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Empire State Building Dons a Crown of LED Lights

The owners of the Empire State Building will be partnering up with Massachusetts-based lighting company Philips Colour Kinetics to install 1200 state-of-the-art LED fixtures over the coming weeks and months. These will replace 400 high intensity discharge lamps, which were originally installed over 30 years ago to coincide with the 1976 bicentennial.At the moment the tower can only be illuminated in one of ten static colours. These are changed by applying coloured gels directly to each lamp, a process which takes a team of workers several painstaking hours to perform.Once the new LED Lights are installed, this laborious process will no longer be necessary, as the configuration of the lights can be changed remotely and instantaneously. Drawing on a breathtaking palette of 16 million colours, the tower's art deco design will be illuminated not just with static colours, but also with dynamic colour changing sequences, which can be used to celebrate various events throughout the city and country.The new lights will use about a quarter of the energy compared to those currently in use and will last three times longer, making them incredibly low maintenance.According to the owners, the retrofit will cost "a few million dollars" to install, but will pay for itself in a few years.The announcement of the new lighting system comes shortly after the tower lost its status as the tallest building in New York after it was eclipsed in height by the new World Trade Centre. According to the owners, the two phenomenon are unrelated, as the tower has been implementing green initiatives for a number of years.Replacing the lights is just a small part of a $120 million renovation aimed at transforming the building into a more energy efficient and eco-friendly structure, which has also included a revamp of the ventilation system, its insulation and replacement windows.In September 2011, the tower received a gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating, making it the tallest LEED certified building on of its own kind in the United States of America.The installation of the new LED fixtures and LED Lights will begin in a few weeks and a completion date has been set for sometime in late autumn.

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