Texas history told through light
Located in San Antonio, Texas, the Alamo is an important symbol of Texas liberty and American history. It was recently temporarily transformed by Color Kinetics LED lighting systems, marking the first time the Alamo was illuminated on a grand scale and further demonstrating the ease with which LED lighting can transform venues for special occasions.
The structure served as the backdrop for a visually striking light installation held in conjunction with Luminaria, a one-day celebration of San Antonio's diverse artistic community. The lighting design was conceived by Bill FitzGibbons of Blue Star Contemporary Art Center using ColorBlast 12 luminaires, which combine LED sources with digital control technology to produce near-endless color combinations. FitzGibbons refers to these art installations as "architectural interventions," emphasizing the dynamic effects that are made possible with ColorBlast 12 LED luminaires.
"My concept was to provide onlookers with a new perspective of the Alamo, while using light and color in a creative way to reflect the spirit of our local arts community," said FitzGibbons. "Color Kinetics' LED-based fixtures gave me an unlimited palette of colors and design capabilities allowing me to create the effects I desired. Most importantly, the crowd loved the programmed light installation; some called it the most memorable feature during the entire event."
The Alamo is typically lit by incandescent PAR lights, which would have required colored gels or filters to produce colored lighting effects. For Luminaria, FitzGibbons temporarily installed the ColorBlast 12 luminaires along the ground facing the Alamo's facade, painting it with deep, saturated colors. The light show was synchronized to the music of the San Antonio Symphony, first washing the façade in steady white light then bright greens, yellows and blues that tracked across the structure. Only 30 luminaires were required to illuminate the entire surface from the ground up, and they were controlled by iPlayer 3.
From tradeshow exhibits to concert tours, LED lighting is increasingly favored by rental and event production companies for its ease of control and ability to produce millions of colors without gels or filters — allowing simple customization of wide-ranging venues. In addition to their aesthetic versatility, Color Kinetics' compact LED luminiares offer many cost advantages over typically large and cumbersome lighting equipment. Their long source life and rugged nature translate to minimal replacement for rental houses, and their low power draw allows for easy temporary installation without complex electrical requirements.