The famous advertising hoardings of Piccadilly Circus, known as the Piccadilly Lights, will go dark this January for the longest amount of time since the Second World War. Land Securities who own the Piccadilly Lights are replacing the current screens with Europe’s largest single digital screen, which will retain its renowned curved shape, surface area and its ability to have a patchwork appearance. Relaunching this Autumn with a greater than 4K resolution display, Piccadilly Lights will have one of the highest resolution LED displays of this size in the world, capable of live video streaming, lifestyle updates, real time social media feeds – in essence, a live responsive sight enabling advertisers new innovative ways of promoting their brands.

As you can see from these postcards from our archive, Piccadilly Circus has long been renowned for its large advertising sites with the first electric sign appearing in 1908 with well-known names Perrier and Bovril as the brand pioneers illuminated.

From London Bridge Hotel's Postcard Archive

So popular was this method of promotion that the advertisements spread over far more buildings than they do today and covered The London Pavilion.

From London Bridge Hotel's Postcard Archive

The site was first lit by incandescent light bulbs, then neon lights, before moving onto digital and LED displays.

From London Bridge Hotel's Postcard Archive

Previously, the only times that the lights have gone dark before were during WWII and for special occasions such as Earth Hour and the deaths of Winston Churchill in 1965 and Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997.


Contributor: Sue Lowry – Magellan PR, a boutique travel PR company.


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