Tampa’s skyline is getting a little color. For the first time in the Tampa Bay Area, LED lights are illuminating the top of a downtown Tampa skyscraper. Bay Stage Lighting designed and supplied the LEDs covering the top of SunTrust Financial Centre which can be customized to honor Tampa’s sports teams’ colors, celebrate holidays, and bring awareness to particular months and special events in an environmentally-conscious way.

“This project will give color to Tampa’s skyline while making a huge statement about protecting our environment and saving energy,” notes lighting designer Chris Jones of Bay Stage Lighting. Jones worked closely with Phillip’s Color Kinetics to design this project with the intention of creating a live art piece in the Tampa Bay Area. He adds, “LEDs are the industry’s newest trend in lighting and not only do they reinvent the way light is produced, powered, and controlled, they don’t generate any heat. LEDs are energy efficient and use a full scale of color mixing to generate 16.5 million colors.”

Prior to this, SunTrust Financial Centre had fifteen 20 amp circuits of fluorescent lights which contained mercury. Colors were changed by manually placing a color filter on the top of each light, a restrictive process that took six people and four hours to complete. The old lights used more energy, cost more money, and didn’t project the same light intensity as LEDs. Energy savings in usage of Kilowatts per hour is approximately 50 percent. The new LED lights will achieve reductions in energy usage of approximately 50 percent when compared to the old lighting system. The old lights could only be one color for a period of time; to change colors, it. Now, colors can be changed by a single click of a button by one person.

This project consists of 322 LED units that provide numerous options in terms of color and visual effects—the color units can be solid, stripes, or even motion and color changing with chase or fade effects—offering plenty of creative ways to make Tampa’s skyline truly unique.