A new take on the usual New York City architectural tour has come along. There are apparently a surprising amount of visitors and locals who are interested in seeing the city through LEDs, mercury vapor lamps and the prism of gels, as odd as that sounds.
Three months ago, a self-guided tour map of New York City lighting designs was published by the Illuminating Engineering Society of New York in conjunction with the Designers Lighting Forum of New York. The self-guided maps have been so popular that only 1,500 of the original 20,000 are left in the office of the Illuminating Engineering Society. Much of the $25,000 spent on the project was provided by sponsors, and the society is currently considering a second printing.
The large foldout map leads people to different areas of New York City. The tour highlights the ethereal lighting of buildings and structures, along with the lighting designers and firms associated with each. Some examples that can be viewed at nighttime are the Alexander Hamilton Customs House, the Brooklyn Central Library, the TKTS kiosk in Times Square, and of course the illuminated glass Apple Store at Fifth Avenue. Much of the tour’s purpose is to bring attention to the overlooked lighting design industry that places a crucial part in how we view structures. Attention to lighting has also become more relevant as buildings look to become more energy efficient. Copies of the map can be purchased online at www.iesnyc.org/CityLights.aspx
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