New York: LEDs Make Moonlight

Can cascading water from four man-made waterfalls in the New York Harbor dance in the “moonlight” every second they’re erect—even on dark, cloudy nights? Certainly not. Well, save L.E.D. light technology, of course.

As part of a public art project commissioned by the non-profit Public Art Fund and the City of New York, artist Olafur Eliasson’s New York City Waterfalls consisted of four 90 to 120-foot waterfalls installed along the shorelines of Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Governor’s Island. Each waterfall pumped 35,000 gallons of water per minute from the East River to the top of a scaffold.  As it flowed over the top and back down to the river, the falling water was illuminated by L.E.D. lights.

Eliasson’s vision was for the waterfalls to seem as lit by moonlight, so he employed Micheal Mehl from Jaros, Baum & Bolles as Lighting Designer. “Working with L.E.D.s offered us very interesting possibilities both technically and aesthetically in realizing Eliasson’s artistic vision,” he said.

Mehl further commented that the best friend a lighting consultant can have with L.E.D. technology is to work with a “manufacturer who understands the nuances of LEDs” and “can integrate ever-evolving aspects of the technology” with design and application.

The project was on display from June 26 to October 13, 2008.  For more information, read the article from LEDs Magazine or visit the project’s web site.

[photo: LEDs Magazine]

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