Empire State Building surprises NY with new lights

Nov 29, 2012 by Verena Dobnik
In this Nov. 26, 2012, photo provided by the Empire State Building, the top floors of New York's Empire State Building are lit in gold, red, blue and white light after they being switched on by R&B star Alicia Keys. The landmark boasts a new LED lighting system with a palette of more than 16 million colors in limitless combinations, including ripples, sparkles, chasers, sweeps, strobes and bursts. The old lights came in only 10 colors. (AP Photo/Empire State Building, Bryan Smith)

(AP)—Earlier this week, a switch was flipped at the Empire State Building, turning on its dancing new LED lights. They burst from the skyscraper, synchronized with R&B star Alicia Keys singing "Empire State of Mind" on radio.

But the weathered old floodlights haven't been discarded or forgotten.

In this Nov. 26, 2012, photo provided by the Empire State Building, the top floors of New York's Empire State Building are lit in blue and white light after being switched on by R&B star Alicia Keys. The landmark boasts a new LED lighting system with a palette of more than 16 million colors in limitless combinations, including ripples, sparkles, chasers, sweeps, strobes and bursts. The old lights came in only 10 colors. (AP Photo/Empire State Building, Bryan Smith)

They fill a vacant space on the building's 72nd floor. What will be done with them is a secret—for now.

The LED system has more than 16 million color possibilities, in digital combinations of ripples, sparkles, sweeps and strobes.

A full moon rises near the Empire State Building, as seen from Hoboken, N.J., Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Anthony Malkin, whose family controls the iconic Art Deco building, says the new lighting system is part of an effort to modernize the 81-year-old edifice undergoing a more than half a billion-dollar renovation.

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