Every college campus in the US seems to have a unique landmark or two; those distinctive places that – although rarely included in official campus guidebooks – stand out in the everyday lives of students. At Eastern Kentucky University, home of the “Colonels,” the list of special spots now includes a most unlikely edifice – the pedestrian bridge (aka “Pedway”) that crosses Lancaster Boulevard to join two sections of the sprawling 675-acre campus.
Louisville-based lighting company, Lumenation transformed the utilitarian glass, concrete and aluminium structure into a beautiful reflection of school spirit and campus pride with help from some colour-changing fixtures from the ILUMINARC division of Chauvet Lighting.
Alex Moore of Lumenation, who served as Manager of the project, commented the following: “The Pedway has become one of the favourite sites on campus since we added coloured light to it, which really stands out from your average run-of-the-mill pedestrian bridge.”
Indeed, the colourful pedestrian bridge has become so iconic at EKU that the school has used it as the subject of a campus-wide photography contest.
Alex and the Lumenation team installed 32 of ILUMINARC’s Ilumiline 36 IP linear fixtures in the glass-walled tube of the pedestrian bridge. The RGB colour-changing fixtures are positioned on the tops of the two walls of the roughly 40” long bridge, directly below where those walls meet the sloped ceiling. The brushed aluminium housing of the sleek 38.6-inch (980 mm) long linear fixture blends easily with the aluminium frame of the bridge’s glass wall.
Since the ceiling of the bridge curves down at a distinct angle, part of it is clearly visible to motorists who approach from one direction. Drawing on the 46-degree x 21-degree beam angle of the Ilumiline 36 IP, the Lumenation team used the fixtures to wash the ceiling in a rainbow of colours to present a dramatic vista to motorists passing below. Meanwhile, students who walk through the bridge feel like they’re inside a glowing work of art, as colour from the Ilumiline fixtures reflects off the ceiling, the glass walls and the polished floor.
At some times during the year, such as the holiday season, the bridge will be lighted in thematic colours. However, it is typically illuminated to reflect a broad spectrum of colours, from rich lavish reds and hot yellow, to cool greens and blues. Prominent among the different hues decorating the pedestrian bridge tube is a distinctive shade of purple requested by the school.
Matching this particular purple was the biggest challenge involved in this project, according to Alex. Stated how they specifically put a lot of extra hard work into getting a shade of purple, which is the school colour, and that is was minor details like that, which made the project worth it.
Ironically, Eastern Kentucky University initially considered using white LED fixtures to illuminate the pedestrian bridge, which was an all-new lighting project that was designed. Initially, the school wanted white light only, but Alex and his team thought the University would prefer the RGB option. Alex professionally explained the benefits of the RGB option, to which they eventually ecstatically agreed.