Starlight replaces a 19th century chandelier, with the intention of not just providing light, but as part of a greater ideal of making the entry lobby the core experience for public gathering and to encourage visitors to use the monumental circular stair as primary circulation instead of elevators. But beyond these practical notions, the light sculpture symbolizes the museum’s engagement with modern life in the city. It links its great historic tradition with current technology and thinking.
LED Supplier: Everlight (Carrollton, Texas)
LED: white Everlight SMD LED (2700K)
The LED pc boards were all a one-off custom design.
four oz. cylindrical stainless satin finished steel ballast at the bottom of each strand (a total of 210 steel cylinders were utilized)
STARLIGHT is an LED sculpture of over 5000s of points of light containing endless compelling geometric illusions and moiré effects that captures the imagination of all visitors who admire its continuing illuminated depths as it hangs as an art installation in the rotunda of Museum of the City of New York.
In its entirety, Starlight is composed of 210 vertical strands of white LEDs with each strand (known as a vine) perfectly aligned to every other strand. Each vine is composed of three twisted tin copper charged wires from which a small triangular shaped double-sided pc board was inserted. Each pc board had embedded within its central space a white Everlight SMD LED (2700K) with a 120 degree viewing angle. The completion of the pc board included two LEDs with one unit placed on each side of the triangular board. The LEDs were then stacked onto hanging strands or vines. The final shape is approximately 15-feet tall, 15-feet wide, and 3 feet 6 inches deep.
Starlight's final fabrication was developed by Kenzan Tsutakawa-Chinn, Studio 1Thousand's lighting designer. A fabrication crew from Rush Designs (Brooklyn, NY) soldered the LED points one by one, maintaining a 5-3/4-inch vertical spacing between each chip along its vine. The soldering was so exact that a deviance of approximately 0.007 inches per chip appeared during the entire soldering process. The overall shape of Starlight was a circular volumetric disk (imagine a slice of a can) and depending the disk's position within each vine's location, between 40 - 60 LEDs were soldered in place per vine. Altogether the disk pattern required 5,243 LEDs.
Starlight's ceiling fixture consisted of a two-part steel frame and a plywood mounting panel. The steel frame was built of one-inch square tubes and mounted directly to the structural I-beams of the building. A second steel frame was anchored to the first and connected with three large ¾ inch plywood panels. Each panel was CNC routed with its subsequent lined up entry holes upon which a singular LED vine was inserted and connected in place. The plywood frames were attached to a series of one-inch square tubes which in turn were connected with Lindapter clamps to the structural steel building frame within the ceiling. The LED vines once properly attached, were then connected to the sculpture's power rail in the ceiling.