CenterPoint Energy Tower



From Mundane to Magnificent


CenterPoint Energy Tower started out as a run-of-the-mill office building. Today, it stands as one of the centerpiece gems in the Houston skyline, thanks to a previous renovation and a new architectural lighting system including some of the latest LED technology products from Acclaim Lighting, Los Angeles, California.


Located at 1111 Louisiana Street in downtown Houston, the 47-story tower debuted in 1973, clad in boring black glass. The headquarters for the CenterPoint Energy, Inc., the bland, albeit highly energy-efficient, completely blended in with surrounding buildings; it was barely noticeable, day or night.

That changed in 1996, when Houston based architects DMJM Keating and Kendall/Keaton Associates worked their magic, transforming the tower into a true Houston landmark.


The major renovation added a 90-foot, six-story cap, affectionately named the “top hat,” that has an eye-catching, circular hole cut in its middle. The owners of the building decided to line the crown in white lights to highlight the building’s distinct architectural features. Occasionally, those lights were changed to red, green, or blue to reflect certain holidays.


In addition to the new top, the renovation included a reconstructed base with granite paneling to add a more modern, architectural feel to the structure.


These design upgrades definitely changed the look of what is now Houston’s signature skyline. From the ground, air and neighboring buildings, that building’s “crown” attracts interest during the day and turns into a bright beacon in the sky at night.


Energy Efficient Upgrade


In 2015, CenterPoint Energy Tower facilities professionals decided they wanted to upgrade the lighting system with high-output, high-efficiency LED fixtures. The requirement: These fixtures needed to generate enough power to replace the building’s 1000-watt metal halide flood lights without increasing energy costs.


 After all, CenterPoint Energy’s corporate vision and strategy focuses on ensuring safe, reliable, efficient and environmentally responsible energy delivery by using new and innovative technology to enhance performance. Each day, the company delivers electricity in a 5,000 square-mile area in Texas. In addition, its natural gas distribution business operates in six states: Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas. The company wanted to walk the proverbial walk, and not just talk the talk.


CenterPoint Energy also wanted to be able to quickly and easily change exterior lighting color schemes to reflect different seasons and promotional awareness campaigns. To achieve this, CenterPoint Energy turned to DG Studios, who specializes in communications in the built environment.  DG Studios assigned Houston-based Putterman, Scharck & Associates (PSA) in Houston to recommend the lighting system. Established in 1963, PSA represents a portfolio of independent lighting manufacturers, enabling them to offer a wide range of design solutions, from design to procurement, in Houston and Southwest Texas. 


Based on the lighting criteria, Jody Moses, lighting specialist at PSA recommended Dyna Drum HO QW and Rebel Bar HIP65 fixtures with the ART SSC Controller from Acclaim Lighting.


“Through our investigation, we found a low-energy, high-output lighting system to highlight the architectural structure,” Moses said. “At the same time, it would provide precise control over the lighting scheme, giving us the opportunity to quickly change colors.”


Specified to up-light the roof’s unique architectural structure, the Dyna Drum HO QW is a high-output, outdoor-rated, quad-color LED flood fixture featuring an adjustable yoke, on-board digital display. Its 100-277VAC internal power supply consumes only 237 watts per fixture. The quad-color chip performs at 6000K and provides improved color mixing and more saturated colors over single-source LED fixtures.

Dyna Drum HO QW provides 5736 total lumens, maintaining 70 percent of them at 120,000 hours. This outdoor, LED flood fixture has beam angles of 10 degrees standard, with 20-, 40- and 60-degree spread lens options for large-scale façade and area flood lighting. It also is warranted for five years. Selected to graze the side slope of the roof, the Rebel Bar HIP65 is a high-power, linear LED wash fixture, available in RGB or white. Its built-in power supply and linkable power/data system make it extremely versatile for both installations and live production. The IP65-rated Rebel Bar HIP65 has beam angles of 10 degrees standard, with 25-, 40- and 10 X 35, and 10 X 60-degree spread lens options. It consumers only 40 watts. Fingertip Control To coordinate the building’s lighting scheme, PSA specified the solid-state ART SSC lighting controller with no moving parts. Designed for permanent installations, this extremely secure and low-maintenance installation control solution offers only minimal power consumption.  The ART SSC is designed to operate without a computer. All operating and programming is done through its dynamic web 2.0 interface. Connected to a browser, the ART SSC unfolds itself into a 1024-channel lighting controller, complete with an industry-standard command-line interface for fast programming. It features 256 scenes with programmable fade and hold times. This feature lowers the cost of the control system and greatly reduces the need for maintenance. PSA connected the ART SSC controller to the BMS system for control the lighting system from the building maintenance office.

“The control system allowed us to quickly program and implement color changing schemes specified by CenterPoint Energy executives for seasonal and event changes throughout the year,” Moses said. “We have many static colors set to acknowledge events, such as pink for Breast Cancer Awareness and purple for the March of Dimes. We have a time schedule set to automatically activate lighting schemes for events and holidays, including Christmas, New Years, and the 4th of July. It helps beautify the Houston skyline all year round".