|Lighting installation in unlit state.|
A video features the lighting installation and the surrounding theatres and shops. Approximately two years in the making, the total cost of the installation was $1.2 million, which includes 660 lighting sculptures. The fixture housings were provided by Winona Lighting of Winona, MN. Traxon Technologies, which became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Osram AG earlier this month, provided its XB line of customized RGB LEDs (4.5W) used in each fixture as well as the lighting and audio controls. The cattail’s woven-fiberglass stems, provided by Comtec, are durable yet flexible enough to withstand heavy winds. The stems are fed into Highline in-ground enclosures.
Chicago Loop Alliance funded the project by pooling the existing decorative-light funding with additional revenue from the special servicing district covering the State Street area.
Interestingly, the wireless-network infrastructure required to spontaneously trigger programmed LED and audio shows was installed over the seven consecutive city blocks with remote access via only a T1 line. The control system uses an off-the-shelf centralized e:cue Lighting Control Engine (LCE) and local street-level Butler XTs to control the audio and lighting, which will run daily from 8:00 am to 11:00 pm. The wireless design came out of necessity because the installers could not run underground cables. Instead, an antenna near each planter transmits the signal across seven blocks. Designlab provided the fabrication and integration of the enclosures that contain the power hardware and wireless controls.
|Installation in lit state.|
The system utilizes an e:cue Lighting Control Engine (LCE) and Butler DMX XTs, which allows the city to control the lighting display using pre-programmed shows or spontaneous, remote triggering. “Even emergency announcements, highlights of the day’s news and/or future interactivity could be wirelessly triggered,” said Linck.
Linck explained that the five-year installation is designed for changing needs. “We envision a time when pedestrians will be able to interact with the installation and use their iPads or other wireless devices, select a programmed show online, and watch it on-demand,” he said.
Laura Jones, associate director of the Chicago Loop Alliance, a non-profit civic organization, said, “People don’t always realize it, but next-generation lighting technologies have always been a part of State Street.” Lightscape represents the latest lighting innovation, which is designed to enhance tourism in Chicago.