Who better to demonstrate the impact of energy-efficient LED lighting than Con Edison—the utility that’s been supplying energy to power New York City for more than 180 years!
In September 2008 Con Edison re-lit the iconic tower atop its headquarters with an intelligent LED system from Color Kinetics—cutting its former energy consumption while simultaneously enabling vibrant, color-changing effects that are a hallmark of the Manhattan skyline. Previously the tower had been lit by traditional high intensity discharge (HID) lighting, which required colored filters to display effects for holidays and special occasions. By contrast, the new luminaires combine digital control technology with red, green and blue LEDs to generate millions of colors and dynamic effects with the simple push of a button.
“The new LED lighting is a win-win both for New Yorkers and the skyline we see,” said Peter Jacobson, Con Edison’s lighting specialist. “When fully lit by the LED fixtures, the new tower light installation uses 63 percent less energy than conventional lighting sources, and the lights will not have to be changed for 15 years, reducing maintenance costs. This state-of-the-art LED system enhances the New York City skyline at night, while producing fewer carbon emissions.”
A total of 344 LED luminaires were installed to bring the concept to life, including ColorBlast wall-washing luminaires and iColor MR gen2 lamps each of which is individually programmable. The luminaires were used in three applications: installed at each of the interior windows of the tower’s clock face, ground-mounted behind the exterior columns to light the interior façade, and inside the lantern that crowns the building. A number of effects were authored with ColorPlay 3 software and stored on the iPlayer 3 controller for playback on holidays and events throughout the year.
The installation sets a perfect example for others to follow—proving that urban lighting can be both beautiful and environmentally responsible.