Horizontal and vertical lines of color-changing LEDs controlled by wireless DMX have transformed the façade of the Stamford, Connecticut Train Station. Conceived by a group dubbed Team Light Wrangler, comprising lighting designer Jamie Burnett of Luminous Environments LLC, visual artist/glass sculptor Joy Wulke of Projects for a New Millennium, visual artist Sandy Garnett, and Steve Hamelin of Supertech, the lighting is a public-art project commissioned by The Department of Economic and Community Development and Connecticut Office of the Arts.
“The building lent itself to just this treatment,” says Burnett about the geometric lines of light, which create the look of a kinetic Mondrian painting. “We looked at other areas of the station but kept coming back to this prominent façade.”
The building’s only architectural details are 1.5" wide vertical and horizontal grooves formed into the concrete as a design accent. These are lit using RGB LEDs that are almost indistinguishable from actual neon, even at close scrutiny, with no evident pixels. “I knew I needed wireways to be hidden, and these recessed grooves were going to be the answer,” says Burnett. The 1,400' of flexible silicone-encapsulated LED Neon-Flex strings from Neon LED Group are set into an aluminum channel for perfectly straight runs to cover the grooves that house cables. “We first riveted channel to 16' pieces of anodized aluminum 1½"-wide flat stock to perfectly cover the concrete groves and create a wireway to power the other horizontal lines,” says Burnett. The LEDs are controlled using 40 RGB Neon-Flex controllers.
The building is also washed with 24 Philips Color Kinetics ColorBlast Powercore fixtures to fill in the spaces within the LED lines and make the building glow. All of the lighting is controlled via City Theatrical SHoW DMX Vero wireless DMX, using a Pharos Controller and one universe of DMX with an eight-channel Pathway Connectivity DMX Opto Splitter.
“This installation has been a huge hit in the Stamford area and indeed for anyone driving to any part of New England up or down I-95. It can be seen for a long stretch in both directions,” says Burnett, whose lighting has illuminated the homeward commute of those on the highway and the train.