Xicato Lights and Controls Upgrades Historic Chrysler Building While Protecting its History

May 25, 2020
Bluetooth Mesh enables wireless installation and control of new LED luminaires while preserving the Art Deco building architecture.

A paragon of Art Deco architectural style, the Chrysler Building ranks ninth on the AIAs List of America’s Favorite Architecture. Historic Architecture like this may only be modernized if its beauty and function can be preserved while achieving significant benefits. When it came to lighting and latest controls technology to modernize its famous lobby, Xicato was called upon to do both. Xicato’s renowned quality Lights and Smart Controls with Bluetooth Mesh now light up the Chrysler lobby, and the ceiling’s 1930s mural, beautifully, automatically and wirelessly while saving over 90% in energy over the traditional halogen lighting it used previously. 

“I couldn’t believe we were able to do it. Not only are we able to individually control the lights but we were able to safely and evenly light the mural without carving into the walls;” Edwin Rambusch, President at Rambusch lighting and design

Set it and forget it

Built in the 1920s, the Chrysler Building is known for its unique style, which is why building managers wanted a solution that would enhance the look, preserve the art and save energy, all without requiring cumbersome maintenance. Ten beautiful sconces light the lobby and its famous artwork but held halogen bulbs. The art was dimly lit to reduce the damaging effects of UV and heat emitted by Halogen lighting. The short lifespan of halogen bulbs also meant hiring labor and replacing bulbs often, which led to burdensome maintenance efforts and costs. Xicato Smart Controls and spec grade light sources were chosen for their quality, reliability, ease of installation and flexibility while saving substantial energy.

Xicato worked closely with Rambusch to design a system that would work within the existing fixtures and the Building’s Management to install a full solution without ever drilling into the historic concrete. Next, the lights were set on a schedule developed to work best for office occupants. Xicato Controls sophisticated scene control ability is used to automatically change the light output ever so slightly around closing hours. The full transition, that is barely visible to the human eye, takes nearly five full minutes to complete. Xicato LED light sources with their distinct trademark color points bring out the beauty of the murals, are backed by a seven-year warranty and save over 90% in energy costs. No wires, no switches, and no more frequent bulb changes. The lobby in the Chrysler Building has never looked so beautiful.


TWA Hotel

Xicato Product Used

XIM Beauty Series, XGC


Office Lobby

Lighting & Controls Design

Kugler and Ning

Luminaire Provider


Luminaire Type

flite® LED Uplights



101 Daggett Drive

San Jose, CA 95134

Tel: +1 866 223 8395


[email protected]

Web site: