Color Kinetics Incorporated’s LED lighting technology will light the Canada’s National (CN) Tower in Toronto, the world’s tallest freestanding tower. The installation was unveiled to the public in a lighting ceremony that began at sunset on June 28, 2007.

The CN Tower stands 1,815 feet tall, and for nearly a decade, the tower was minimally lit in an effort to conserve energy while awaiting a better long-term lighting solution. Following extensive evaluation, an LED system was chosen to reduce energy consumption and maintenance requirements and increase brightness. According to preliminary operation, the tower will consume less energy when fully illuminated by LED fixtures than it did when only partially illuminated by conventional sources.

“The CN Tower is widely regarded as the iconic symbol of tourism for Toronto, Ontario and Canada, and we are thrilled to further distinguish its presence against the evening skyline,” said Jack Robinson, chief operating officer, CN Tower. “It was paramount for us to achieve an energy-efficient, sustainable lighting installation for Canada’s National Tower … Our landmark will have a visually striking, modern new look to serve as a beacon of tourism and of our city.”

The project called for approximately 1,300 LED-based fixtures to be installed within the tower’s elevator shafts, projecting light all the way to its antenna mast. Each fixture is individually programmable and can produce millions of colors and color-changing effects without the need for glass filters, colored gels or electro-mechanical color scrollers. The tower will display various colors according to national events and holidays.

According to CN Tower’s calculations, the entire LED installation will consume 60 percent less energy than the fully lit tower of the 1990s, and 10 percent less energy than the previous system, while providing more light output and dynamic effects. Each LED fixture uses less than 20 percent of the energy required to power a comparable conventional color-changing lighting fixture.

In addition, the former incandescent fixtures were as large as washing machines, whereas the new LED fixtures are no bigger than a shoebox, and the directional nature of LED sources means that the output can be precisely directed and will not “spill” or interfere with nearby hotels, office towers or residences.

“This installation perfectly exemplifies the new approach to architectural lighting that LED technology allows—enabling the use of vibrant color where it was previously impractical, while simultaneously alleviating energy and maintenance concern,” said Bill Sims, president and CEO, Color Kinetics.   EC