Philips to Install New York Tappan Zee Bridge with Smart LED Lights

Royal Philips, the global leader in lighting, today announced it would be working with the New York State Thruway Authority and Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC to install a state-of-the-art connected LED lighting system on the New NY Bridge to replace the Tappan Zee across the Hudson River. The innovative system will combine both the roadway and architectural lighting, an industry first.  As the most technologically advanced bridge in North America, the New NY Bridge will have the capacity to be transformed into a massive canvas with remotely programmed, tunable lights that produce dynamic or subtle, colorful effects which can reflect special occasions such as holidays or local sports team wins. Moreover, by combining controls with the LED lighting, the system is anticipated to be up to 75% more energy efficient than traditional lighting technologies, while providing better quality light.

The new system will leverage proven Philips technologies for architectural LED and functional roadway systems, offering Philips ActiveSite and Philips CityTouch cloud-based remote monitoring systems in a single dashboard. The system will enhance visibility on the new spans, while highlighting the design of the new structure thanks to the inherent ability of LED technology to focus light where it is needed, minimizing light pollution. It will also automatically monitor the entire lighting solution 24/7 and, as the Philips control system is cloud-based, the New York State Thruway Authority will have industry-leading technology that is automatically updated, without the need for IT systems physically located on the bridge.

The New Tappan Zee Bridge will be illuminated with Philips LED lights. (Photo Courtesy of Philips)

The New NY Bridge is the single largest bridge construction project in New York’s history.  At 3.1 miles in length, it will also be one of the widest cable-stayed structures of its kind, incorporating unique features to achieve an elegant design with efficient results.  The iconic span will have 419-foot main towers with geometrically aligned cables providing an open air experience while crossing the bridge.  Designed to achieve a clean aesthetic with improved safety features, The New NY Bridge project scheduled to be open in 2018.

“We wanted to ensure that everything on this bridge would be the most advanced technology possible, which is why we partnered with Philips on the cloud-based lighting system for the Tappan Zee,” said John Trinity, lead project engineer for the systems group at Tappan Zee Constructors. “Not only is the new lighting system energy-efficient, it will help the Tappan Zee stand out in the night sky and further cement it as an iconic New York structure, while the roadway lighting will be an integral part of improving visibility and making it safer for drivers.  Moreover, the control system will eliminate the need to worry about maintaining server hardware or software systems, while still ensuring uptime because we can remotely login to see if there are any issues, quickly and efficiently dispatching crews to address any concerns.”

The New NY Bridge’s spans will benefit from approximately 2,700 new Philips Color Kinetics LED fixtures that can be programmed remotely through the Philips ActiveSite monitoring and management system.  Moreover, the new lighting system on the bridge will include 500 Philips RoadView LED Luminaires that offer full spectrum and uniform white light that is brighter than traditional lighting technologies, while being managed and monitored by the Philips CityTouch cloud-based monitoring system. To further simplify monitoring of the system, both Philips ActiveSite and CityTouch have been combined into one easy to use dashboard, giving site managers a clear view of the system’s status.

“As a company we are delivering connected LED lighting systems that can be tailored to meet the exacting needs of our customers and the New NY Bridge  is a great example of a high-profile structure that needs the lighting system to be integrated in a very unique way,” said Amy Huntington, president of Philips Lighting Americas.  “Our understanding of architectural and roadway lighting, combined with our advanced controls technologies and our ability to develop a common user interface will allow Tappan Zee Constructors to deliver a cost-effective lighting system that can meet the demands of one the busiest bridges in New York.”

For more information about Philips lighting technologies, please visit

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