The world famous Piccadilly Lights went off this morning (Monday 16 January) as works begin on a major redevelopment of the iconic landmark and globally-recognised advertising space.

A state-of-the-art new screen will be unveiled in autumn 2017, with a static advertising banner set to cover the space until then.

The Lights are rarely switched off, with notable exceptions including the duration of the Second World War, Winston Churchill’s funeral in 1965 and Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997. This significant moment will therefore be marked by a montage of historic images of the Lights followed by a short countdown, before the six separate advertising screens are turned off for the final time just after 8.30am.

The current screens will be replaced with a single screen of the same size and shape which will be one of the highest resolution LED displays of its size in the world. Six advertisers will share the fully responsive and interactive new screen, taking advantage of its capacity for live video streaming, lifestyle updates such as weather and sports results, and real time social media feeds. Coca-Cola has renewed its long-standing commitments, meaning four more brands have the chance to secure a coveted spot.

Vasiliki Arvaniti, Portfolio Manager at Land Securities said: “This is a huge day for Piccadilly Lights and though it will be a strange feeling to see them go dark, we’re incredibly excited about their future. There have been illuminated advertising signs at Piccadilly Circus for more than a century, and the new state-of-the-art screen we’re installing will stay true to its tradition as a site for advertising innovation by offering brands pioneering new ways to connect to the 100 million people who pass by each year.”
Land Securities, the UK’s largest property company and owner of the unique West End site, has worked with premium digital out-of-home media owner Ocean Outdoor to secure permission from Westminster City Council to undertake the major upgrade.

Ros Morgan, Chief Executive Heart of London Business Alliance says: “The Piccadilly Lights are an iconic landmark in the heart of London, an interactive attraction for local and international tourists that has brought years of colour and excitement to the area. The light’s transformation into Europe’s largest single digital screen is a showcase of London’s innovation and will bring visitors an enhanced entertainment experience, whilst offering businesses a world-leading platform to engage with the 400 million people who visit the wider area each year.”