The New York City skyline got a little bit brighter last night when the Empire State Building debuted its new light show technology. And it was actually pretty cool.
After flipping the switch to activate the new lights, Grammy Award-winning artist Alicia Keys played her greatest hits “Girl on Fire” and “Empire State of Mind” as the Empire State Building showed off its dazzling new Philips Color Kinetics LED lighting system. According to the press release from Phillips, the new system “allows customized light capabilities from a palette of over 16 million colors in limitless combinations along with effects previously not possible such as ripples, cross-fades, sparkles, chasers, sweeps, strobes and bursts.” The results can be seen in the video above.
The Empire State Building’s new LED lights first debuted on Nov. 6 as part of CNN’s live coverage of Election Night. As each state’s results were announced, the sides of the building’s spire were illuminated in either red blue and red, to represent President Obama and Gov. Romney’s electoral vote totals, while data from CNN was displayed on its LED-illuminated “meter.”
But Monday night’s performance was the first real demonstration of what the iconic Manhattan skyscraper’s new lighting can really do. “The Empire State Building has always been a symbol of what’s possible in New York, and all the dreams that can come true in this city that never sleeps,” said Alicia Keys, whose performance was broadcast on ClearChannel radio stations. “I’m so excited to unveil the new tower lights that are going to illuminate the city below like never before—shining bright with inspiration. As a proud New Yorker, I’m so honored and humbled to be a little part of its history.”
Just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean you SHOULD do something. This makes the beautiful long-associated symbol of NYC look like a cheap flashy billboard. Times Square already has plenty of these types of displays. Messing with an icon is just not a good idea. Look out Statue of Liberty, they're coming for you next.