Color Kinetics Incorporated LED technology played a role in the relighting of Philadelphia’s famed Boathouse Row. After remaining dark for five months as the new system was installed, the new LED-based lighting system was unveiled at a public ceremony on Thursday, June 30. The LEDs replace the previous 30-year-old incandescent system and are expected to save Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park Commission approximately $57,000 in annual operating costs.
During the ceremony, a 10-minute light show illustrated the capabilities of the upgraded lighting system, as the lights displayed movement, changing colors (red, white, blue, green), fading, and rotating. While the movement of the LEDs is different from the previous still incandescent fixtures, the end-result remains the same: the lights twinkled and shone across the Schukyll River on which Boathouse Row sits.
A popular Philadelphia landmark, Boathouse Row comprises 12 boating clubs in 10 architecturally distinct buildings along a half-mile stretch of the Schuylkill River. Prior to the relighting project, the Fairmount Park Commission was spending more than $50,000 per year on bulb replacement and $8,000 per year on energy costs. The new system encompasses more than 12,000 individually controllable nodes of Color Kinetics® iColor® Flex SL – a flexible, LED-based "string light." Each node is driven by Color Kinetics’ custom-engineered Chromasic® microchip, allowing for intricate, colorful lighting sequences in addition to simple white light that closely matches the previous incandescent system. The LED-based system also features the benefits of long source life, durability, and reduced energy consumption, which translate to reduced operating costs.
"We knew that LEDs were the optimal light source for the project, based on their energy efficiency, lifetime, and controllability, yet Color Kinetics’ technology exceeded our expectations," says Shannon Yott of Pennell & Wiltberger, Inc. (PWI), who co-managed the architectural lighting design and specifications with Troy A. Martin-O’Shia, an architectural and lighting designer with Hase & Associates, Ltd. "Not only do we have the ability to cut operational expenses with the LED-based system, we can quickly and easily program customized effects for special occasions–an option that was not possible with the dated, incandescent system."