NYC skyscrapers compete for LED supremacy

The city's tallest towers are racing to become the brightest in the skyline

Lights at the Empire State Building
Lights at the Empire State Building

WEEKENDEDITION Since 2012, the Empire State Building has put on holiday light shows, but now other city skyscrapers are competing to be the brightest spot in the skyline.

At least four buildings have installed LED lights to their roof exteriors, including the Helmsley building at 230 Park Avenue, One World Trade Center, One Bryant Park and Vornado Realty Trust’s 731 Lexington Avenue, according to the New York Post.

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Empire State owner Anthony Malkin went so far as to hire renowned lighting designer Marc Brickman, of Bruce Springsteen and Blue Man Group fame, when he wired up the building.

“If you just throw LED lights on a building, it can end up looking like the red-light district in Amsterdam,” Malkin told the Post.

The first NYC skyscraper to feature an LED lighting system was One Bryant Park, which wraps lights around its nearly 300-foot spire. Others have followed suit with 230 Park featuring 700 LED fixtures that are switched on every night at sunset until 2 a.m. At One World Trade, LEDs on its 408-foot spire are still being tested and should come online within the next few months. Finally, 731 Lexington boasts an impressive 6,700 programmable LED panels on its top three floors. [NYP]Christopher Cameron