Niagara Falls

ProjectNiagara FallsLocationNiagara, Canada and USAManufacturersPharos Architectural Controls, UK. Pathway Connectivity, CanadaLighting DesignerLinus Mac Donald – Lighting Consultant for NFIB and Slobodan MarinSubmitted byPharos Architectural Controls

During hours of darkness, Niagara’s three waterfalls – American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and Canadian Horseshoe Falls – are illuminated with a vast array of coloured lights. Having been upgraded to LED, Pharos Architectural Controls was appointed to deliver a new lighting control system to deliver functionality and technological capability improvements to the Falls’ lights.
The project required a control system that could be physically located in one place, but have the capability to control all three waterfalls. A Pharos LPC 4 (Lighting Playback Controller 4) is housed on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls and is linked via a fibre network to distribute data to all three separate locations. Space was a concern but with its ability to offer cutting-edge control rivalling those of larger competitors in a small and compact unit, the LPC 4 was the perfect solution.
The project was a collaboration between Pharos, Pathway Connectivity — who delivered the data distribution via fibre optics, as well as a new back-up system — and SixEye. The SixEye platform manages the Pharos and Pathway systems in the Cloud, with all three elements working together and integrating seamlessly.
Using the SixEye platform, controls can be accessed, lighting can be scheduled remotely, and notifications can be sent to identify any problems. The complete system also offers a broad new toolset, providing ease of use and next-level system management. The content can be synchronised on both sides of the Falls, with three modes of operation: the public can interact with the lighting using touchscreens, the lighting can be programmed by the Niagara Falls team with unique settings for special occasions and holidays on the fly, or the system can be left to run automatically (usually between midnight and 2am).
This live control is made possible via 2 touchscreens connected to the lighting system, with interfaces designed by Pharos. The touchscreens provide the ability to control the Falls in real time, with the added benefit that their position at eye level with the waterfalls really puts the public in the driver’s seat. After any live changes, the system seamlessly reverts to its normal programming.

The Pharos system has offered the Niagara Falls illuminations fresh lighting content, greater flexibility for developing new design concepts and remote management in the cloud.
For the first time, thanks to the unique collaboration of technologies brought together from Pharos, Pathway Connectivity and SixEye, bespoke features such as kiosks allowing the public to interact with the system have been introduced to Niagara Falls. The system is backed by advanced functionality allowing flexible design capabilities.
Niagara Falls’ Toronto-based programmer has expressed delight at how quickly he can programme stunning looks using Pharos software, and how easily he can make small tweaks to the programme from home.
The combination of three market-leading technologies offers a wealth of benefits to the Falls and its many visitors. As such a vital tourist attraction for both the US and Canada, the Falls need to have the most up-to-date, technologically advanced systems to deliver unparalleled visual effects for visitors; and the lighting control has unquestionably achieved this.