DOWNTOWN — Tampa-based company Bay Stage Lighting has teamed up with the Macquarie Office Trust and the Stiles Corp. to bring a little more luster to downtown, in a green-friendly way.
The company has installed a Light Emitting Diode (LED) system on the top of the SunTrust Financial Centre building, at 401 E Jackson St., where a light display shines year-round.
Electrical problems and the Stiles Corp.'s commitment to a more environmentally conscious policy triggered the change from a system that relied on 15 fluorescent lights for illumination. The old bulbs contained mercury and used more energy than the new LED lights.
"Whenever possible we're trying to install green features," said Nancy Brusher, vice president of marketing communications for the Stiles Corp.
Aside from being more environmentally friendly, the new system is easier to manipulate. In the past, a team of six people had to fly in and physically attach colored gels to the top of the building to change the look of the lights. The process took four hours to complete.
The LED lights are controlled by a console that has been programmed with more than 15 lighting displays. Changing the program requires the simple push of a button. Each of the 322 LEDs in the system have the capability to become one of 16.5-million colors. The LEDs can also be programmed to blink, fade or "chase" each other around the top of the building.
"Now it can change a lot more often, and it's a lot brighter. It's more of a focal point in our skyline," said Danielle Sherwin, communications liaison for Bay Stage Lighting.
The system now displays a red and green holiday theme, but keep an eye out for changing looks in the future.
The University of Tampa already has asked that the building display its school colors.