Peace Bridge

    Buffalo, New York, USA and Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada

    Photo Credits: John Brandon Miller

    A glowing bridge links the US and Canada

    Proving that city landmarks and structures need not go dark to save energy, the Peace Bridge has undergone a 21st century transformation made possible by LED technology.

    Built in 1925, the Peace Bridge is one of four major vehicular crossings in the Niagara region linking the United States to Canada. To create a dramatic new lighting design for the iconic structure, $1.2 million in funding was provided by the US federal government's Transportation Enhancement Program with support from the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority.

    Formerly lit by a 25-year old system of metal halide floodlights that had fallen into disrepair, the 1,091 m (3,580 ft) bridge is now illuminated by nearly 700 intelligent color LED luminaires from Color Kinetics. The entire LED installation consumes just one third the energy of the previous system, reinvigorating the signature bridge in a smart and sustainable way.

    The installation uses a combination of ColorBlast Powercore LED wash lights and ColorReach Powercore floodlights (now specified with ReachElite). The wash lights illuminate the deck of the bridge and structure below, while the floodlights paint the bridge's arches with intelligent colored light. The durable luminaires are well-suited for the harsh climate of the Great Lakes region. The system can run any number of light shows for regular nights and special occasions, such as holidays and sporting events.

    "At the turn of the last century Buffalo was known as the 'City of Light,' recognizing its status as one of the first cities to be illuminated by hydro-electric power. The Peace Bridge Authority is pleased that over 100 years later we can deliver a project that builds on this heritage, utilizing state of the art technology and energy efficiency," says Ken Schoetz, Vice Chairman of the Peace Bridge Authority.

    "The interplay of light with a signature landmark serves much more than decorative purpose. It should reinforce the form, content and volume of the object as well as reveal the essential character and nature of the architecture," Paul Boken, Senior Lighting Designer at Mulvey & Banani International, explains. "For the Peace Bridge, LED technology allowed us to transform a static monument into a vibrant, ever-changing form—all while meeting budget requirements and the need for sustainability, security and versatility."

    "We're thrilled to bring the extraordinary impact of LED lighting to this important landmark, demonstrating that energy-saving lighting upgrades can be both practical and visually spectacular at the same time," adds Jeff Cassis, CEO of Color Kinetics. "This installation perfectly exemplifies the large-scale exterior applications that LED technology now allows—enabling the use of vibrant color where it was previously impractical, while simultaneously alleviating energy and maintenance concerns."
    Project credits

    Lighting Design:

    Mulvey & Banani International, Inc.


    Stantec Consulting Services

    Lighting Programming:

    Westbury National Show Systems LTD

    Electrical Contractor:

    Frey Electric

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