New LED Light System for Empire State Building

The new system will replace the current 400 regular bulbs with 68,000 smaller LED lights and allow the tower owners to cast rainbows and even more color variations across the sky

Tuesday, May 8, 2012  |  Updated 9:40 AM EDT
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It may no longer be the city's tallest skyscraper, but the Empire State Building still plans to be one of the brightest.

The owners of the iconic tower, which was recently eclipsed in height by the new World Trade Center, plan to unveil light technology that will enable them to cast rainbows, ripples and other special effects across the sky, reports The New York Post.

The new system will replace the current 400 regular bulbs with 68,000 smaller LED lights. LED lights are considered more energy efficient and are the same lights that adorn the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree each year, though the tree in the plaza only has about half the number of bulbs the Empire State plans to have.

Anthony Malkin, president of the company that owns the Empire State Building, told the Post the light installation will cost several million dollars but the energy savings will help defray the costs.

Malkin also said the timing of the new lighting announcement had nothing to do with the WTC reclaiming its spot as the city's tallest tower a week ago.

"We are quite secure as the focal point of the Manhattan skyline," he told the Post.

The new light installation is expected to be completed in September.     

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