Piccadilly Circus signboard goes dark for digital overhaul

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The lights have gone out at Piccadilly Circus.

The famous electronic advertising signboard in central London went dark Monday for several months of renovation.

It's the longest period of darkness since World War II, when the city's lights were turned off to confuse German bombers.

The Piccadilly Circus signs were switched back on in 1949, and — power cuts aside — have only been dimmed to mark the funerals of Winston Churchill and Princess Diana.

When the lights go back on in the autumn, six separate screens will be replaced with one giant digital screen, which can be used by a single advertiser or divided into sections.

Property company Land Securities, which owns the site, says Coca-Cola and Samsung will be among brands advertising on the signboard when it reopens.