SSL IN ACTION | Miami tower emerges from renovation with bold new façade

Nov. 30, 2022
MICHAEL GIARDINA outlines how a flexible and robust yet simplified installation scheme updated Museum Tower’s LED-lit exterior and enhanced its profile in the Miami skyline.
Museum Tower is a 29-story, 259,666-ft2, high-rise office building located on Flagler Street in the heart of downtown Miami’s legal district. Built in 1983, the structure is highly recognizable for its striking reflective glass curtain wall and signature twin, I-beam exterior, and is often shown on live TV for news background views.

With its desirable location within walking distance of Miami’s established legal infrastructure, amidst various downtown shopping, dining, and cultural destinations, and easy access to interstates and major public transit systems, the building was acquired in 2019 by Bridge Investment Group.

Under the new leadership, Museum Tower quickly began a complete renovation, including new outdoor seating options, high-efficiency systems upgrades, completely refurbished common areas, an expanded and fully renovated lobby, and art-inspired new exterior lighting which was completed in May 2022.

Previous lighting on Museum Tower featured a 10-year-old RGB LED wash fixture system that was not functioning properly. Bridge Commercial, the management company for Museum Tower, approached Skyline Arts, LLC, an architectural lighting systems provider based in Delray Beach, Fla. to retrofit the failing system. The exterior lighting project budget was set at about $375,000 including design, engineering, and electrical contracting services.

“Bridge Commercial tasked us with replacing and upgrading the exterior lighting system to highlight the building, as well as increase its visibility for marketing purposes since the iconic building is visible from I-95 and various points around Miami,” said John DiDomenico, managing partner for Skyline Arts.

After reviewing the building architecture and discussing the needs of the lighting, Bridge Commercial and Skyline Arts established the lighting criteria for Museum Tower. They wanted the lighting to have enough intensity to smoothly illuminate 15 stories of concrete wall — with 8-ft-wide setbacks — and the ability to offer both excellent white light and color rendering.

“Bridge Commercial required the ability to highlight the building in deep reds, dark blues, emerald greens, and warm white, so that the new lighting had the increased capabilities for recognizing holidays, charities, and sporting events through accurate color representation,” added DiDomenico. See an example of the color capabilities in the video below.

Skyline Arts investigated a variety of lighting fixtures. After comparative testing with competitive products, they recommended Acclaim Lighting’s Dyna Drum HO fixtures utilizing the Outdoor Link System (OLS). Dyna Drum HO Color is a high-output, IP67 outdoor-rated, quad-color LED floodlight that features an internal 100–277VAC power supply, onboard DMX+RDM driver, and Aria wireless DMX technology inside — although DiDomenico clarified that the existing wired DMX system was employed without leveraging the Aria technology for the project. The quad-color chip demonstrates improved color mixing and saturation compared to single-source LED fixtures. The standard, narrow 10° beam can be modified with optional quick-change spread lenses for wider applications to suit a range of façade and area floodlighting needs.

“Dyna Drum HO was the hands-down winner in terms of intensity and color,” said DiDomenico. “Plus, the OLS system decreased installation costs and improved system reliability by having factory-sealed connectors for fixture-to-fixture connections. In fact, the Acclaim OLS system saved the owner thousands in installation costs.”

He explained that the OLS system’s combination of fixture leads, T junction connectors, jumpers, and leader cables are secured with a quick but secure spin-lock design that reduces labor, installation time, materials required, and potential points of failure. By eliminating the labor-intensive process of installing conduit, wire, boxes, and connectors in the field, the OLS decreased fixture-to-fixture connection costs by about 90%, DiDomenico said.

The new LED lighting system is controlled via a Pharos LPC, which is web enabled, running the subscription-based Lumentender Cloud application for scheduling and control. As a result, Bridge Commercial has direct, real-time control over management of the lighting’s scheduling, as well as control for daily and special events. The combination of the controls with the flexibility of the Dyna Drum HO color capabilities and smoothness of dimming allows for a variety of high-impact scenes each night allowed by Miami’s outdoor-lighting display policies.

DiDomenico concluded, “The new LED lighting system provides the prominence on the skyline that the customer required, while the OLS system will make any future maintenance simple enough to be performed by in-house staff. Overall, Bridge Commercial is elated to have their new system. They are amazed at how bright the fixtures are, the smooth coverage, and the ultimate control they have from any web-enabled device.”

Project notebook

Lighting Designer – John DiDomenico, managing partner, Skyline Arts LLC, Delray Beach, Fla.

Distributor – Skyline Arts LLC

Electrician – Bob Messing, Excel Electrical Group, Coral Springs, Fla.

Installation Partner – Gavin Cooper, LEDSmith LLC

Engineering Firm – Andrew Youngross, TYEC Engineering, Boca Raton, Fla.

Cloud Controls – Lumentender Control Solutions Inc.

Get to know our expert

MICHAEL GIARDINA is the general manager for entertainment and architectural lighting specialist Acclaim Lighting and has been with the company since 2005. Giardina is responsible for leading the company’s award-winning product development team.

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