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LED Lighting Illuminates the Outside of the Empire State Building

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The Empire State Building has undergone an LED lighting makeover! One of the most iconic buildings in the world now has a complete system of outdoor LED lights designed to be more energy efficient together with providing a wider palette of more vivid colours to make the building look even more striking on the night-time skyline of New York.

The owners of the Empire State Building decided to make the change from their 400 large incandescent lamps, installed as far back as the mid-1970s, to 1200 brand new state of the art LED lighting fixtures. The primary consideration was the energy saving cost reductions of using eco-friendly LED lights, the new fixtures will save 75% on current lighting costs and will last about 5 times longer than the existing lighting units.

The new LED lamps are manufactured by Philips Color Kinetics, who are in charge of the design and installation of the colour changing LED lights that are computer controlled allowing for some stunning lighting effects, including rainbows, ripples, cross-fades and burst effects that appear to be animated, continuously moving and changing. The lighting will be on the 72nd and 81st floors. The building’s mast, which is now lighted with fluorescent tubes, will also receive an LED upgrade.

The LED fixtures have numerous advantages over the exiting lighting system, not only the energy-saving aspect. The existing lamps are only able to project static colours, requiring individual gels to be placed on top of each one, a process that takes a crew of seven workers up to seven hours. With LED lamps, colour changes can be made immediately and produce up to 10 times more illumination that the previous lamps. Also, the old lights tend to flicker and produce different brightnesses depending on the colour.

The new LED lighting project is said to have cost “several million dollars” but is set to remain in place for many years to come.

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