for 5 sessions of 7 hours each during Lumiere, posed a unique challenge. Located on the College Green with no available power source, artist Mick Stephenson proposed a solar-charged battery solution housed within the sealed diamond structure to combat the harsh British winter conditions.

The Solution: Tracer BP2910

Following an initial feasibility test, it was decided to dismiss solar charging due to the UK’s shortened daylight hours and unreliable sunlight. Instead, the proposal emerged to recharge the batteries using hydro power from a nearby building between sessions.

After implementing these design tweaks, Stephenson settled on two Tracer 12V 100Ah BP2910 Carry Case Kits to power his installation. Each battery would support a 120Watt array of lights, providing an estimated 10 hours of power if needed. This choice significantly reduced the required recharge time, as the batteries did not necessitate a full charge cycle to achieve the 7 hours of required runtime. Weighing merely 9kg each, the portability of these batteries facilitated easy transportation to and from the site between charges.

I was sceptical at first! Previous experiments with batteries hadn’t really worked, but then we discovered Tracer and they’ve been brilliant. Some nights we still had 50% charge left.

Mick Stephenson – Light Artist

Post Lumiere Reaction

Diamond Garden shone throughout Lumiere and stood as a backdrop to a couples’ engagement proposal. The adoption of Tracer Batteries as a reliable power source has inspired Stephenson, offering boundless possibilities and the freedom to showcase his installations in any location.

Diamond Garden During Set Up
Diamond Garden Being Powered By Batteries

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