Union Plaza

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Building’s New Illumination System Lights Up Little Rock 

Several major improvements have been made to the 21-story Union Plaza Building in Little Rock, but none have been as dramatic as its new exterior lighting system, which has transformed the nighttime skyline in Arkansas’ capitol city.

Opened in 1969, the Union Plaza Building is situated in the center of the financial and legal district, located near the city’s Convention Center, Chamber of Commerce, River Market District and two major hotels.  The 230,000-square-foot building contains restaurants and coffee shops, retail locations and a U.S. Post Office.

With its international-style architecture, the fifth largest building in the city is easily identified − its expansive granite columns soar to create a unique pine-stripe effect.  Its façade, fabricated of steel, concrete, granite, aluminum and glass, is flanked by planters at ground level displaying a colorful array of trees, shrubs and seasonal flowers.

Hard to Maintain

Unfortunately, the existing lights to highlight the building’s structure were hard to maintain. As a result, the fixtures were only being serviced once a year. To solve the problem, Curtis Stout Inc., Little Rock’s largest electrical manufacturers’ representative business, was engaged to upgrade the lighting system.  With more than 60 years in the electrical industry as an added provider of electrical and electronic solutions, Curtis Stout is one of the largest electrical equipment manufacturers' representatives in the country.

Curtis Stout's team included Paul James, Director of Energy Services and Project Designer; Bobby Shumate, Account Manager, and Gene Gephart, Programmer, who analyzed the needs and expectations of Union Plaza Building.  Their solution was revolved around long-life fixtures that once installed didn’t require maintenance and provided more consistent light. 

‘We developed and recommended replacing the existing HPS fixtures with new LED color changing fixtures around the building, 15 feet from the top of the building,” said James. “Each fixture is individually addressed to allow independent control. This set up creates the ability to control the up-lights separately from the down lights, providing a band of color around the top that is independent downlight, which allow us to truly highlight the building’s architectural features.”

LED Luminaire Solution

Now at night the Union Plaza Building is highlighted by Dyna Drum HO and Dyna Flood QA luminaires from Acclaim Lighting, Los Angles, California. Using Acclaim’s quad-color technology, the Dyna Flood QA contains four colors, RGB+amber, under a single lens. Because quad-color technology mixes the colors under the lens unlike traditional technology that color mixes outside of the lens, Dyna Flood QA delivers precise color matching.

Dyna Flood QA offers beam angles of 20, 40 and 60 degrees, and provides 1,233 lumens with efficacy of 20.55. Consuming 60 watts, the long-lasting units are warranted for five years and retain 70 percent of brightness at 50,000 hours.

Ideal for facade and large-scale area flood lighting, the Dyna Drum HO features an adjustable yoke with onboard 180-degree flip inverted digital control display for menu selections and addressing. With its 100-277-volt AC internal power supply, Dyna Drum fixtures consume only 270 watts in replacing traditional 400-watt outdoor discharge fixtures.

The color-changing Dyna Drum HO features RGBW chips, while the single-color version is available in 2,700, 3,000, 3,500, 4,000 and 5,500 K, providing a lumen range of 9,000 to 17,232 at 5,500 K. The Dyna Drum HO is available in beam angles of 6 degrees standard, with 25-, 40- and 60-degree0-spread lens options.

Both Dyna Flood QA and Dyna Drum HO have an IP 66 wet-location rating.  Their die-cast aluminum housings are available in gray, black and white to blend easily into the environment. The units mount to a standard 4-inch-round electrical box, and for simple connectability are designed with separate IP-rated power and signal cables, and bare end wires. With a DMX-512 control system, each unit features an auto-switching, multi-voltage power supply and an on-board touch-sensitive menu. The long-lasting units are warranted for five years.

The fixtures were installed by Carl Jones and Ken Ray, while the electrical wiring was completed by Jacobs Electric & Communications, LLC, Little Rock.  James said, “This project went together much easier than anyone expected and out preformed expectations. It is an asset to Little Rock’s downtown, night time skyline.”

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