As the distant train whistle sounded on July 4, the night sky above the Allegheny Mountains was filled with a spectacular light show celebrating the 150th anniversary of the famed Horseshoe Curve stretch of track near Altoona, PA. The beams came from 24 Osram XBO 7,000W searchlights riding in the railcars. Simultaneously, the surrounding hillside lit up, and, section by section, the entire landscape was revealed in a dynamic show. Presented by Osram Sylvania and lighting design firm Available Light, the mission was to celebrate the famed curve as well as to outdo the original Sylvania Big Shot photoflash event staged at Horseshoe Curve in 1954.

The timing of the event was crucial, according to Steven Rosen, principal of Available Light, as strobes, computer-automated luminaires, and theatrical spotlights were combined to create a massive moving necklace of light.

With a color temperature of 6500K — roughly equivalent to that of the sun — the display produced approximately 33 million lumens, essentially turning the night sky into day. The total light energy generated equals that used to illuminate a night game at a sports venue the size of Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh.

Equipment for Horseshoe Curve

250 Source Four PARs
50 High End AF1000 Strobes
50 Diversitronics DK 2000 Strobes
45 7kW Syncrolites
4 48 racks (ETC & Leprechaun)
6 CK 6" Color Blasts with iPlayer
2 grandMA Consoles