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Kansas City Downtown Marriott
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Additional Photos - click image to view larger
Photo Credits: Courtesy of Animated Lighting, L.C.

Additional Content
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Products Used:
ColorBurst 4 

Method of Control:
  Monster Brain™ Animation Processor and Animation Control™

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Project Credits
Contractor:  Animated Lighting, L.C. (
Lighting Design:  Animated Lighting, L.C.

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Kansas City Downtown Marriott

Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Visitors and residents of Kansas City have seen the future of intelligent light, and they’re amazed.

As part of the first annual City Lights – Downtown Shines for the Holidays, the downtown area was transformed by a high-tech lighting scheme that continues to draw onlookers from across the Midwest. At the heart of this ambitious project is the Kansas City Downtown Marriott, whose vibrant façade displays colorful, choreographed effects, courtesy of Animated Lighting and Color Kinetics.

The Downtown Council of Kansas City envisioned a way to bring people downtown by creating a unique experience through lighting. The resulting spectacle was conceptualized by Animated Lighting, a dynamic technology company that specializes in computerized lighting and animation control. The 22-story Marriott proved an ideal structure to “animate” with a grid of color-changing lights, similar to pixels in a giant television screen. Clusters of red, green, and blue incandescent bulbs were originally considered for the project, but they fell short in comparison to the advantages of Color Kinetics® ColorBurst® – an intelligent LED-based spotlight that generates 16.7 million colors and enables intricately programmed lighting effects. A total of 800 ColorBurst 4 units were used to form a grid against the façade – 20 units high and 40 units across.

Animated Lighting supplied the innovative animation infrastructure, built using their Monster Brain™ Animation Processor and Animation Control Language™ (ACL), to program and control the ColorBurst units, which collectively produce a remarkable sequence of effects – from scrolling candy canes, to animated text and logos, to a steaming mug of hot chocolate. This sophisticated technology infrastructure also allows for the lights to synchronize with music, creating a light-and-sound experience that rivals a Hollywood production.

While its first use was timed with the holiday season, the Marriott’s façade lighting was designed as a permanent installation, largely due to the long-life, low-maintenance, low-energy-consuming nature of the LED-based ColorBurst units. Animated Lighting designed and developed a flexible canvas upon which to generate future effects for upcoming holidays and events.

According to Bill Dietrich, president of the Downtown Council of Kansas City, “Not only will City Lights be a holiday attraction, the lights will become a year-round feature of the downtown landscape.”

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