The Bloomfield Lighting Project is an ambitious multi-year project to light about a mile of the shopping district along Liberty Avenue in Bloomfield, a vibrant neighborhood in Pittsburgh. Designed by Pittsburgh-based company Clear Story Creative, the project will create a unified, cohesive lighting design on the facades of all of the buildings along both sides of the street within the mile-long business district. The system, controlled by a fleet of Miranda DMX controllers, will also give the Bloomfield Development Corporation the ability to easily change between looks, allowing them to change colors for holidays, parades, and other events.
The Demo Installation
The project began with the installation of a demo site, at the intersection of Liberty Avenue and Pearl Street. St. Maria Goretti Church on one corner provides an anchor for the installation, while the other 3 corners house a bank, a restaurant, and a laundromat. The lighting on each building facade varies, but the back end is the same: each corner has a Ubiqiti wireless node and a Miranda DMX controller. The busy urban environment means that the wireless link between the nodes is sometimes unreliable, but the use of Miranda enables the system to run synchronized cues, even without a reliable network.
Planning for the Future
With the complete planned installation stretching across a mile of Liberty Avenue, the ability to scale easily and remain synchronized over long distances becomes increasingly important. Once complete, the system will consist of more than 50 Miranda controllers – one per block, on each side of the street. It would be virtually impossible to build a reliable wireless network over that distance, which is why Miranda is perfect for this application – each individual controller will be able to stay in sync with the others, even if its network connection drops out every now and then.
With 50 controllers and hundreds of fixtures in the final build-out, being able to monitor the entire system via the cloud will also be critical. Failures will inevitably happen on a system this large, and Miranda’s monitoring features will allow us to remotely detect those failures and alert maintenance crews before they become a problem.