Urban beautification starts with light
In 2011, the government of Moscow, Russia, launched an ambitious plan to enhance the beauty of the city's downtown and central districts by adding state-of-the-art architectural lighting effects to buildings and shops along a number of famous avenues. Color Kinetics demonstrated, through various tests and mock-ups, how a Color Kinetics LED lighting solution could effectively bring the vision of a more vibrant Moscow to life. Officials chose Color Kinetics over several other world-famous lighting manufactures for the massive, five-year beautification project.
The city renewal initiative is slated for completion by 2016. The project is split into several distinct phases. Phase one comprises installations along a number of historic commercial Moscow streets. Exceptional results have already been achieved at sites along Tverskaya Street, Prospect Mira Street, and New Arbat Street. Later phases will involve the lighting of several notable landmarks, including the Moscow Kremlin.
Color Kinetics worked in conjunction with lighting design and installation companies, selected by the Moscow Department of Fuel and Energy, to create unique lighting solutions for each site specified in the initiative.
The project is one of the most expansive and high-profile Color Kinetics LED lighting installations in Russia thus far. More than 50 individual buildings and sites have been commissioned, representing a wide array of architectural and historical periods, façade designs, and electrical systems. More than 6,000 Color Kinetics LED luminaires have been installed at these sites so far, including ColorGraze Powercore, iW Graze Powercore, ColorBurst Powercore, iW Burst Powercore, ColorReach Powercore, ColorBlast Powercore, iW Blast Powercore, iColor Accent MX Powercore, and iColor Flex LMX.
The extensive product catalogue offered by Color Kinetics was essential in fulfilling the unique needs of each installation within the City Beautification Project. "Given the extensive lighting equipment choices available to us from Color Kinetics, it is possible to give each site a very individual and fresh feel," Signify Controls, Systems, and Services Project Manager Konstantin Kuznetsov said.
Some of the project's most striking design innovations can be seen in its four identical "book" building installations. These high-rise structures feature "open-book style" façades — exterior faces split at an obtuse angle along a central spine — that face the well-traveled commercial thoroughfare of New Arbat Street. These formerly blank canvases were transformed into immersive, low-resolution video screens through a Color Kinetics exterior lighting solution.
Five rows of iColor Flex LMX LED nodes were installed on the façades between each floor of the skyscrapers' 23 stories, forming video "stripes" controlled by a dedicated Video System Manager Pro controller. This Ethernet-based controller can stream video content to as many as 250,000 individual RGB nodes, easily enabling coordinated video displays stretching across all four façades.
A high level of control is an essential part of the project's design objective. Per the vision of the Moscow government, all of the installations involved in this project will ultimately be linked to a unified control network that will coordinate two distinct lighting display modes: a more restrained program for working days, and a more colorful one for weekends. Under this system, the possibilities for future program applications — such as special displays for citywide events or holidays — are limitless.
"The control system synchronizes street lighting and architectural illumination of buildings. We have programmed different scenarios, including an integrated lighting system for the whole street as well as a single building," said Ekaterina Boos, general customer manager for Svetroservice, in an interview about the project.