Tourists who want to visit Niagara Falls this 2017 will get a whole new range of excitement as the bi-national tourist attraction got a major lighting makeover last December 1. The Niagara Falls Illumination board unveiled their new project that cost over $4 million.
People who attended the lighting ceremony "oohed and aahed" as the majestic falls got covered in LED lights that burst in spectacular rainbow colors at night. Mark Thomas, western district director for New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, was given the honor to turn on the switch.
"I'm thrilled," Thomas said. "The richness of the colors is fantastic. Being able to project multiple colors at the same time - this is exactly what we envisioned."
"For the last three years the Illumination Board has been working diligently on this."We are dealing with 20-year-old lighting and some of it dates back to post-World War II. It was really time to do an upgrade."
Niagara Falls first lit up on 1860 to commemorate the Prince of Wales' visit to Canada. It was not until 1925 that the illumination of Niagara Falls became a tourist attraction, but the technology of their time limited them to use the same kind of searchlights seafarers usually install in their watchtowers.
In 1974, The Niagara Falls Illumination Board improved the lights with Xenon system, making the lights shine brighter. With this year's upgrade however, everything is several times livelier, making any color of the spectrum to show and glide against the falls' cascading waters.
Plus, this new LED light installation is energy efficient. It requires no maintenance and its energy consumption will drop by 60 percent.
"What you used to see on the falls for illumination was the impression that the waterfall was there, but what you are seeing now is the intensity and clarity. You are actually seeing the water fall. You are getting the impression of depths of the falls - you are left with the impression if you threw a drop of water over the falls you would able to see it go down," Ed Gesch, president of ECCO Electric said.