The Lighting Controls Innovation Award was created in 2011 as part of the Illuminating Engineering Society’s Illumination Awards program, which recognizes professionalism, ingenuity and originality in lighting design. LCA is proud to sponsor the Lighting Controls Innovation Award, which recognizes projects that exemplify the effective application of lighting controls in nonresidential spaces.
This month, we will explore the lighting control solution applied to the spire topping One World Trade Center in New York City. Lighting control design by Claude R. Engle, lighting designer, and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s Nicole Dosso, architect. Photography Michael Lee and Scott Hali.
The massive spire atop 1WTC is illuminated along its full 408-foot span, culminating in a rotating beacon at the top. That beacon, designed to be reminiscent of a light house, was originally anticipated to feature xenon lighting, as LED technology of the time was insufficient.
However, the lighting team ultimately collaborated with manufacturers to develop an LED solution that increased energy efficiency and allowed for safer, more cost effective maintenance. Together they delivered a custom beacon array featuring 50w LED modules designed to fit inside a glass capsule sitting at the top of the 1776-foot spire.
The slew bearing motor assembly within the capsule allows the mirror to rotate 1.5 times per minute and output over 300,000 lumens on two opposing directions.
Along the spire as a whole,The final uplight design includes (124) state of the art LED color-changing fixtures. These feature onboard status monitoring and diagnostic capabilities.
The fully integrated control system includes a web based graphical user interface capable of monitoring the self diagnostic lighting fixtures, motor assembly, relay panels and weather station.
The conditional logic monitors weather conditions and overrides the time clock when necessary. Real-time reporting messages are emailed to the building maintenance staff eliminating the need to climb the 408-foot spire for troubleshooting.
The centralized computer provides various color selections which range from single color to dynamic color sequencing, as well as a “strobe on command” capability.
This energy efficient design features the only LED beacon in the world, and incredibly innovative RGB LED uplight fixtures, and has become an iconic part of New York City’s skyline.
Of the design, Anthony Wood of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat said, “… the spire which holds the beacon light, shining out at the symbolic height of 1776 feet, is especially poignant.”