Spanning Interstate 794 in Milwaukee, the tied-arch Daniel Hoan Memorial Bridge is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. To revitalize the bridge and spark economic and social change, a group of business and civic leaders formed the Light the Hoan committee to raise funds for a dynamic, colorful, and connected architectural LED lighting installation that would allow the bridge to shine in the city skyline and serve as a symbol of civic pride and unity.
The new lighting system on the west side of the bridge was completed as Phase One of the project. Each light installed on the bridge represents a meaningful story about the city or is dedicated to those that have improved quality of life, bringing Milwaukeeans together and serving as a catalyst for community engagement.
“Milwaukee is a city with tremendous positive energy and momentum. Completing this first phase of the Hoan Bridge lights is an important reminder that anyone – regardless of age or economic level – can make a tangible impact in our community.” - Ian Abston, co-founder of Light the Hoan.
The Hoan Bridge’s connected LED lighting system includes more than 1,800 Color Kinetics FlexElite, RGBW nodes and nearly 50 Color Kinetics ArchiPoint iColor Powercore fixtures. These exterior LED luminaires create high-visibility, direct-view applications of white or colorful light, and can be changed remotely to build awareness for causes, mark holidays, cheer on Milwaukee sports teams, and support other events. Using Interact Landmark, the system can be programmed to deliver spectacular light shows with animated effects and synchronized to music. This creates inspiring visual experiences celebrating the community’s progress.
Signify’s Social Impact app included in the installation enables site managers to collect feedback on the social and media impact of the Hoan’s lighting installation in real time. Information from the app will encourage public engagement with the bridge lights, improve strategies to boost tourism, and enhance the local economy.
“The main goal of Light the Hoan was to breathe new life into this landmark and drive economic benefits, but since we launched, it has delivered so much more than that. Over the last two years, we’ve shined a light on the great work of non-profits from every corner of the city and forged meaningful relationships with groups like Islands of Brilliance to continue to inspire the community. Now that we have accomplished lighting the west side of the bridge, we’re excited about what else is to come.” - Michael Hosted, co-founder of Light the Hoan
For example, the project created a hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) learning opportunity for Milwaukee-area students to develop the next generation of tech talent. Light the Hoan, Signify, and other local organizations came together to enable students to use the technology that powers the Hoan Bridge’s lighting so they can learn skills like coding.
The new Hoan lighting system transforms the Milwaukee skyline at night, beautifying the city landscape and serving as a platform to demonstrate solidarity and foster community pride.