LED modules give abominable glare to Yeti’s stare

March 13, 2006
A promotional event in Times Square made use of Osram Golden Dragon LEDs in Dragonchain modules.
When Walt Disney World Resort previewed its newest attraction, Expedition Everest, in New York’s Times Square, it was determined to create a billboard spectacular that could stop even the toughest New Yorkers in their tracks.
Frosty the snowman The 57-story exteriors of two Times Square buildings were transformed into a snow-covered Mount Everest. A rumbling avalanche was added, as were flying acrobatic climbers and a hair-raising roar. Most importantly, the piercing “You lookin’ at ME!?” glare of the Yeti, fierce guardian of the Himalayan Mountains, was brought to life, thanks to the glowing red LED eyes from Osram Sylvania and Osram Opto Semiconductors.

To create the scary effect, Walt Disney Entertainment’s technical director, Larry Sonn, applied Sylvania's new Osram Dragonchain LED modules containing Golden Dragon LEDs from Osram Opto Semiconductors.

Eye of the yeti Each of the Yeti’s two 30-inch diameter eyes were back-lit by six Dragonchain LED modules. Specially designed for flexible illumination applications, the nine-foot modules were installed in concentric spirals in the base of each Yeti eye socket and covered by a red plastic lens.

"This product combination is incredibly bright and very easy to mount in our back-lit eye light-boxes," said Sonn.

The design goal also called for eyes that could dim, flash, and be clearly visible from 300 yards away. And, Disney Entertainment had limited room to mount a light source for the monster’s eyes, which needed to stand out against the menacing backdrop.

Inside the eye Each Dragonchain module featured 36 high brightness white LEDs, making the Yeti’s glare clearly visible from over 300 yards away. Conformally coated to protect against moisture and condensation, each of the Yetis’ dimmable eyes was controlled by six 24V power supplies and six Osram Optotronic OT Dim modules per eye.

"LEDs and LED system solutions are having a huge impact in the lighting world right now, particularly in situations that call for difficult configurations," said Michael Neary, senior applications engineer for LED systems at Osram Sylvania.

"The combination of small size components, and the versatility of extremely durable system shapes, has opened up illumination applications that make it possible to bring the Yeti to life. This would have been impossible in the past." The eyes have it! Peering over the snowy summit, the mythological Yeti was brought to life by Osram Golden Dragon™ LED system solutions that dim, flash, and stand out from 300 yards away. One of the Yeti’s 30-inch eyes, back-lit by six Osram Dragonchain LED modules and covered with a red plastic lens. Interior of an eye showing the Dragonchain LED modules featuring 36 Osram white Golden Dragon LEDs.