Empire State Building to blow your mind tonight with first-ever LED light show

Empire State Building light show

If you’re lucky enough to be in New York City tonight, make sure to look up at the Empire State Building, which will be showing off the true capabilities of its next-generation LED lighting system in its first-ever light show.

The illustrious event will kick off at 9pm ET, and will be accompanied by a performance by Alicia Keys, who is scheduled to perform a single from her new album Girl on Fire, as well as her hit track “Empire State of Mind,” both of which will play in sync with the ESB lights. Keys’s performance will air live on a number of Clear Channel radio stations, including Z100, 103.5 KTU, Power105, and 106.7 Lite FM.

The Empire State Building, or ESB, first announced its new lighting system this past May. The “state-of-the-art dynamic lighting system” was built specifically for the ESB by Philips Color Kinetics (PCK). Here’s what the lights look like up close:

empire state building alicia keys led light show

While the original ESB lighting system was able to reproduce only about 10 separate colors, the PCK system ups that number to a staggering 16 million colors. The original lighting system also required workers to change each of the 400 fixtures, which took hours to do. Now, the ESB lighting crew can automate lighting designs, including ripple, cross-fade, particle, and burst effects, according to Philips. The more precise positioning system also keeps the lights focused on the ESB, rather than shining onto neighboring buildings.

The ESB crew first displayed the new PCK lighting system on November 6, Election Day, by shining different colors – red or blue – to signal election results. Election data from CNN was also displayed in a giant LED “meter” on the ESB’s spire.

According to a spokeswoman from the ESB, tonight’s light show “will only be able to be viewed by those with a vantage point of ESB in NYC and the surrounding areas.” However, those of us who miss the show will be able to watch a video of the performance Tuesday on iHeartradio.com.

Image via Jim Sulley/newscast