New Illumination Technology Lights up Niagara Falls
A brand new way of illuminating Niagara falls was unveiled in December 2016. The new illumination technology consists of a 4 million dollar LED illumination array. A project that bi-national Niagara Falls Illumination Board had been championing since the television production of Nik Wallenda walking across the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. On June 12, 2012 the Discovery Channel set up for the production of their show Skywire that recorded Nick Wallenda walking across the Falls, a feat that had never been accomplished before. Nick started his walk in the United States at Goat Island and ended at the Table Rock Welcome Centre on the Canadian side. The event was an incredible moment in history, that had the entire world talking about Niagara Falls. The production made an impact on local government, and tourism officials as they witnessed the Falls ‘lit up’ in a way never thought possible. It was this moment that investing once again into a better illumination technology became permanently in everyone’s mind.
Niagara Falls Illumination History
Illumination of the Falls started back in 1920! Lights were installed on the roof of the Ontario Power Generating Station, located at the base of the Niagara Gorge. These lights were to illuminate the American Falls. Additional lights were mounted on to the Table Rock Welcome Centre to illuminate the Horseshoe Falls. All the lights were strategically located to conceal their location.
Throughout history, entrepreneurs and government agencies sought to extend the time to view the falls into the night, but it wasn’t until the Illumination Board was formed in 1925 that the lights consistently shone upon falls.
The Falls have been illuminated every night since 1925.
New Lights in 1997
Work began in 1997 to replace the old illumination lights with a new 21 light system that would increase illuminations by 60 – 70 percent. At a cost of $150,000, the first ten lights were replaced during that year. The remaining lights were replaced in 1998.
New Lights in 2016
18 years later and the illumination technology has been updated again. The new LED light array installed in December of 2016, casts sharper, richer colours that are 14 times brighter than the previous lights. The new lights are set to illuminate without bouncing off the mist coming from the falls, allowing for a clearer and brighter view. The LED lights will last 20 years or longer and will consume far less electricity, while the computerized system will give operators far more lighting options than before.
The view of the illuminated Falls from the Skylon Tower is incredible. We notice the intense richness of colour and the enhanced visibility of the cascading water and shadows.