Proving that city landmarks and structures don’t need to go dark to be energy conscious, the Peace Bridge in Buffalo, N.Y./Fort Erie, Ontario, has undergone an energy-conscious transformation made possible by light-emitting diode (LED) technology. The federal government’s Transportation Enhancement Program, with support from the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority, funded the $1.2 million project.

Formerly lighted by metal halide floodlights, the 3,580-foot bridge is now illuminated by nearly 700 tricolor LED lighting fixtures. Each is capable of digital control to produce millions of colors and dynamic sequences and will adopt themes for holidays, such as Independence Day and St. Patrick’s Day. Unlike conventional light sources, LEDs don’t require maintenance-intensive gels, filters or color scrollers to customize the bridge’s appearance on the fly for special events and holidays. More importantly, the entire LED installation will consume just one-third the energy of the previous system.

“At the turn of the last century, Buffalo was known as the ‘City of Light,’ recognizing its status as one of the first cities to be illuminated by hydroelectric power. The Peace Bridge Authority is pleased that over 100 years later, we can deliver a project that builds on this heritage, utilizing state of the art technology and energy efficiency,” said Ken Schoetz, vice chairman of the Peace Bridge Authority.