Philips lighting entire buildings with LEDs

Chances are, if you’re into technology, you have a few (or all) your lights as connected, multi-colour LED bulbs. Philips is one of the biggest players in this market...

Chances are, if you’re into technology, you have a few (or all) your lights as connected, multi-colour LED bulbs. Philips is one of the biggest players in this market with their consumer range of Hue light products.

Not content with just residential applications, Philips have gone to the extreme commercial applications of lighting an entire 47-floor tower with their technology.

The iconic Miami Tower is an office building located in Florida, USA.

The building is famous on the Miami skyline for its color-changing lighting scheme, and has frequently been featured in films and television shows.

As you can imagine, the cost to pull off this effect was massive, using hundreds of large 1,000W metal halide fixtures and an additional 400W metal halide fixtures were also located on the 46th floor.

Each time a new color effect was needed, a maintenance crew was hired to change cumbersome and expensive gels. In order to fully light the exterior, building management had to lease air space on neighboring roof decks, where they housed additional lighting fixtures at a cost of $110,000 per year.

Basically it was impressive, but a disaster for cost and maintenance and in a world where energy efficiency is a key focus, the building started by looked at as excessive and wasteful.

Cue Philips to update the 16-year old lighting technology to their new, more efficient Color Kinetics LED lighting solution.

LED Source was the company engaged with upgrading the building and began by producing a full 3D rendering of the building.

With a simulation setup of how much new LED lighting would be required, they produced a cost comparison of the new LED system, compared with the current system.

It turns out the new LEDs were so efficient (700,00kW per year), it would pay itself in just over 4 years. This includes a savings of almost 92% annually in exterior lighting energy costs. In dollar terms, that’s a massive $260,000 annually in energy, maintenance, and operating costs.

The LED lighting system was unanimously approved by all of the decision makers involved. The 382 metal halide fixtures were replaced with 216 Philips Color Kinetics LED fixtures — 168 ColorReach Powercore fixtures and 48 ColorGraze Powercore fixtures.

GM of Miami Tower said,

Overall, JLL is very pleased with the new lighting system and its abilities. Adopting the latest in building technologies is key to achieving greater energy efficiency, reducing our environmental footprint, and reinforcing Miami Tower’s position as the premier building on Miami’s skyline.

The new lighting system will also allow us to reflect our civic pride and celebrate events of importance to the community with customized light shows.

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Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis.