menu

How LED Technology Casts City Icons In New Light [Future of Light]

How LED Technology Casts City Icons In New Light [Future of Light]
Advertising

New initiatives are offering artists and designers a blank canvas for their creative reinvention of familiar cityscapes.

PSFK Labs
  • 29 september 2013

Imagine your city as blank canvas. Could its essence be captured and brought to life through the use of light?

Emboldened by emerging digital and LED technology, designers are finding ways to do just that. These added controls and functionality  are providing these visionaries with a toolkit with which to spark new conversations around their cities. Whether adding iconic elements to a skyline, communicating information around the local aspects of a place, or re-imagining aging infrastructure, these dynamic displays tap into an infinite palette of colors to showcase the vibrancy of light in meaningful ways. With the efficiency of LED technologies, these installations are able to take place at scale, while still keeping resource usage and costs in check. “Cities are understanding that light is part of their branding and their expression,” explains Teal Brogden, Senior Principal at Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design. “The nighttime vibrancy of the city is something that is really meaningful to all their constituents.”

In a trend we are calling City Branding, PSFK Labs explores how designers are breathing new life into familiar aspects of a cityscape through the construction of highly-visual lighting displays. “The exciting part of LED is its controllability,” says Rogier van der Heide, Vice President and Chief Design Officer at Philips Lighting. “The fact that you can create scenarios, that you can script the light in a city. You can make it brighter when it’s needed or dimmer. Then you can orchestrate the whole central square for a celebration.”

3-baylights_1

Scripting the light in a city as van der Heide explains is exactly what the Bay Lights project achieves. It is a large-scale light installation using white diode-like pixels to create scenes of mesmerizing fluidity on San Francisco’s Bay Bridge. Created by light artist Leo Villareal using Philips Color Kinetics technology, the 25,000 light-emitting diodes will create patterns and forms that continuously morph and move along the bridge’s span or slide up and down its supports. The largely donation-driven project was billed as the world’s largest LED light sculpture: 1.8 miles wide and 500 feet high. According to CNN.com, it is estimated that up to 50 million people will see the Bay Bridge lights project while it is live for the next two years. “It’s possible for almost anyone to engage with [the Bay Bridge lights project],” notes the project’s designer, Leo Villareal at the Aspen Ideas Festival. “It is a remarkable moment for public art. I see this as a template for other projects.”

(Jim Sulley/newscast)

Another example of City Branding is the partnership between Philips Lighting and a famous New York City landmark. The Empire State Building has installed a dynamic lighting system that can change the mast colors in real-time to match the requirements of different events, occasions, and use cases. The technology from Philips Color Kinetics features a new computerized system that will enable customized light capabilities from a palette of over 16 million colors, including pastels, in a variety of combinations. The LED lights will replace the current palette of 10 colors, which currently requires a team several hours to change the building’s nearly 400 fixtures. In addition to greater control and management of the lighting array, the new system will allow Empire State Building operators to better highlight its architectural details.

(Jim Sulley/newscast)

The Empire State Building lighting scheme and Bay Lights Project are breathing new life into their respective cities, offering engaging opportunities for longtime residents and visitors to look at these places through a new lens. It doesn’t seem so far off to imagine city-wide lighting schemes on key buildings and infrastructure changing to communicate local information about a place in real-time.

These examples fall into a larger theme we are calling Illuminated Expression, which explores how scalable lighting technologies are making it possible for individuals, brands and entire cities to visually express their identity and imagination and communicate their vision to the wider community.

The Future of Light series explores light’s potential to improve lives, build communities, and connect people in new and meaningful ways. Brought to you in partnership with Philips Lighting, a full report is available as an iOS and Android app or as a downloadable PDF.

Trending

Machine Printer Uses Coffee Drips To Create Intricate Portraits

Arts & Culture
Technology december 2, 2016

Why Nest Doesn't Get The Holidays

PSFK founder reacts to the damaging effects of poor email marketing

Children december 2, 2016

Robots Could Be Joining Dubai’s Police Force In 2017

The real-life RoboCops can salute, shake hands and collect traffic fines

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Travel december 2, 2016

Parka Hides And Charges Portable Devices

Bolt is a jacket that lets people carry and charge their various electronics without the need for an outlet

Related Expert

Courtney Lapin

Shopping Mall & Retail Innovation

Food december 2, 2016

Yelp's New 'Yelfie' Feature Lets Diners Take Selfies

The update is designed to encourage people to attach a selfie when they share their experiences

Design & Architecture december 2, 2016

Build Your Own Savory Cheese Advent Calendar

A British food blogger has created a guide to building a different kind of holiday surprise

Fitness & Sport december 2, 2016

Floating Gym Concept In Paris Is Powered By Your Workout

The proposed design from Carlo Ratti Associati lets passengers ride a stationary bike as they travel through Paris along the Seine River

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Retail 2017
Transformation Strategies For Customer-First Business
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed december 1, 2016

Communications Officer: What This Holiday Season Means For Millennial Shoppers

Dallas Lawrence of the Rubicon Project shares why holiday cheer is all about likes, views and retweets

PSFK Labs december 1, 2016

Retail Spotlight: Home Depot Reimagines How Employees Conduct Tasks

The home improvement retailer puts the customer first by initiating local fulfillment centers and simplifying freight-to-shelf inventory management

Syndicated december 2, 2016

What Does The Future Of Android Look Like In A World With The Pixel?

Google’s decision to make its own phone might have looked like a blow to the likes of Samsung but the reality is much more interesting

Retail december 2, 2016

Customer Service Expert: Why Offline Retail Has Better Data Than Online Retail

Healey Cypher, Founder and CEO of Oak Labs, shares why we should be thinking about the physical store as an e-commerce site

Fashion december 2, 2016

Alexander McQueen Designs A 3D-Printed Umbrella

3D-printed fashion arrives in time for the winter season

Work december 2, 2016

Why Training Associates To Be Advocates Is Key To Retail Success

In our Future of Retail 2017 report, PSFK Labs discusses strategies to prioritize customer service, which begins with associate advocates

Media & Publishing december 2, 2016

Netflix Creates Binge Candle To Celebrate A New Season Of Gilmore Girls

The streaming service developed a special layered candle that creates candle with episode-specific smells

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Arts & Culture december 2, 2016

Interactive Film Tells A Story About Living With Cancer

A moving song written by a father of a cancer patient comes alive in a 3D environment

Automotive december 2, 2016

Audi And LEGO Exhibit Autonomous Vehicle Installation

The installation at Design Miami explores the 25th hour, which represents bonus productive work or play time

No search results found.