Lighting the Yeti Eyes for Everest in the City

Feb 15, 2006 in "Expedition Everest"

Posted: Wednesday February 15, 2006 by WDWMAGIC Staff
This information was produced by OSRAM SYLVANIA to describe some of the technical obstacles and their solutions when producing Everest in the City.


When the Walt Disney World Resort previewed its newest attraction, Expedition Everest, in New York, they needed to design a billboard that could stare down even the toughest Manhattanite.

To focus all eyes on the spring 2006 grand opening of the high-speed runaway train adventure at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, the company orchestrated a dramatic “Everest in the City” event in Times Square, starring a massive depiction of the legendary guardian of the Nepalese mountain range, the menacing Yeti.

The Walt Disney World Resort turned to signage company Clear Channel Outdoor to develop signage designed to transform the exteriors of a 57-story Times Square hotel, and an adjoining skyscraper on Broadway, into the most famous mountain peak in the world, Mount Everest. Peering over the snowy summit is the region’s most famous resident, the monstrous Yeti, sporting razor sharp teeth and glowing red eyes.

Disney Entertainment had limited room to mount a light source for the monster’s 30-inch diameter eyes, which needed to stand out against the menacing backdrop and ferocious roar of the Yeti. The design goal called for eyes that could dim, flash, and would stand out clearly visible from 300 yards away.


To meet the challenge, Disney teamed up with OSRAM SYLVANIA, a leader in Light Emitting Diode (LED) systems technology and partner in technological collaboration. The lighting manufacturer turned to its versatile OSRAM DRAGONchain® LED module, introduced just weeks before the Expedition Everest event.

“LEDs are having a huge impact in the lighting world right now, particularly in situations that call for difficult lighting configurations. Their small size and versatility, coupled with extreme durability, have opened up illumination applications that would have been impossible in the past,” Michael Neary, senior applications engineer for LED systems at OSRAM SYLVANIA, said.

The DRAGONchain module consists of a nine-foot chain of 18 metal core circuit boards with wire connects for flexible mounting. Each board features two 6500K OSRAM Opto Semiconductors Golden DRAGONTM LEDs, for a total of 36 LEDs per chain. Conformally coated to protect against moisture and condensation, the system is ideal for an outdoor installation. OSRAM also supplied six 24V power supplies per eye. The dimmable LED lighting is controlled by six OSRAM OPTOTRONIC® OT Dim modules per eye.

"The Sylvania DRAGONtape® LEDs are incredibly bright and were easily mounted in concentric circles in our back lit eye light-boxes. For our application we have added ‘OPTOTRONIC® LED Dimming Modules that have provided us maximum flexibility for programming. This product is brilliant!" said Larry Sonn, Technical Director, Walt Disney Entertainment.

The flexibility of DRAGONchain made the product ideal for this unique installation, which consisted of six modules installed in concentric spirals in the base of the Yeti eye sockets and covered with a 30-inch red plastic lens. The concentrated light point of the Golden DRAGON LEDs, with their high degree of efficiency and compact size, also aided the project. One Golden DRAGON LED generates the lighting intensity of approximately six traditional LEDs.

“The superior intensity of OSRAM Opto Semiconductors’ Golden DRAGON LEDs is derived from our advanced, proprietary thin-film technology, an industry first in providing increased optical output at the surface of the chip and increasing the usable light emitted,” said Ellen Sizemore, director, LED and IR Products Group, OSRAM Opto Semiconductors. “The thin-film technology also allows for better optical coupling, lower forward voltages and improved thermal performance compared with conventional semiconductor chip construction.”



OSRAM Opto Semiconductors Golden DRAGON LEDs

LOCATION: Times Square, New York

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