Bankers Hall ‘trees’ resurrected
Ten iconic trees have lined Stephen Avenue in Calgary between Bankers Hall and the Core Mall for more than two decades. But these are no ordinary trees: Living trees are difficult to grow in urban settings, so these tree ‘sculptures’ were designed by the Bankers Hall building’s architect, The Cohos Evamy Partners, as stunning works of art. art, while blocking the wind in the bustling pedestrian area.
The metal structures, which range in height from 21 to 26 meters high, were designed to come alive at night, with seasonally themed LED light strips and a sound system that played music along with the light show . However, after decades of use, the trees lost their luster and began to blend into the landscape of downtown Calgary, much to the dismay of many city officials.
Unfortunately, the original lighting that only outlined the treetop no longer worked properly. Additionally, the Calgary Downtown Association and city officials agreed that even when fully operational, the trees did not stand out as the significant work of art they were meant to be for residents and visitors. .
In an effort to bring these downtown Calgary structures back to life, city officials have approved funding to restore trees to improve the ambience of downtown Calgary. They chose local lighting company Wow Lighting & Controls to provide the solution.
Wow Lighting & Controls set three major lighting criteria: First, the new lighting system had to illuminate the trees without distracting motorists. Second, they wanted the flexibility to change colors and stages for special events in Calgary throughout the year. And finally, the new lights had to be hidden away from the site so as not to detract from the beauty of the trees.
Wireless solution with spectacular results
After a thorough investigation, Wow Lighting & Controls specified Acclaim Lighting’s Dyna Drum EO Color Q4 and Aria Wireless DMX System, supplied by Eecol Electric.
“Trees have very few access points, so it was crucial to select fixtures that didn’t require a lot of rewiring, so the best solution was to use wireless fixtures,” noted Tyler Kuntz, one of the main prescribers of the project. “We needed to find a high-performance fixture that would properly illuminate the trees, without the extra power junction points or bulky fixtures. The low profile Dyna Drum EO with high light output made this an easy choice. Additionally, the fixtures come with Aria Wireless DMX, which allowed us to minimize additional cables.
Designed by Acclaim Lighting for facade lighting and floodlighting applications, Dyna Drum EO Color is a high output quad color LED floodlight for outdoors, featuring an internal 100-277VAC power supply and DMX+RDM driver integrated. It comes standard with a 10º native beam, with optional fast spread lenses for wider applications.
IP66 rated for wet applications, Dyna Drum delivers up to 2200 lumens, while consuming less than 72 watts. The fixture will operate in temperatures ranging from -40º F to 125º F (-40º C to 51º C) and has a life of 150,000.
Each unit incorporates Acclaim’s Aria wireless DMX technology. Aria can receive a signal from an Aria transceiver and rebroadcast it to extend the wireless range, matching the existing radio channel on the 2.4 GHz band. The internal wireless radio offers both automatic networking and signal routing optimization to ensure the best possible reception of DMX data. A 5 dB omnidirectional antenna is included which provides transmission for an additional 2600′ and 300′ line of sight between obstacles and walls. As a result, no cumbersome wiring system was needed to obstruct the beauty of the trees. Western Electrical Management has completed the installation of the lighting system.
Kuntz said, “With Aria, the team was able to seamlessly modernize a large, iconic public art exhibit in the heart of a downtown core. The DMX system allowed us to offer a stable and reliable wireless solution in an area with high Wi-Fi traffic, which was essential for the project.
“With the new lighting system, residents felt the city was adding a new prize to art,” Kuntz added. “The way the trees are lit now, compared to how they were lit originally, is not even comparable on the same spectrum. Personally, I think the end result is a huge improvement for fun of our community.