All the Cool Downtown Miami Buildings Are Wearing LED Lighting This Season

Leave it to Miami to invent architecture fashion. The hottest new accessory for downtown buildings is LED lighting, and the Miami Tower and the InterContinental Miami are among the first to model the latest trend.

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The Miami Tower announced last month that it was upgrading its exterior lighting system with state-of-the-art LED lights that would reduce energy use by 92 percent. But the change wasn't just about reducing the building's carbon footprint. The 216 new fixtures can produce hundreds of different lighting effects in 16 million different colors -- yes, that's 16 million -- according to a press release.

"With the new LED lighting solution in place, Miami Tower may be the most advanced exterior lighting system in the world," said Gavin Cooper, vice president of lighting provider LED Source.

But that prediction came before the InterContinental announced its own LED lighting plans, which could turn the sides of the hotel into giant animated screens.

The hotel is touting its upgrade as a "digital canvas" covering the east- and west-facing sides of its 19-story hotel tower on Biscayne Bay. The walls will display both images and animations about "current affairs and community events," according to a Strategic Hotels & Resorts press release. The same release promises that the installation of thousands of LED lights will be visible from miles away.

That level of lighting sounds more appropriate for the Vegas strip than Miami's business district. But then again, this is Miami. Image is everything, dahling. You simply can't be seen at night without a little bling.

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