Since summer, the night skies of Bogota have been illuminated by a light show that plays across the exterior of the Banco Colpratria Tower, a 46-story building in the Colombian capital (pictured). "The bank has wanted illumination for many years, but ran into too many problems with traditional HMI equipment," reports engineer Christian Perrotti. "There was no room to install fixtures on the ground, and the investment in light fittings was too expensive."

Enter Space Cannon, the Italian firm Perrotti is affiliated with. The firm first heard about the project at LDI97, and worked with Robert Daniels of Miami's Brilliant Lighting Design to develop a suitable concept. Space Cannon's xenon fixtures and mirrors are used to reflect light along the building, in a novel way--the 36 Set Ireos 3kW and 4kW units are hung upside down from the top of the bank, facing the ground. "These purpose-built units are the first xenon fixtures to work upside down," Perrotti says.

Successful trials last December and March convinced the bank to sign on for the illumination. Space Cannon engineered a new mounting system and remote control programming unit for the instruments, and has a long-term maintenance agreement to service them. "This is our biggest project in South America to date," says Perrotti.

For the grand opening event, held August 5, the entire building projected the colors of the national flag. Each fixture's dichroic lenses were specially coated to match the flag's hues. Other programs (some incorporating dramatic chases) have since been added, making for three hours of "light" entertainment in Bogota every evening.