Largest LED building lighting scheme is complete

March 11, 2005
A huge LED lighting scheme on the PIFSS building in Kuwait was recently completed
PIFSS building The new $53m (€40.6m) headquarters for the Public Institute for Social Security (PIFSS) in Kuwait is at last fully operational, one year after being inaugurated.

The project, described as "the world's largest LED building lighting scheme", uses nearly a quarter of a million LEDs in 800 fittings distributed around the edges of the building.

Initially commissioned for Kuwait’s National Day in 2004, the building’s extensive lighting scheme was designed to symbolise the importance of the government agency and make a dramatic statement on Kuwait’s skyline.

On this project the majority of the LED fittings are used to light surfaces on the building, as opposed to being markers or points of light. The LED fittings allow the look of the building to be changed in accordance with events and religious festivals, presenting a new design for every occasion.

LED lighting products from Super Vision, TIR Systems and Color Kinetics were used on the project, which is controlled by an Expression 3 lighting control console from ETC.

Lighting designer Kevan Shaw recently returned from Kuwait after reprogramming the lighting system for its second year of operation. Having worked with ETC’s Expression range and its predecessors for many years, Shaw specified the Expression 3 console, which was supplied by Diwan, because of its architecturally targeted attributes.

“The built in astronomical time clock and the extremely versatile and intelligent macro system allow the console to make logical decisions based on a variety of inputs – a capability that very few consoles or architectural systems have,” said Kevan. “The final deciding factor was the playback unit which allows considerable flexibility in operation and discourages building operators from messing with the basic program. All in all this is still my system of choice for this type of project.”

Designed by WZMH of Toronto, Canada, and SSH of Kuwait, the 22 storey tower has a 5 storey high, 60m long Enquiry Hall, a 400 seat conference centre, a mosque, staff cafeteria and parking for 750 cars.