Well, Rome wasn't built in a day - and neither was our new light kit for the LEGO Expert Creator Colosseum!
Light My Bricks fans have been asking since the sets release "will you design a light kit for the Colosseum?" and "when is the light kit for the Colosseum going to be released?!". We're proud to say the wait is finally over and the historical Roman LEGO landmark is now lit.
The extended delay from LEGO set release and light kit availability was the result of a few different factors. First, when the LEGO announced the set back in November of last year, it wasn't obvious to our team straight away that this set needed to be lit. It's extremely unique in not only it's size (we'll get to the piece count below!) but also the fact that the actual ancient structure didn't exactly have too many light bulbs screwed into it!
We polled some fans and consulted the internet and feedback was mixed, though those who wanted a light kit were very passionate about it! Always a positive sign. The deciding factor came from one design team member who pointed out that while yes, when the Colosseum was constructed it wasn't technically lit up, the LEGO set before us is in it's present day, erroded state and that if you visit the famous Roman tourist destination today it IS in fact lit up for display at night!
That settled it and some Google searching provided the initial inspiration for the finished lighting design.
Now another reason this kit was delayed, as you may have heard this is the biggest LEGO set EVER! The piece count clocking in at a colossal (had to) 9036 pieces - and with all those pieces came a lengthy, extended build time! It wasn’t a set we could race through the build on either, it was quite repetitive (column after column) and became actually quite relaxing and almost meditative. We ended up taking it in turns to work on the build on section at a time, because there are always several projects going on at once here at LMBHQ and the lights never turn off so to speak!
Finally, historically, thankfully the build of the largest LEGO set to date was completed. It’s enormous, heavy bulk struggling for room in our photography studio. It was time to add lights to the Roman landmark!
Out of the gate our lighting design team knew that they wanted to strike a balance between the spectacular and the subtle. The symmetry of the sets design meant that it was unique to other LEGO sets in that there were no major points of focus or details to highlight. The lighting needed to be even and ambient, giving the build an alluring overall glow that drew the viewer in closer.
If you’ve been following along with our most recent releases, you will have heard us mention Spotlights and the broader lighting theory of ambient light and bringing attention to set details in a more subtle way. Less is sometimes more and rather than inserting a bit light inside a brick to light it, sometimes it’s more appropriate to light an area from the outside, turning the bit light around and casting a glow on a particular area of the set. The Colosseum was in a way the perfect use case for this idea as the entire structure has been evenly lit with our spotlight technique.
The final reason this kit was delayed - custom components! Sometimes a unique kit requires a unique, never seen before part. When this is the case, the time in design and production escalates considerably and of course this is exactly what occurred in the design process of the Colosseum! Our designers began by lighting the inner ridge of the structures oval with our standard strip lights, only after several successful applications of our sticky friends begged the obvious question… why not create a single GIANT RGB strip light.
And that’s exactly what was done, not just a slightly bigger strip light - an enormous RGB strip light. 28 individual LEDs all up, measuring a grand 45cm and adding an even and healthy colourful glow to the inside of the structure. Some may ask, ‘why RGB?’ Well our designers took major inspiration for how the monument is lit present day! As we mentioned above, tourists can visit and experience the real Colosseum at night and see it lit up and a range of colours, so our RGB system was the perfect final touch for our designers work. Lighting fit for an emperor!
We want to thank all of the LMB fans who reached out with excited anticipation of this kit, for your patience and for your enthusiasm! We know the wait was a little longer on this one, but we promise it was worth it!