Project detailsProject type: Infrastructure
Location: Toledo, Ohio, United States
Client: Ohio Department of Transportation
Lighting Design: Horton Lees Brogden
Electrical Engineer: FET Construction Services
Commissioning and Programming: Barbizon Lighting Company
Photographer: Feinknopf Photography
Aesthetic lighting, public art, and community pride are interwoven to turn the glass-enclosed tower of Veterans' Glass City Skyway into an iconic symbol of Toledo using Lumenpulse luminaires.
We have a long-standing relationship with Lumenpulse and we know they will stand behind their luminaires.Faith E. Baum
Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design
Veterans’ Glass City Skyway
The 400-foot-high, glass-enclosed tower of the cable-stayed bridge known as the Veterans' Glass City Skyway (VGCS) is an incredible achievement and has become a symbol of Toledo itself. Initially opened in 2007, the single, tall central pylon, which helps suspend twin 612-foot road spans, used 348 LED luminaires to light the tower. To update the lighting system and controls, as well as to allow for a more dynamic lighting of the tower, HLB Lighting Design replaced the older system in 2018 with 200 Lumenpulse Lumenfacade fixtures whose RGBW capabilities are capable of producing a full spectrum of colorful displays. "We have a long-standing relationship with Lumenpulse," said Faith E. Baum, Principal at HLB Lighting Design, "and we know they will stand behind their luminaires."
The public has been excited about the new lighting design, and it has become a centerpiece of countless social media posts. This project is a rarity amongst infrastructure lighting as it involves a unique collaboration between not only the client and the lighting designer, but also local artists. The community-driven initiative sets this bridge's lighting apart from so many others. The primary lighting programs are the works of six artists which have been interpreted into kinetic light scenes. These original designs are played out nightly on the bridge's column of glass and Lumenpulse Lumenfacades are the linear projectors responsible for bringing these visions to light. The artists created two or more scenarios each, 10 of which are shown on a rotating basis. Between the artist scenarios, and during special occasions, HLB has designed a number of programs to celebrate local sports teams, to commemorate local and national holidays and events, as well as programs to mark seasonal changes, such as a program that mimicks snowfall.
There are 45, four-foot long Lumenfacade fixtures located in each of the glass-enclosed quadrants of the pylon and 16 two-foot fixtures in the tower peak. This allows for granular control and a more precise use of color than the previous design. The control system is located in the neighboring Robert Craig Memorial Bridge. The controls are also accessible remotely from Ohio Department of Transportation's (ODOT) district office through a custom-designed user interface. It is from here that continuous diagnostic monitoring of each LED fixture's performance can also be carried out.
The Lumenfacade luminaires have reduced maintenance costs and increased the flexibility and controls of the bridge's lighting, while simultaneously enacting dynamic, color-changing lighting programs that have boosted civic pride. Now a symbol synonymous with Toledo, Baum attributes the success of the project to, "the new lighting system and the incredible collaboration between local artists, ODOT, HLB and the entire design team. It was a unique opportunity that allowed us to think about the lighting of an iconic bridge in a whole new way."
184 x Lumenfacade Color-Changing RGBW, 4 ft, 30º x 60º
16 x Lumenfacade Color-Changing RGBW, 2 ft, 30º x 60º