Business

Lighting firm gets showcase in Derry

NEXT week's spectacular Lumiere light show in Derry will allow one Belfast company to display its products like never before.

AM Light makes neon lighting and is the only manufacturer of cold-cathode lighting (CCL) in Ireland.

It has worked with local artists on some of the pieces to appear at next week's four-day extravaganza in the city of culture which will see an array of light installations and projects transform buildings and streets.

It is just the latest high- profile project AM Light has been involved with as the family firm expands into new markets across the world.

The CCL lighting has been used on some Belfast's best known landmarks including the Victoria Square complex and Titanic Belfast.

It allows bespoke lighting to be added to highlight architectural features - such as the multicoloured dome atop Victoria Square.

Meanwhile, AM Light's pedigree as one of the leading CCL manufacturers in Britain and Ireland has seen it win massive contracts in the Middle East.

It has worked on the Grande Mosque in Saudi Arabia and the Muscat Airport in Oman among others.

"We are now focusing on emerging markets such as India and Brazil which we think are going to be very big for us," Chris McNevison from the firm said.

"We think Brazil will be big with the World Cup coming up and have a couple of trade missions organised."

AM Light will help bring Derry to life with several installations for Lumiere - among them, an array of giant shirts to reflect the city's shirt-making heritage.

"There will be a shirt in each window of the old factory next to Craigavon Bridge," Chris McNevison said.

"This was a major technical challenge because of the status of the building meaning we couldn't attach the shirts."

Others include lighting the roof of the BT building with the opening line of Teenage Kicks by the Undertones and a set of neon dogs - both by artist Deepa Mann-Kler.

She has been working with neon for a little over a year having moved away from traditional painting.

"Painting can be very solitary but when you are working with neon, you are working with other people so it is a very different experience," she said.

"The dogs are 2ft by 2ft and are fully 3D. Technically it has been very challenging because there isn't any perfectly straight lines, everything is curved."

Lumiere runs for four days from next Thursday and is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to Derry.

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