Proving that city landmarks and structures needn't go dark to be energy conscious, the Peace Bridge has undergone a 21st century transformation made possible by advanced light emitting diode (LED) technology.
The $1.2 million project was funded by the federal government's Transportation Enhancement Program, with support from the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority.
Formerly lit by metal halide floodlights that had fallen into disrepair, the 3,580-foot bridge is now illuminated by nearly 700 tri-color LED lighting fixtures - each capable of digital control to produce millions of colors and dynamic sequences. Unlike conventional light sources, they don't require maintenance-intensive gels, filters or color scrollers to customize the bridge's appearance on the fly for special events and holidays. More importantly, the entire LED installation will consume just one third the energy of the previous system - reinvigorating the signature bridge in a smart and sustainable way.
"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," said 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," said Paul Boken, Senior Lighting Designer at Mulvey & Banani International. "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," said Jeff Cassis, CEO of Philips 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."
In addition to their aesthetic versatility, LED systems are highly durable and therefore well suited for difficult-to-access and vibration-prone environments, such as bridges. For the Peace Bridge installation, a combination of ColorBlast(R) Powercore and ColorReach Powercore was specified - the former illuminating the deck of the bridge and structure below, and the latter applied to illuminate the bridge's arches.
Additional information is available at http://www.peacebridge.com/.