New York Empire State Building: History of Lighting Development

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Table of contents

The development of the Empire State Building Lighting Design

Great innovation: Apply LED lighting system

What need to know when lighting up Empire State Building

(1) How to light up the Empire State Building

(2) How much power energy does this building need?

(3) What's the cost of this lighting project?

The meaning of the Empire State Building lighting

The Empire State Building is a 103-story skyscraper located between West 33rd and 34th Streets at 350 5th Avenue in Manhattan, New York State, New York City. It has a 1,250-foot (381-meter) roof, plus the antenna spire, for a total of 1,454 feet (443.2 meters). Its name is derived from the Empire State of New York. From its completion in 1931 to 1972, the North Tower of the World Trade Center was completed, which has been the tallest building in the world for 40 years. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Empire State Building once again climbed to the top of New York's tallest building (although it is no longer the first in the United States or the world).

The Empire State Building is an iconic building in the United States and a well-known landmark in the world. Empire state building tower lights are one of the most gorgeous outdoor LED media facade in the world. The American Architectural Engineering will name it the "Seven Wonders". The building and its streets are a symbol of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission recognized by the New York City Board of Evaluation. In 1986, it was listed as a national historical monument. The lights of the Empire State Building illuminated the night brightly and attracted many New York tourists. Residents of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, etc. can also enjoy this view from a distance. Pick out a few special events or scenes from the colors of the empire state building.

Empire State Building

The development of the Empire State Building Lighting Design

Here is a brief history of tower lights:

1932: In November 1932, the brightest light on the Empire State Building was a memorial lighthouse, and the top of the Empire State Building was a white searchlight, a campaign against Franklin Roosevelt.

In 1956, the rotating indicator of the "Freedom Light" was installed. "Lights of Liberty", four 5-foot-wide, 1-ton lighthouses, placed on the street at a height of 1,095 feet, is not only a welcome to the United States, but also an endless opportunity for the United States, and the expectations and prayers of the American people . From a high altitude, they can see 300 kilometers and 80 kilometers from land.

In April 1964, for the opening of the New York World's Fair, the building's top 30th floor was lit by a new set of exterior led flood lights, making the Empire State Building a nighttime icon.Countless beautiful lights light up a building.

1976: Douglas Lee uses colored lighting for the first time. In 1976, the lights of the Empire State Building became colorful, which was designed to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the United States. For the December holidays, paint the lights green, red, yellow, and white.

1977: On October 12, when blue and white lights flashed, it was announced that the Yankees had won the World Championship. 204 lighting installations consisting of metal halide lamps, and 310 fluorescent lamps, illuminate the building from the 72nd floor to the base of the antenna.

Plastic glue is hand-installed on metal halide lamps or floodlights with plastic sleeves in different colors to the tubes to celebrate New Yorkers' passion for festivals and festivals. A single lamp can produce 1,000 watts of electricity. This system consumes less energy than the original, so it meets the requirements for energy conservation.

Empire State Building Lighting

In 1984: Automatic control of fluorochromes equipment on the highest anchor mast. Douglas Leigh's design, 880 vertical 75-watt fluorescent tubes and 220 horizontal fluorescent lamps located under the mast, can be replaced with a simple push. There are 11 8-foot boards, arranged vertically, on top of each other. 176 boards, each containing five tubes of different colors: red, green, blue, yellow, and white. In addition, at the base of the mast, there are 44 new illuminated panels, also 5 each, for a total of 220. Above the 103rd floor, there are 32 high-pressure sodium lamps of 70 watts each, forming a golden "halo" at the top of the mast as the sun sets until dawn. 

In 1995, the sapphire chocolate chip radiated a deep blue glow at the top of the building.Lights up the entire empire state building exterior.

In August 2006, the Empire State Building Official Lighting Partner Program was officially launched to screen and approve the building's lighting requirements for a given day. With a brief pause in the middle of the multi-color display, the light turns a solid white.Thus changing empire state building lights on a small scale.

In 2010, the Catholic Federation, a religious group, asked to turn the building blue and white, but the request was rejected by owner Anthony E. Malkin.

Great innovation: Apply LED lighting system

A landmark in New York City and the world's most famous architectural project, the Empire State Building joined forces with Philips to turn the building's iconic tower lights into innovative LEDs. Both companies have pushed the limits of LED technology and, in partnership with Philips Color Kinetics, have developed the most advanced dynamic lighting system unique to ESB. The two companies work together to complete the design build lighting.The new system not only provides makes it more easy to control empire state building lights and management of lighting, but also allows ESB to better display its architectural details.

Because of the ESB's prominent location on the New York City skyline, the contractor required that the lights remain bright every night during the installation. This meant that for every existing light fixture the installation team removed, the LED light fixture would need to be re-installed, wired, and connected to a temporary light control system, On the lamp posts and strips, the construction team replaced the current fluorescent tubes with two parallel rows of light-emitting diodes.

The "halo" is made up of high-pressure sodium vapor floodlights, which form a ring-shaped ring light source at the top of the mast, shaped like a string of beads, using ColorBlast Powercore RGB LED floodlights directly.

The first 30th floor was previously placed behind a row of HID floodlights, surrounding the 72nd and 81st floors. The bulb was replaced by a custom ColorReach Powercore floodlight (now with ReachElite) with half the RGB junction and around 4000 K white junction for saturated and neutral white light. Two ColorGraze Energy Centers (now named ColorGraze Smart Energy Centers) and IW Graze Powercore wall lighting were also added to one side of the 72nd floor.

The work has also brought back to life the tower's fins, which were pitch black after a construction project removed its lights a few years ago. Delicately carved wings on all four corners, illuminated with ColorReach Powercore floodlights.

