Home to several major businesses and corporations, the Denver Tech Center (DTC), is an expansive business and economic area surrounding the I-25 corridor between I-225 and SH 88 in Denver, Colorado. At the entrance of the center stands an iconic sculpture surrounded by two sets of flags that is seen by an estimated 10,000 people per day.
Engaged to retrofit the sculpture’s lighting and in collaboration with Color Kinetics partner, Visual Interest, Lighting Designer, James Sale, wanted to celebrate the passage of time as depicted by the four seasons and the concept of growth using dynamic LED light to transform the sculpture into a 30 m (100 ft) tall clock. The goal was to achieve enough change with the new lighting to be noticed by people passing by on the highway without causing driver distraction.
Sale changed the existing fixtures and re-wrote the program. One program was written for each season, in addition to several programs for holidays and special events. The colorful light display begins with a brief introductory show at sunset, followed by a show reflecting the time of the year, a series of effects marking each hour, and a brief show before ending at sunrise.
Sale selected eight Color Kinetics ColorReach Compact Powercore luminaires for this installation because it is the only outdoor-rated fixture capable of producing the color required for the project. He then selected other products within the Color Kinetics family, including two Color Kinetics ColorBurst IntelliHue Powercore luminaires to illuminate each flag, and four Data Enabler Pro power/data supplies. A controller was also installed to monitor and manage the lighting display. A 23-degree lens was used for each flagpole and a 43-degree lens was placed at the bottom of the sculpture to light its four sides. One set of ColorReach Compact fixtures illuminates the spine of the sculpture, two sets are located on either side, and one ColorReach Compact fixture is located on the open side of the structure.
The design presented some unique challenges. The flag lights must work in concert with the sculpture lighting. Moreover, light from the separately aimed Reach Compact fixtures hits four different directions; where the light from two fixtures hit, their colors mix, so Sale experimented with single colors and additive color mixing to precisely achieve his vision.