Lighting the Empire State Building and Miami Tower with LEDs

Empire State Building LED LightingWhat does it take to light an iconic skyscraper today? Look no further than the recent LED lighting upgrades for the exterior of the Miami Tower and Empire State Building. Conventional lighting consisting of metal halide fixtures no longer can compete to the energy-efficiency and versatility of LED lighting. In the past for a building’s exterior to have color, expensive colored gels had to manually be installed to fixtures. This was not only costly to have maintenance crews perform the task; it also was very limited in the colors available, and forget about the possibility of changing colors on demand.

Miami Tower LED Lighting LED SourceNow with state-of-the-art LED lighting, color changing can now be done at the push of a button from an iPhone, and the color palette has increased from a handful to now over 16 million color combinations.

A trend is underway with city skylines being reinvented with LED lighting. Iconic buildings such as the Miami Tower, a 47-story building in the heart of downtown Miami, and one of the most famous buildings in the world, the Empire State Building, have been resurrected thanks to LED lighting.

Miami Tower LED Lighting LED SourceThe Miami Tower underwent a transformation with their exterior lighting in September as part of a broader initiative by building owner, Jones Lang LaSalle. The Tower was previously lit with 382 metal halide fixtures consuming 878,519 kWh annually. The new LED lighting system reduced the number of lights to 216 using Philips Color Kinetics ColorReach Powercore and ColorGraze Powercore fixtures. Energy consumption was reduced by 807,668 kWh annually, which represents a total energy savings of almost 92%.

Miami Tower ColorReach LED SourceWith the new LED lighting system, almost $260,000 annually in related energy and operating costs has been saved.  Even with these incredible benefits, what really sets it apart is the ability to use the building’s exterior almost as a canvas to create beautiful color changing transitions and images such as the American Flag. The possibilities are almost limitless with LED lighting.

Alicia Keys LED Lighting Empire State BuildingNot to be out done, the Empire State Building, the world’s most famous office building, recently changed its traditional fixtures to Philips Color Kinetics LED lights. It officially unveiled the innovative LED lighting system in a coordinated live 5 station on-air radio and internet broadcast, synchronized to the music of Grammy® Award winner Alicia Keys. The custom light show on top of the Empire State Building created a stunning event for all of New York, and the world, to see. From color changing transitions and cross-fades, to strobes and bursts of light, the new LED system delivered superior light and vibrancy levels in real-time, unlike the previous floodlights.

The dawn of a new era for architectural lighting is upon us. LED lighting is not only cost-effective; it allows buildings to stand out from the crowd with a range of colors only limited by imagination.

Watch the Empire State Building LED Lighting Event with Alicia Keys.

Watch the Miami Tower LED Lighting Case Study Video.

Reinvent a city skyline with help from the LED lighting experts at LED Source®.

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About Dean Ernst

Dean Ernst is Director of Marketing and Social Media for LED Source. He provides insight, education and information on the GetLEDucated Blog. For more information on LED lighting, visit

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