Observation tower wows with dynamic lighting
The Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, USA, hosts some of the most prestigious racing events in the world, as well as concerts and other sporting events such as the X Games.
In November 2012, an observation tower was built that stands 251 ft (77 m) above the racetrack. Guests who purchase special packages can enjoy a 360-degree view of the track during races and catch all the action below through the tower's glass floors. The public is also welcome to tour the tower during the week.
Venue management wanted to draw as much attention to the landmark tower at night as the tower received in the day, and knew that a dynamic lighting solution was the best way to do that.
The goal was to create a color-changing light effect on the tower for races and any event it hosts. One of the challenges faced by the lighting designers from Arc Lighting was to install it vertically, because it is such a tall tower to illuminate.
An LED lighting solution from Color Kinetics allowed the designers to install ColorGraze Powercore luminaires vertically and have the light spiral up the staircases in the tower. On the observation deck at the top of the tower ColorBurst 6 spotlights were used to uplight the canopy of the tower, and with a Pharos LPC Controller, the management can now project any color or light show it wishes onto the tower.
These LED fixtures also doubled as emergency lights. In the case of a power failure, a signal is sent to the controller, which triggers the fixtures to produce white light. This feature saved the management money and wiring, as they did not need to install separate emergency lighting in the staircases.
"The integration of equipment and control with Color Kinetics is far easier to achieve with the programming. It's not just about light output, it's about the ease and ability to control the system. That is one of the biggest advantages of the Color Kinetics system," said David Singer, Principal of Arc Lighting.