Text “blue” and the building turns blue!  Text “Red” and it goes red. Text “Surprise” and just see what happens!

Now the visitors coming to see the illuminations in Blackpool can control some of the lighting, by simply texting.

When a colour name is texted the building changes to a show based on that colour, but with some other colours added in, for around 10 seconds then reverts to a gently changing background display that runs throughout the night.


Sutton Vane Associates were commissioned to light Talbot Road Car Park in North Blackpool.  The multi-storey car park, which dates back to 1939 had fallen into disrepair and was selected for Urban Regeneration. By their nature car parks are traditionally functional rather than aesthetically pleasing places. However the newly re-vamped Talbot Road edifice is now welcomingly attractive by day and by night.

The brief for this scheme stipulated that the lighting had to be different from all the other lighting in Blackpool and Mark Sutton Vane wanted to bring fun to this project as well as a bit of novelty, so he came up with the idea of having the lighting controlled by the public by texts. The lighting used is an efficient LED light source, which means low cost to run and low maintenance.

Previously the multi-storey car park was clad in metal paneling and looked boring. The architect’s design replaced the metal cladding with glass planks. Mark Sutton Vane’s lighting design selected areas of the glass to light with colour changeable light from behind. This lighting delivers maximum impact on a limited budget, it puts the car park on the map at night and makes the car park an attractive feature that interacts with the public.