If you like Honda Civics modded with blue neon, enormous spoilers and V-Tech stickers, you’re gonna love what’s happening to Toronto’s most iconic structure.
Management of Canada’s National Tower (formerly the Canadian National Tower) have begun testing the unfortunate new animated LEDs that were recently installed, dramatically transforming a brilliant exercise in modernist subtlety into a cheap, plastic martini spear. The “intelligent LED” colour effects will permanently go live after a launch event at sunset on June 28.
Environmentally, the new lighting system uses 10% less energy than conventional illumination (and 60% less than the previous dimly-lit setup, which was dismantled in 1996). The 1,330 LED panels are each about the size of a shoebox and the system is designed by Color Kinetics of Boston. The panels are located up the central shaft windows, at the base of each tier of the upper mast, and around the “bubble” beneath the Sky Pod.
The lighting effects are microprocessor controlled and can be animated in psychedelic patterns and in virtually any combination of colours. Last night’s gaudy, rapidly-changing colours alarmed many Torontonians, though CN Tower management claims the lighting will be more subtle and won’t be shifting as rapidly as it has been during testing.
We’ll see about that. We think that whatever happens in Vegas should stay in Vegas.
UPDATE: See more photos of the tower from a wider perspective from John Doe Jr on Flickr.
Photo by smlgphotos from the Torontoist Flickr Pool