Jan 7, 2022

In Middleton, WI, a 16-story commercial building has been decorating its windows with colorful lights for decades, but it wasn’t until 2021 that the building found a way to display more intricate patterns with less people-power. Originally, designers plotted out ideas in Excel and then building maintenance personnel manually installed and changed fluorescent light strips and colorful gel tubes on windows to display holiday wreaths and sports logos. Now the building utilizes a pixel-mapping and show control solution (ETC’s Mosaic System) to display new designs such as a rainbow chase and a waving American flag.

Mosaic uses up to 1.5 million pixels and allows for designs across large-scale canvases to be as high- or as low-resolution as creators see fit. Videos and images can be plugged into Mosaic’s software; software data is then distributed throughout the building over a network and converted into DMX using ETC’s Response Mk2 DMX Gateways. Finally, the DMX is sent to RGBW LED strips from a local manufacturer that are placed by contractors in each of the windows. Strips can be removed or added as needed based on project design, wants of end users and budget limitations. The technology also incorporates scheduling features to help keep the light show relevant for special events and seasons.

The ease of the system and the creativity of designers makes for endless possibilities for the building, including a new stream of revenue. Logos and images can be placed on the multi-story canvas right next to the interstate on the south edge of Kansas City for a fee.

Photo: Brad Hull