The Niagara Falls Illumination Board has unveiled a new LED-based dynamic lighting system that makes the famed falls even more spectacular at night. The twin cities of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada and Niagara Falls, New York collaborated on the $4 million solid-state lighting (SSL) project that was undertaken by a consortium of lighting specialist and contracting firms including Ecco Electric, Salex and Mulvey & Banani Lighting Sceneworks, and Stanley Electric.
'The newly enhanced nightly illumination of Niagara Falls will capture the imagination of the millions of visitors, who come to witness the sheer power and beauty that is Niagara,' stated Mark Thomas, chair of the Niagara Falls Illumination Board. 'We are very fortunate to have community stakeholders on both sides of the border who have supported our vision and this project from the very start. These enhancements will help us to create an overall guest experience that will continue to shine a positive light on Niagara for people from throughout the world, as reported in LEDs magazine.
The Niagara Falls were previously lit by xenon sources with the light projected from the roof of the Table Rock Centre, and that system had been in place for some 20 years. Salex president Nick Puopolo led the process of retrofitting the system with LED lighting, bringing a proposal to the Niagara Falls Illumination Board along with Ecco Electric and ultimately participating in bringing the idea to fruition. Salex is a lighting and controls sales agency and Ecco is an electrical contractor.
The new system is also installed at the Table Rock Centre and includes 1400 individual LED luminaires supplied by Stanley Electric. The mix of red, green, blue, and white luminaires are grouped into 68 zones of control, 20 for the American Falls and 48 for the Canadian Falls. Salex said the system can deliver more than 18,000 different color combinations.
The SSL retrofit project was intended both to enhance the falls experience for visitors and to deliver the energy efficiency and longevity associated with LED lighting. Salex said the outdoor SSL system delivers light levels that are 4–14 times brighter than the xenon lighting depending on the colors being projected. Moreover, Salex said uniformity was much improved with light now filling gaps in the coverage of the prior system while the new lighting also delivers a "crisper visual image of the waterfalls.'
The LED system reduced energy consumption by 60 percent relative to the xenon lighting. And the consortium of companies behind the project designed it to operate relatively maintenance-free for 25 years.