Caerphilly Castle – Illuminating an Iconic Structure


Lighting Design students at the University of South Wales caused a stir on the 17th & 18th November, by illuminating the stunning exterior of Caerphilly Castle.   The exciting lighting display ran alongside CADW film nights, which take place at the castle annually.  The event provides a unique opportunity for students of the university to plan and execute a large-scale lighting project.

The brief from CADW was to create a gothic feel with lots of imagery, and a focus on the colour red. To achieve this, the students planned to light the front of the castle in red, and to use custom gobos, and specific lighting states, to complement each film.

The students used a range of lighting equipment to bring this vision to life, including Pulsar ChromaStrip 25 linear fixtures. Lighting student Josh Hill described the approach taken by the team. ‘Each film had its own state with unique colours to accent the text. We utilised a range of LED floods and the ChromaStrips, as well as battens along the base of the wall.’

‘We liked the idea of film searchlights, so we hired a pair of moving head beam lights to scan across the sky in front of the tower, which caused quite a stir amongst the residents of Caerphilly who didn’t know what was going on!’

In addition to the lighting, the students enlisted some colleagues from other courses to produce eerie soundscapes to further enhance the atmosphere as the audience made their way through the structure of the castle.

The team from University of South Wales are listed below. We’re looking forward to seeing what they do next!


Josh Hill (Power Manager)

Alex Merrett (Production Manager)

Abigail Negal

Sam Tabb (Control)

Rob Lees

Mathew Sochor (Control)

Callum Nicolson

Josh Bell (Sound Designer)