The library with 7km of LED tape

A LIBRARY in China is using over 7 kilometres of LED tape to illuminate its books.

The curved walls accommodate the seemingly never-ending terrace-like bookshelves. Picture: Muzzleflash Photography 2019 via Creative Commons.

The project is a dramatic vote of confidence in a technology that’s become hugely popular in recent years and represents a relatively new format in lighting made possible by LEDs.

The Binhai library in Tianjin Province – a major prestige project funded by the Chinese government – features bookshelves which wind up from the floor to the high ceiling like a terraced landscape.

The six-storey building –  designed by Dutch architectural firm MVRDV – combines various earlier libraries under one roof and currently contains 200,000 books.

The curved walls accommodate the seemingly never-ending terrace-like bookshelves. The very top bookshelves and many in the foyer are currently filled with dummy books and extend right into the ceiling relief.

The building uses Osram Value Flex LED strip lights to enhance the organic lines of the atrium.

With a total length of 7 km, they trace every shelf and every curve in 4000K cool white light, neatly defining the unique contours of the atrium.

Despite the complex structure of the space, the LED strips were easy to install thanks to their practical connectors and the fact they could be trimmed to length, which made them highly versatile.

The single-bin LED modules exhibit minimal colour deviation so they produce a consistent lighting effect.

The other rooms in the library feature Ledcomfo luminaires – also from Osram Lighting Solutions. Around 700 downlights illuminate the corridors, WCs and washrooms while in the reading areas, 600 batten luminaires provide lighting optimised for the printed word. In the stockroom 700 extra-low-profile Ledcomfo panels create good working conditions.


  • See the latest LED tape at the LuxLive 2019 exhibition, taking place on Wednesday 13 November and Thursday 14 November 2019 at London ExCeL. Entry is free. See the full programme and register for a place HERE.