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Empire State Building Gets a Glowing Makeover

A new LED lighting system add millions of colors


Empire State BuildingThe venerable Empire State Building, long a symbol of New York City, received a lighting redesign this week.

The new LED light system allows for more colors, up to 16.9 million, and a more interactive display, reports the Associated Press. The reworked lights are also energy-efficient and longer lasting. The old system of floodlights could display no more than 10 colors and needed to be replaced on a regular basis.

The lights are part of a planned updating of the skyscraper that has held its place in the New York skyline for 81 years. Building management is spending more than $500 million reworking the entire structure to make it modern and “green” for tenants.

The new lighting system was secretly tested before dawn on Thanksgiving morning. When the test was successful, it went up for all to see the following Monday. Coordinated with the launch of the new lights was a nationwide playing of Alicia Keys’ Empire State of Mind on Clear Channel (NYSE:CCO) radio stations.

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