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Located about an hour east of Los Angeles, Riverside, California is proud of its commitment to arts, innovation and green initiatives, and as the years have gone by, the city’s Festival of Lights has become an intersection of the three. For two decades, visitors from near and far have come for the city’s annual Festival of Lights, five weeks of holiday merriment including decorations and lights throughout the downtown area.
Along the Festival route sits Riverside’s City Hall, a red brick structure that incorporates distinctive architectural arches that are classic Riverside as seen by day but disappears as night approaches. The City of Riverside realized the importance of incorporating City Hall into to the celebration by lighting the building’s unique façades. Ahead of last year’s Festival of Lights, Riverside Public Utilities’ (RPU) staff began to investigate traditional lighting methods and strongly considered 1000-watt metal halides as an option. During their search for a lighting solution, RPU staff reached out to Michael Knoepffler, an engineer with Entertainment Lighting Services (ELS), who has years of experience in theatrical, architectural and event lighting applications, to start investigating opportunities to upgrade the facility’s outdoor lighting system. The city was looking for a system that would give them more flexibility and customization to provide a “wow” factor that the current system couldn’t, but that would also tie back to the city’s green initiatives.
“The idea was to make City Hall a focal point in Riverside, not only during the Festival of Lights, but throughout the year as well,” said Knoepffler. “We needed a product that could provide any color, pattern or display across the face of City Hall, but it was imperative we show return on investment from an efficiency standpoint.”
After visiting the site for a full walk of the property, Knoepffler recognized some of the challenges that the project would bring. The new fixtures would need to be inaccessible to the public to prevent tampering, but they would also need to illuminate the building façade cleanly and evenly, with as little light trespass as possible. Additionally, in order to deliver on Riverside’s vision of a visually impactful and customizable system, the new luminaires needed to deliver high-quality light in a wide range of colors and hues. Finally, since the new lighting system would be managed by the Riverside Public Utilities staff, the control hardware and software systems needed to be intuitive and user-friendly.
“I reached out to a colleague at OSRAM SYLVANIA to ask about Traxon Technologies’ LED fixtures and control systems,” said Knoepffler. “Between the high-quality illumination, the range of customization and the huge reduction in energy consumption, Traxon’s solutions were our best bet to achieve the city’s goals.”
After meeting with Riverside Public Utilities and ELS to plan and conduct tests on potential lighting systems, OSRAM SYLVANIA worked collaboratively to deliver the ideal solution to replace the existing metal halide lamps on the property. Led by Knoepffler, ELS developed custom brackets and placed them strategically on the exterior of the building and the surrounding property such that every side of the building was bathed in high-quality illumination. With all of the LED fixtures connected to a central control system, the colors, patterns and timing of the lighting display can all be managed from inside the City Hall building itself, and, thanks to the intuitive e:cue lighting control system, the lighting can be managed by the city’s own employees.
Not only did the Traxon and e:cue solution meet Riverside’s visual demands, the complete system of LED luminaires and control technologies reduced the city’s energy consumption from illuminating City Hall by over 90 percent. These incredible savings translate to over $16,000 in reduced energy costs per year, and because of the long-life of the Traxon LED fixtures and their resistance to outdoor wear and tear, the city stands to save even further on maintenance costs.
In order to achieve the desired range of capabilities and flexibility for the project, OSRAM SYLVANIA installed a complete system of Traxon Technologies LED fixtures and e:cue lighting control solutions. Traxon’s Wall Washer Shield AC XB LED fixtures are ideal luminaires for large-scale, high-brightness architectural illumination. The IP66-rated Shield AC XB family of fixtures, intended for outdoor wall washing and grazing, enables crisp bright light output projected across long distances with a broad color palette, as well as a range of white tones.
Designed for exterior applications where a rich, even wash or graze is necessary, Shield AC XB family’s IP66 rating makes it an ideal solution for outdoor façade illumination. Powered by AC line voltage, the Wall Washer Shield AC XB fixture eliminates the need for remote power supplies and allows the fixture to function up to 300 meters from its power source. By using standard daisy-chain topology with combined power and data cable, the simple connection system simplifies wiring and lowers installation costs. As many as 32 fixtures may be joined in a single run, which enables easy installation for large-scale lighting projects.
For installations where space is limited, the Shield AC XB family’s power supply containing base can be separated from the head of the fixture, enabling multiple mounting options. The separation of the fixture from the power supply makes the Shield AC XB highly durable, easy to maintain and flexible for use in many different scenarios. The field-installable connectors allow the optimization of cable lengths and fixture positions. Further Shield AC XB customization choices include the number of LEDs per fixture; LED color combinations (RGB, red, green, blue, warm white, cold white, dynamic white, and amber) and beam angles.
To program and control the range of features offered by the Wall Washer Shield AC XB, OSRAM SYLVANIA recommended the Butler XT2 and Glass Touch T12 products by Traxon’s control brand, e:cue. The Butler XT2 is a DMX512/RDM gateway that can be used as a standalone device, independent of a server, to replay and loop previously uploaded lighting shows programmed with the e:cue Lighting Application Suite. The Glass Touch T12 interface has 13 touch-sensitive buttons located behind a smooth glass surface which can be individually configured to execute any desired function within the e:cue lighting and video application suite. The Glass Touch terminal also incorporates an infra-red sensor, enabling remote control.
THE BOTTOM LINE
By working closely with the City of Riverside and ELS, OSRAM SYLVANIA was able to deliver on both of the city’s goals for the project: reducing energy consumption and creating a visual icon for downtown Riverside. While the new system typically shines brilliant white light on the building’s façades, during last year’s Festival of Lights, City Hall was able to visually participate in the celebration for the first time, with pops of green and red light adding to the incredible display in downtown Riverside. Today, as cars drive at night through a major highway intersection overlooking the area, Riverside City Hall shines like a beacon for visitors and a reminder for residents of the city’s spirit of art, innovation and environmental responsibility.
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