Cities Worldwide Tap LEDs to Make Skylines Sparkle

The world’s skylines are changing. They’re no longer bathed in white light or neon. Thanks to new programmable LEDs, today’s city skylines are transformed into rainbows of light promoting good causes, events and company brands in every color imaginable that can change nightly.

But first let’s take a look at how lighting in cities got its start. Skylines and exhibitions played an early role in promoting lighting. Perhaps one of the most notable points in the history of lighting is the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.

The Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 set the stage for promoting the wonder of electric lighting. In fact it was a big part in the race to light the world between Westinghouse backing Nicola Tesla (inventor of alternating current) and General Electric, owned by JP Morgan and Thomas Edison (inventor of light bulbs and direct current).

Westinghouse outbid Edison for the contract to light and power the fair. More than 200,000 white incandescent bulbs, using Tesla’s polyphase alternating current system, amazed crowds as they lit up the world’s fair at night. How did they beat out Edison? They under-bid Edison and GE banned them from using Edison light bulbs in retaliation for losing the bid. To light the fair, Westinghouse and Tesla sidestepped Edison’s light bulb patents with a new double stopper light bulb.

Here’s a photo from the Chicago World’s Fair at night. Just imagine how impressive this display of light must have been to a population used to gas lights and candles.

Chicago World's Fair 1893

Chicago World’s Fair 1893

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to today. LED lighting systems have given rise to a whole new look to a city skyline. Here are a few of the more colorful city skylines bathed in LED lighting.

New York, New York

New York City Skyline

New York City Skyline

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Skyline

Hong Kong Skyline

Chicago, IL

Chicago Skyline

Chicago Skyline bathed in pink for Breast Cancer Month

Dubai

Dubai Skyline

Dubai Skyline

For Further Reading

NY Post, City’s towers in LED arms race to get brightest spot in skyline, http://nypost.com/2014/03/23/citys-towers-in-led-arms-race-to-get-brightest-spot-in-skyline/

City Lab, How LEDs Have Transformed the City Skyline, http://www.citylab.com/design/2013/07/how-leds-have-transformed-city-skyline/6382/

NY Post, High-tech LEDs turning NYC skyline into a lightshow, http://nypost.com/2014/01/15/high-tech-leds-turning-nyc-skyline-into-a-lightshow/

 

LED-Related Companies Show Well in Deloitte Tech Fast 500

This November, Deloitte released their latest The Deloitte Technology Fast 500 list for technology companies based in the US and Canada.  For the 18th year, Deloitte ranked the 500 fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and clean technology companies in North America.   LED sector companies including those specializing in sapphire did well.

The Deloitte Technology Fast 500 is awarded to companies that demonstrate technological innovation, entrepreneurship and rapid growth.  Fast 500 companies can be any size – large, small, public, and private – and span a variety of industry sectors including clean technology.   The clean technology sector made up 7 percent of the companies on the list.

Tesla Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) clinched the overall top spot with fiscal year 2011 revenue of $204.24 million and a growth rate of 279,684 percent from 2007 to 2011.  Tesla also topped the clean tech category, but there was another big trend inside the clean tech category itself.  LED-related companies showed strength on the list including Rubicon Technology, Lighting Science Group Corporation, GT Advanced Technology, Cree, and Bridgelux.

Deloitte Technology Fast 500 award winners for 2012 were determined based on percentage fiscal year revenue growth from 2007 to 2011.  In order to be eligible for Technology Fast 500™ recognition, companies must own proprietary intellectual property or technology that is sold to customers in products that contribute to a majority of the company’s operating revenues.