Landmark Empire State Building Installs New Tower Lighting System

By Paul Riegler on 26 November 2012
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The Empire State Building in 2008

The Empire State Building, a skyscraper known for celebrating holidays, the seasons, and other milestones by illuminating its tower in color, has installed a new LED lighting system.  The system, developed by Philips Color Kinetics (PCK), a lighting specialist, allows the building’s tower to be bathed in light.  The new system has over 16 million colors as well as special effects such as ripples, cross-fades, sparkles, sweeps, strobes, chasers, and bursts.

The Empire State Building was the world’s tallest building from 1931 to 1972, when it was surpassed by the World Trade Center.  Floodlights were added to illuminate the top of the building at night in 1964 and colors have been chosen to match the event or holiday being celebrated, such as Independence Day (red, white, and blue), St. Patrick’s Day (green), and the death of Frank Sinatra (blue, representing his nickname of Ol’ Blue Eyes).

The new lighting system is being launched on November 26 with a radio broadcast live from Clear Channel’s New York City studios.  Two songs by singer Alicia Keys, Girl on Fire and Empire State of Mind, will be synchronized to a light show atop the building.

(Photo: David Shankbone)

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