Reflecting the increasing use of LED illumination sources in urban centers, Color Kinetics Inc. touted the growth of its installation base in Boston, where some of the region's foremost architects and designers are using the company's technology to light one-of-a-kind structures, façades, and interiors while at the same time mitigating maintenance and energy strain.
Some of Color Kinetics' more recent local installations include Bank of America Pavilion, Boston Hyatt Downtown, Hyatt Regency Cambridge, Westin Boston Waterfront, Rustic Kitchen, and Sushi-Teq at the new InterContinental Boston. Its intelligent LED lighting systems also generate color and dynamic lighting effects in multiple locations within TD Banknorth Garden, Boston's premier sports and entertainment arena. These and other installations exhibit both the versatile aesthetics of digitally controllable LED sources and their ability to curb strain on energy resources and the environment.
As elsewhere in the country and around the world, "green" initiatives are gaining steam locally. In March the city of Cambridge launched a $70 million energy efficiency program with an initial goal of reducing half of the city's 23,000 buildings' electricity use by 14% during peak hours and 10% during non-peak hours. In April Governor Deval Patrick announced that the State House will replace its 1,000 incandescent bulbs with more efficient compact fluorescent (CFL) sources, and a number of proposed bills related to "green building" are now pending. Color Kinetics supports such initiatives, which can bring greater awareness to LEDs as the better long-term alternative to fluorescent sources.
Locally, the company is collaborating with the Green Restaurant Association and is in discussions with several universities to potentially create an LED campus or "living lab" for energy-efficient lighting. In August the company will open its new corporate headquarters in Burlington, MA, which is being designed to meet green lighting standards using primarily LED sources. Additionally, Color Kinetics will participate in the next US Department of Energy Solid-State Lighting Workshop, which is slated to take place in Boston in July.
"Our home base of Boston is an excellent example of the growing adoption of LED lighting in major cities—particularly for color and dynamic visual effects that are being specified more frequently, and increasingly for certain white light applications as well," says Bill Sims, president and CEO, Color Kinetics. "Whether in retail shops, theatres, restaurants, hotels, or entertainment venues, Boston residents and visitors are experiencing the impact of our LED lighting technology on a regular basis—the same underlying technology that we believe has the potential to ultimately transform the way all of our homes, offices, and everyday spaces are lit."
LED sources boast a number of advantages over conventional sources, including the CFLs that are advocated today. Their inherent capability for digital control enables both traditional and entirely new lighting applications, along with the benefits of longer lifespan, no radiated heat or UV, no hazardous mercury, and better quality of light output. They also consume less power than many of today's common exterior architectural lighting options, translating to lower electrical expenses.
"If we can provide a client with minimal power consumption but maximum lighting effects, it's a win-win situation," explains Jay Lehrhaupt of Port Lighting, who specified Color Kinetics' systems to light the Bank of America Pavilion. "The LED-based fixtures give us a palette of virtually unlimited color choices. Even more importantly, the 100 fixtures draw a total of only 5,000 watts of power, allowing us to encompass the entire structure without increasing the power needs beyond what was available."
Other Color Kinetics installations in the Boston area include 28 Degrees, 90 Tremont, Azure and City-Bar at The Lenox Hotel, the Basketball Hall of Fame, Bostonian, Cuffs at Jury's Boston Hotel, Foxwoods, Gypsy Bar, Jordan's Furniture, Lacoste, the Mapparium at the Mary Baker Eddy Library for the Betterment of Humanity, MIT Media Lab and Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, Mohegan Sun, Red Sky, Saint, Sanctuary, and Shreve Crump & Low. Some existing customers like Children's Hospital and 33 Restaurant & Lounge have expanded their Color Kinetics installations to take advantage of the technology in new applications.