Vienna's Ferris Wheel, designed by British engineers Walter B. Basset and Harry Hitchens, has been an indelible Viennese landmark since its grand opening in 1897. Unlike its counterparts in Chicago, London, Blackpool, and Paris — all also built at the turn of the century by the prolific Basset — it has withstood the wear and tear of war, nature, and time. It's now one of the most frequented attractions in the Danube metropolis, aided by a breathtaking new array of Color Kinetics color-changing LED lights that illuminate it against the night sky.
Since its lighting redesign, the Ferris wheel, which marks the entrance to the Wiener Prater amusement park, not only offers an impressive vantage point over the Prater and Danube area — over 65 m (200 ft) above sea level at its peak — but also embodies the essence of the vibrant city through its bold light schemes. Thirty Color Kinetics ColorBlast Powercore spotlights strategically ring the Ferris wheel, evenly illuminating its steel skeleton, while nine ColorReach Powercore gen2 floodlights (now specified with ReachElite
) project beams of light almost 152 m (500 ft). Each luminaire in the wheel's rim can be controlled separately, allowing designers to create a near-infinite array of dynamic color shows—a capability the Ferris wheel's management has certainly showcased.
In addition to harmonizing with the Ferris wheel's existing 100-year-old technology, the new LED lighting system enables lower energy consumption — each ColorReach Powercore gen2 luminaire consumes a mere 290 W — allowing for the seamless melding of history and modern efficiency. "With Color Kinetics, we have been given a solution which is both easy to work with and low on energy consumption," Hans Peter Petritsch, Managing Director of Vienna's Ferris Wheel, said. "Moreover, it offers residents and visitors a totally novel image of Vienna's famous landmark by night."