Illuminating Niagara Falls has been a long tradition, dating back over 150 years. Since welcoming the Prince of Wales to Canada in 1860, the waterfalls have been used as a massive canvas for light shows and coloured displays.
Upgrading Niagara Falls Illumination
Keeping the Illumination up to date and on the cutting edge of technology has been no small– or cheap– feat. The last major upgrade was during the mid 1990s, and a new overhaul has been in the planning stages for a couple of years now.
As of February 2016 a private project has been underway to overhaul the technology; the City of Niagara Falls will be contributing to the 4 million dollar effort, a project being shared equally between the US and Canada. The aim is to have the new technology in place for the 2016 Winter Festival of Lights and Canada’s impending 150th anniversary in 2017.
Brighter, Bigger and More Efficient Illuminations
So what does this mean for the traditional illumination display? The new set-up is expected to be bigger and brighter in almost every way imaginable. The key is the introduction of primarily LED-based lighting, as opposed to the current zeon lights.
The result is that four times the lighting is possible, and comparatively LED lighting uses 82% less power than zeon lights. Additionally, the colour rage is higher with about 1800 colour combinations possible, and the lights require less maintenance and will burn strong without replacement for about twenty-five years.
The new investment will also bolster the true potential of the falls illumination displays: full creative programming. In the past special occasions have only been represented in symbolic colours and styles: green for St Patrick’s Day, blue and white for the Make-a-Wish Foundation and so on. But the new technology is a major step towards more intricate displays.
The falls are illuminated all year round, but the schedule can vary, taking advantage of long winter nights and the associated Festival of Lights.
The upgrade has been a long time coming, and necessary to keep the illumination displays well-maintained, energy-efficient and to maximise its ability to entertain the public. And with a new display that promises more detail and variety than ever before, it promises to be a major attraction at its first Winter Festival of Lights.
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