Chicago Loop Set ABlaze With Sound and Color As LIGHTSCAPE Installation Comes to State Street.

Chicago Loop Set ABlaze With Sound and Color As LIGHTSCAPE Installation Comes to State Street.

Downtown Chicago, recently named the best big city downtown in the country by Forbes Magazine, is stepping up to the front of the pack once again when it flips the switch on a new year-round light and sound installation, LIGHTSCAPE at dusk on Monday, November 21, 2011.  The Great Street will be bathed in a tasteful display of dynamic colors and patterns, choreographed to music from Lake Street to Van Buren Street.  The initial LIGHTSCAPE installation will have a holiday theme called “Season of Lights, Sounds of the Season”.

Commissioned by Chicago Loop Alliance, as part of the 3rd Annual Winter WonderLoop series (see below), LIGHTSCAPE is comprised of a dozen “prairie grass” landscapes of varying heights up to 9-feet-tall, “planted” along sidewalks with “sounds” emitting from embedded speakers.  The LIGHTSCAPE will change with the seasons and for special occasions.  The initial holiday installation will feature lights in synchronization with songs including such classics as “Carol of the Bells” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”.  It will be activated daily from 8 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Energy Efficient.

By using low-energy LED lights in place of costly temporary holiday lighting displays, LIGHTSCAPE is embracing the wave of the future of smart energy use. The light displays will feature clusters of 50 to 100 LED lights each that require little upkeep and produce no waste.  “LIGHTSCAPE represents the next phase in a great Chicago tradition,” explains Ty Tabing, Chicago Loop Alliance Executive Director.

Installation Team.

The installation’s design team was led by the award-winning Chicago landscape architecture firm, Site Design Group, while the New Berlin, WI-based Creative Lighting Design & Engineering, whose previous work includes the popular Milwaukee Domes project, programmed the innovative light and sound choreography. State-of-the-art equipment was supplied by DesignLab and by Traxon Technologies, an OSRAM Company. Horizon Contractors installed the light and sound clusters on site.

Winter WonderLoop.

LIGHTSCAPE serves as the marquee attraction of Chicago Loop Alliance’s 3rd Annual Winter WonderLoop series, that kicks off  November 14 and runs through year’s end. Winter WonderLoop offers more than 100 holiday events, traditional festivities and special discounts and packages at participating stores, restaurants, hotels and cultural institutions.


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    Please be very careful and thoughtful with outdoor lighting designs. Can you creatively do your work without throwing light up into the night sky? Until you can, flip the switch OFF.

    Thoughtfully designed & installed outdoor lighting should not contribute to light trespass, light clutter, or skyglow.

    Outdoor artificial lighting shouldn't cross property lines, city, county and state borders, and needs to be kept out of the night sky where it continues to travel 50 - 70 or even 120 miles away (depending on the spectrum, lumens and angle among other factors).

    Reduce light pollution and bring starlight back over kids' backyards and the Milky Way within an hour's drive. The National Park Service study predicts by 2025 less than 10% of people will see starlight. This is sad and needless. We can work together to reduce light pollution, or we can accept the fact that we could be the last generation to witness starlight in America.

    Any light thrown upward toward the sky needs something within the design to capture it before it scatters in the atmosphere. Chicago's light pollution affects even our nearest national park, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, and surrounding towns and natural areas 75 miles away and more.

    Nothing will enhance the view of the Chicago Skyline better than starscapes. Creativity and ingenuity can make it happen. Starscapes and lightscapes can co-exist.

    See International Dark-Sky Assoc for more info or feel free to contact me anytime.

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