Lights, Lights and More Lights!


From Brussels and Barcelona to Singapore and Dubai, skyscrapers and hi-rises across the world are tapping into new technologies in lighting and design to increase visibility, make a statement and redefine the character of the city in which they stand. As the economy recovers, we can expect to see even more property owners push the envelope to capture attention and elevate their brand recognition.

In Miami, a city all about flash, it takes a lot to stand out from a crowd.  Which is why the InterContinental Miami—a staple of Downtown Miami’s skyline for 30 years—decided to push the envelope via innovation as part of its $30 million renovation project that was just completed this month.  The hotel’s new 19-story digital canvas now illuminates the sky each night with moving images and light displays, most notably the silhouette of a dancing lady.

We just saw this with possibly the most famous tower in the world – the Empire State Buildingwhich was recently retrofitted with a new exterior lighting system that allows the tower to change its colors instantly, programming them to coincide with the presidential election results or even to match the rhythm of a Jay-Z song. Just last week, NYC’s iconic Helmsley Building unveiled its new LED lighting system with a light show timed to the sound of violins.

The InterContinental Miami is perhaps the most recent example of using new lighting technology to attract attention, but there are tons more (i.e. Miami Tower, Dallas Omni Hotel, Duke Energy Voltron Building in Charlotte, etc.). While the buildings benefit from the attention, the biggest benefactor are the cities in which they stand.  After all, what is Paris without the Eiffel Tower or Seattle without The Space Needle?

By Alisha Marks