Empire State Building light show

For 21st-century innovation, ESB is replacing its traditional lighting fixtures with LEDs. The new computerized system can customize a variety of different shades from more than 1,600,000 colors, including some hard-to-reach pinks. LED lights will replace the existing 10 colors, and a team will spend hours replacing 400 fixtures in the building. Soon, ESB crews will be able to create and upgrade custom light fixtures with new energy-saving technologies.

After years of planning and 6 months of installation, this revolutionary lighting makeover has brought ESB back into the mainstream in New York City's skies. The new system not only significantly reduces maintenance costs and simplifies the original monochromatic light display, but also provides dynamic, spontaneous light shows and one-of-a-kind performances that will make this building an excellent choice for years to come. A global symbol.

Plus, Philips' ColorKinetics LED light source technology precisely modulates and focuses the light for the desired effect. Ripple, cross-fade, particle,and burst effects, which were not possible in the past, can now be easily automated to create one-of-a-kind lighting designs. The empire state building lights have a completely new look.The new Philips lighting system will also minimize the light leakage of the building, ensuring that the light is concentrated on the exterior walls and masts, and provides sufficient light for all corners of New York City. This feature pays homage not only to the night but also to the surrounding buildings.

Empire State Building light show

What need to know when lighting up Empire State Building

(1) How to light up the Empire State Building

The Empire State Building has received far more lighting applications than it could have received by a worldwide community. Light needs caused by petitions and/or social media activity are ignored. Cannot project more than 5 million lumens into a building at any one time. In November 2012, the tower underwent a major upgrade. The only 9 colors available when floodlights were added in 1964 were replaced by 1200 LED lights, giving the ESP over 16 million color possibilities!

The building starts on the 70th floor, with individual lights on each floor. There are lights on the third floor during the day, while the fourth floor is dark. During peak traffic hours at night, there is no transportation on Broadway, and when the main road passes through the building and the best view, the top third floor lights up. During off-peak hours, in adverse weather conditions and visibility is reduced, the fourth floor will be lit.

The empire state tower lights of the building went from white to red, green to white, white to red, and then white. This color scheme is used to signal fire to emergency vehicles. You can drive directly into the parking lot on the 1st and 2nd floors without any need for any tarmac and signs and without any emergency. They illuminated the steps and walkways with high beams.The security system of the building has nothing to do with the public lighting system.

(2) How much power energy does this building need?

The change to the building's lighting is a big step forward, and it includes an adaptive adjustment system that adjusts the light. In addition, most of the original lights in buildings have been replaced by energy-saving lamps. The Empire State Building has a total of 6514 windows. Opening these windows requires 1000 watts of electricity.

The building has 25 million light bulbs and requires £150,000 in gold a year. In the sweltering heat, the cost of cooling the building was about $4 million a day. In addition, during peak periods such as at night when the air conditioners are fully on, the building consumes 50,000 kilowatts of electricity per day.

The Empire State Building is managed by Tishman Speyer Properties Ltd, which was acquired in 2004. They have implemented energy saving measures in all buildings including improved lighting, heating,and air conditioning. In order to achieve environmentally sustainable development, they also set a 100% renewable energy supply target by 2020.

The Empire State Building has a total of 6514 windows. To achieve its lighting effect, each window consumes 1,000 watts of electricity per day. In this way, the entire building consumes 250 megawatts of electricity. At $0.10 per kWh, that's $250,000 per year.

 lighting project

(3) What's the cost of this lighting project?

The famous Eiffel Tower in Paris requires 20,000 lamps, while the Empire State Building in New York has 68,000 lamps. There are many types and numbers of empire state lights. As America's most famous skyscraper, costing $183,960 PS183,960 a year, it sometimes changes due to national or international events.

To light up the Empire State Building, it depends on how many lights you have. Thirty-two thousand LED bulbs were a standard option before installation. However, if you don't want to go to the trouble of maintaining your lights, there are other options. The number of lights in the building has been reduced to 7,000, and the number of lighting has reached 100,000.

Either way, it would cost $350,000 (£2.5-£4,250,000) to light up the Empire State Building. This estimate does not include installation costs. The price depends on the size of the structure you want to light, the type of technology used,and the time of use. For example, large public displays, such as Times Square, use more LEDs than small personal monitors in restaurants and bars. Public exhibitions have to be bright enough to be viewed from a distance; in private exhibitions, you can't see so far, so there's no need to use too much light.

The meaning of the Empire State Building lighting

Empire State Building with lighting

For many people in New York City, New York's new crown epidemic has caused the city to lose its former glory and vitality. The empire state building light show has also entered a state of suspension. While most of us are at home, the Empire State Building, known for its colorful lights since 1976, will now bring new light and sound to the city.

The Empire State Building's computer-controlled system of light-emitting diodes can display more than 16 million different colors, allowing a series of brilliant lights to bring a ray of light to New Yorkers.

New Yorkers have always found a way to stick together and inspire each other in difficult times. We see the strength and vitality of our country in New York's landmark Z100 and the Empire State Building. The symbolic architecture of New York City has healed our city, our country, and our world, and opened our eyes to it.

Shenzhen Suntech Company is one of the top outdoor lighting fixtures manufacturers in China, we have been arranging outdoor facade lighting and landscape lighting projects for more than 10 years. Our main products are exterior led spot lights, exterior linear wall washer, and media mesh screen. And we also have DMX series LED lighting fixtures, DMX LED flood light, DMX LED spotlight, DMX LED bar light. We have a professional service team online to answer any questions from you about lighting design and products to choose from. And our engineer team is standing by to support the technical guidance for your outdoor lighting projects. We not only provide the top quality LED light fixtures, but also offer the best service from inquiry to after-sales installation assistance.

If you have any building facade lighting projects and are looking for high quality LED lights, welcome to talk to our experts. 

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